Digital forensics

Helping our member countries make best use of electronic evidence

Digital forensics is a branch of forensic science that focuses on identifying, acquiring, processing, analysing, and reporting on data stored electronically.

Electronic evidence is a component of almost all criminal activities and digital forensics support is crucial for law enforcement investigations.

Electronic evidence can be collected from a wide array of sources, such as computers, smartphones, remote storage, unmanned aerial systems, shipborne equipment, and more.

The main goal of digital forensics is to extract data from the electronic evidence, process it into actionable intelligence and present the findings for prosecution. All processes utilize sound forensic techniques to ensure the findings are admissible in court.

What we provide to member countries

  • Operational support: specialized forensics assistance can be provided at the INTERPOL Digital Forensics Laboratory and in the field during Incident Response deployments.
  • Guidance: we assist member countries in building and maintaining state-of-the-art laboratories compliant with internationally adopted procedures, to better support investigations and prosecutions.
  • Capacity building: we develop training programmes focusing on standard methodologies and solutions in digital forensics, in close cooperation with the INTERPOL Capacity Building Unit and with our partners from law enforcement, the private sector and academia.
  • Connecting practitioners: the INTERPOL Digital Forensic Lab connects experts all over the world to share their knowledge and discuss ways to improve their daily work. 

Our publications

  • Global Guidelines for Digital Forensics Laboratories: outlines the procedures for establishing and managing a Digital Forensics Laboratory and provides technical guidelines for managing and processing electronic evidence.
  • Framework for Responding to a Drone Incident: provides technical guidance in managing and processing a drone incident for first responders and digital forensics practitioners.
  • Digital 4N6 Pulse (quarterly): a newsletter with short articles written by the digital forensics community, including experts from law enforcement, industry, and academia.
  • Guidelines for Digital Forensics First Responders: offers advice related to search and seizure, for identifying and handling electronic evidence through methods that guarantee their integrity so that they are admissible in the judicial process.

Our international meetings

  • INTERPOL Digital Forensics Expert Group Meeting (annual): open to practitioners and managers from law enforcement, government agencies, and invited digital forensic companies and academic institutions. The meeting offers a space for networking, sharing experiences, and updates on new technologies and techniques in digital forensics. Since 2016, the meeting has become a major forum, attended by hundreds of participants from all over the world.
  • INTERPOL Drone Expert Forum (annual): an in-depth landscape analysis on drones and the associated challenges faced by law enforcement in this area. The discussions cover three specific areas: threat, tools and evidence.
  • INTERPOL Automotive Cyber Threat and Vehicle Forensics Expert Group Meeting (annual): to discuss current challenges and examples where vehicle data may assist an investigation. The target participants are managers and expert practitioners working in the field of automotive cyberthreat and digital forensics.
  • INTERPOL Digital Forensics on Shipborne Equipment Forum (annual): the meeting, co-organized with the INTERPOL Global Fisheries Enforcement, brings together law enforcement agencies and private sector partners in a hands-on approach to best practices in digital forensics on shipborne equipment.