An Analytical Approach to the Recovery of Data From 3rd Party Proprietary CCTV File Systems

Richard Gomm; Nhien-An Le-Khac; Mark Scanlon; M-Tahar Kechadi

Publication Date:  July 2016

Publication Name:  15th European Conference on Cyber Warfare and Security (ECCWS 2016)

Abstract:   According to recent predictions, the global video surveillance market is expected to reach $42.06 billion annually by 2020. The market is extremely fragmented with only around 40% of the market being accounted for by the 15 top video surveillance equipment suppliers as in an annual report issued by IMS Research. The remaining market share was split amongst the numerous other smaller companies who provide CCTV solutions, usually at lower prices than their brand name counterparts. This cost cutting generally results in a lower specification of components. Recently, an investigation was undertaken in relation to a serious criminal offence, of which significant video footage had been captured on a CCTV Digital Video Recorder (DVR). The unit was setup to save the last 31 days of footage to an internal hard drive. However, despite the referenced footage being within this timeframe, it could not be located. The DVR unit was submitted for forensic examination and data retrieval of specified video footage which, according to the proprietary video backup application, was not retrievable. In this paper, we present the process and method of the forensic retrieval of video footage from a DVR. The objective of this method is to retrieve the oldest video footage possible from a proprietary designed file storage system. We also evaluate our approach with a Ganz CCTV DVR system model C-MPDVR-16 to show that the file system of a DVR has been reversed engineering with no initial knowledge, application or documentation available.

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BibTeX Entry:


      @article{gomm2016cctv,
author="Richard Gomm and Nhien-An Le-Khac and Mark Scanlon and M-Tahar Kechadi",
title="{An Analytical Approach to the Recovery of Data From 3rd Party Proprietary CCTV File Systems}",
booktitle="{15th European Conference on Cyber Warfare and Security (ECCWS 2016)}",
year="2016",
month="07",
address={Munich, Germany},
publisher={ACPI},
abstract="According to recent predictions, the global video surveillance market is expected to reach $42.06 billion annually by 2020. The market is extremely fragmented with only around 40% of the market being accounted for by the 15 top video surveillance equipment suppliers as in an annual report issued by IMS Research. The remaining market share was split amongst the numerous other smaller companies who provide CCTV solutions, usually at lower prices than their brand name counterparts. This cost cutting generally results in a lower specification of components. Recently, an investigation was undertaken in relation to a serious criminal offence, of which significant video footage had been captured on a CCTV Digital Video Recorder (DVR). The unit was setup to save the last 31 days of footage to an internal hard drive. However, despite the referenced footage being within this timeframe, it could not be located. The DVR unit was submitted for forensic examination and data retrieval of specified video footage which, according to the proprietary video backup application, was not retrievable. In this paper, we present the process and method of the forensic retrieval of video footage from a DVR. The objective of this method is to retrieve the oldest video footage possible from a proprietary designed file storage system. We also evaluate our approach with a Ganz CCTV DVR system model C-MPDVR-16 to show that the file system of a DVR has been reversed engineering with no initial knowledge, application or documentation available."
}