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NIST releases updated Reference Data Set to fight computer crime. (General Developments).

NIST recently released an updated National Software Reference Library (NSRL) Reference Data Set to assist the law enforcement community in fighting crimes involving computers. The NSRL encompasses a repository of all types of software, including operating systems, vertical applications, database management systems, graphics packages, games, etc. It also includes a database of file profiles, i.e., software fingerprints, that can be used to identify known and unknown files on computers, diskettes, magnetic tapes, CDs, etc., that have been seized pursuant to investigation. Containing over 8 million file signatures, the data set is available at

The NSRL can save an investigator hundreds of hours in an investigation. A single computer or hard disk drive can contain between 10 000 and 50 000 individual files, each of which must be examined for probative value. If multiple computers, disk drives, magnetic tapes, or other media are involved, staff hours could reach into the thousands and take months to finish. The NSRL reduces the time it takes to investigate each computer by allowing the investigator to weed out files that have known profiles and fingerprints in NIST's database. The investigator then can concentrate on the unknown files. NIST produces the NSRL using state-of-the-art software and computers to verify the fingerprints of each software package.

A collaboration of NIST, the National Institute of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Defense Cyber Crime Center, other federal, state and local law enforcement, and software vendors, the NSRL is an example of the application of technology to investigate crimes involving computers, such as child pornography, racketeering, cyber-attacks, illegal gambling, Internet fraud, and software piracy.

CONTACT: Barbara Guttman, (301) 975-4207; barbara.
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Publication:Journal of Research of the National Institute of Standards and Technology
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 1, 2002
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