Potential difficulties during investigations due to solid state drive (SSD) technology

James Cox, Peter Bednar

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterpeer-review


This paper discusses potential complications for Forensic Investigations due to the spread of Solid State Disc (SSD) technologies and influence of socio-technical factors. The discussion is drawing upon a study based on interviews with an experienced Forensic Investigator from Hampshire Constabularies Hi-Tech Crime Unit (HTCU), located in the United Kingdom. The goal of this study was to identify examples of what experienced forensic investigators believe the biggest drawbacks with examining SSDs are. Background case studies have been made in assistance to identify specific characteristics and features that may impact forensic investigations. Key characteristics include that SSD features may pose a threat as potential evidence can be rendered inaccessible; possibly impacting the case or project negatively. The main themes discussed in this paper are related to: Hardware-based encryption, Garbage Collection (GC), the TRIM command, Controller technology, SSD Interfaces, and SSD User needs. Socio-technical influences were acknowledged during the interviews with the Investigator, showing uncertainty to alternative Forensic methods. These themes have been scrutinized to identify how they impact and limit investigations.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOrganizing for the Digital World
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Aug 21

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Information Systems and Organisation

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Other Computer and Information Science


  • Digital forensic investigations
  • Socio-technical
  • Solid state drives (SSDs)


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