Friday, December 31, 2010

Electronic Discovery Just Keeps Getting More Complex

From Ex Forensis' Larry Daniel: "I have this application that I use and it is awesome. DropBox. DropBox is a cloud based (Internet) application that allows me and my team to share documents and access them virtually from anywhere. I can review and edit these documents on my desktop, my laptop, my iPad, and review them on my Android phone. Talk about convenience.

What is so cool about the application is that it also provides automatic online backup of the documents and keeps a revision history so you can “go back” to a previous version of a document. It even keeps deleted documents, just in case you didn’t really mean to delete that oh so important Word document.

So why write about this on a digital forensics blog? Applications like Dropbox are the future of distributed file sharing. There are quite a few applications that serve the same or similar purpose such as Google Docs, Windows Live Skydrive and Apple’s Mobile Me.

What’s interesting about these applications is the potential to hold discoverable electronic evidence.

The basic approach to ESI (Electronically Stored Information) cases is to follow the who, what, where and how of potential evidence.

Who are you trying to find out information about, or who owned, modified, deleted or created a document or email.

What are you looking for? This part is pretty well defined; Email, Documents, Spreadsheets and so forth.

Where might this evidence be stored? This is what is getting more complicated with more storage options gaining ground in the marketplace.

How do you get the evidence? In the old days, that was the simplest of questions; either from the computer hard drive or a floppy disk. You would get access to the computer in question and do the evidence collection.

These days, the interrogatories for building a discovery motion needs to include the possibility of cloud storage applications like these.

Companies should also bear in mind that since these applications sync file to multiple devices, and an employee now has a copy of the files and can access them from their home computer as well as their office computer or company laptop.

When you look at obtaining electronic discovery, one of the approaches now must be: Does the custodian of interest have access to or participate in on-line shared storage options beyond SharePoint server or a company file share. If the company is using an on-line backup service in the cloud, will documents be available there that are not on the local computers and servers?

The beauty of applications like Dropbox is the audit trail that is automatically created when documents are modified or deleted from Dropbox ..."

Click here to finish reading this valuable article.

Enjoy.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

PercepTool2 - price drop

Upon further consideration, a price drop and HDR for free: "Atlantic Light Works and Reindeer Graphics announce the release of PercepTool 2TM a Photoshop add-on suite that performs High Dynamic Range (HDR), Tone Mapping and Perceptual Effect operations on digital photographs. Compatible with both Windows and Mac platforms in 32- and 64-bit processing, it operates in Photoshop CS4 and CS5 (Photoshop Extended required for 32-bits/channel). PercepTool 2TM works with both B&W and Color images in 8-bits, 16-bits and 32-bits.

Completely revised and updated, PercepTool 2TM includes a new interface for the Perceptual Effect routine that now includes Exposure and Contrast adjustments instead of using Photoshop tools. The Perceptual Effect adjustment has been redesigned to operate faster and to protect the highlights. In addition, PercepTool 2TM now includes EqualizerTM, a superior multi-contrast Tone Mapping interface, and FreeHDRTM, a High Dynamic Range operator that combines images without ‘grunge’ effects. Included is a Histogram with both Levels and Ansel Adams Zone System scales. LiveViewTM, the ability to work on the main image itself and not a preview, is unique to PercepTool 2TM.

Photographers will find the new HDR and Tone Mapping abilities of PercepTool 2TM especially exciting. FreeHDRTM finds an optimal alignment for images to be blended (with multiple quality settings) that does not suffer from the flaws in Photoshop’s alignment. The blending of the images occurs with accurate color rendition, reduced noise, and attention to the realistic nature of the photograph itself, rather than an interpretation.

PercepTool 2TM may be downloaded only from http://www.georgedewolfe.com/perceptool.html. For those who have purchased the original PercepToolTMthe upgrade cost is $75. The full version is $95."

Enjoy.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

HDR for free?

It just keeps getting better. This just in: "Atlantic Light Works and Reindeer Graphics announce the release of FreeHDRTM a free Photoshop add-on that performs High Dynamic Range (HDR) alignment and blending on digital photographs. Compatible with both Windows and Mac platforms in 32- and 64-bit processing, it operates in Photoshop CS4 and CS5 (Photoshop Extended required for 32-bits/channel images). FreeHDRTM works with both B&W and Color images in 8-bit, 16-bit and 32-bit modes.

FreeHDRTM, a High Dynamic Range operator, combines images without ‘grunge’ effects. FreeHDRTM finds an optimal alignment for images to be blended (with multiple quality settings) that does not suffer from the flaws in Photoshop’s alignment. The blending of the images occurs with accurate color rendition, minimal noise, reduced ghosting, and attention to the realistic nature of the photograph itself, rather than an interpretation.

Compare the color rendering, alignment and blending of FreeHDRTM with Photomatix® and other HDR programs. We think you’ll agree that the results are a notch above the rest…at a price that can’t be beat.

FreeHDRTM may be downloaded FREE by clicking here."

Enjoy.

Raising the bar a little higher

Hany Farid vs. Photoshop
The Dartmouth computer scientist and forensic imaging specialist has come up with a way to tell whether a digital photograph is authentic
From Businessweek.com

"A warning to anyone trying to pass off faked photos as real: Hany Farid is on to you. The Dartmouth College computer scientist is developing digital forensics software that can instantly tell whether an image has been manipulated, and what make and model of camera captured it. It's "exactly like gun ballistics," says Farid, 44. "If Photoshop touches that image, we will know about it."

Much as a rifle barrel imprints a unique pattern of grooves on bullets, digital cameras have electronic signatures—minute variations of resolution and image compression in the images they produce. Farid and his students received permission from photo-sharing site Flickr to download millions of images and build a signature database of every one of the 10,000-plus digital camera models ever made. To verify a picture, Farid's system checks it against that database to identify the equipment used. It then looks for any variations in the signature, which would indicate fakery. If the system finds traces of Adobe Photoshop (ADBE), which also leaves a signature (and is the most common image manipulation program), that's a sure sign of picture alteration.

Farid plans to sell his software, though he hasn't decided whether to start his own company or partner with Adobe, which is helping to develop the technology. The program may be useful to law enforcement agencies that need unaltered photographs for court evidence, says Stephen A. Saltzburg, a law professor at George Washington University. Newspapers might use it to determine the authenticity of freelance photos. People will inevitably try to outsmart the program, "but we're going to make it pretty hard for them," says Farid. "You're going to have to work. And right now, you don't have to work ..."

Click here to continue reading the story.

Enjoy.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

PercepTool2 vs. Photoshop HDR

I received a question from a reader asking why PercepTool2 is better than Photoshop's built in HDR functionality. Since better is rather subjective, I'll try to answer the question by quoting the creators.

"We produced the first practical HDR plugin for Photoshop, Optipix, when the digital revolution was beginning at the turn of the century. HDR Align and BlendTM is a vast improvement on that algorithm and includes a multi-align routine that fixes Photoshop’s inability to align the same thing the same way twice.

The alignment routine can run as many as 11 alignments per layer. The default is Normal (6 alignments). The HDR blending routine is proprietary and gives the best “natural” blend of any HDR software available. 2 to 100 images can be added in Layers, aligned and blended. This blend can, of course, be adjusted with the tone mapping EqualizerTM."

"PercepTool 2TM, EqualizerTM, and HDR Align and BlendTM are all dedicated to reproducing a perceptual and emotional image that you first saw and felt in your eye and camera. These tools rely on research from the perceptual processing of the human eye and brain, from Lightness science, from research into the great masters of painting, and from the practice of photography."

In my own experience, the HDR functionality in Photoshop is great for creating what I call "modern art masterpieces." The results tend to be "hyper-real." The results from the 3 plug-ins that make up the PerceptTool2 package, properly employed, create realistic views that really do accurately depict the scene (the full tonal range) as viewed at the time - as I perceive it.

If our goal is to provide the trier of fact with a true representation of the scene, an accurate representation of pieces of evidence, and so forth, then the PercepTool2 package of plug-ins is one to have in your tool box.

Enjoy.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Forensic Photoshop Configurator Panel Updated

Good news. The Forensic Photoshop Configurator Panel has been updated to support Configurator 2 / Photoshop CS5. You can download it from the book's resources page (secure area for book owners only). Merry Christmas.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

PercepTool2 - first looks

I had some spare time this morning, being the holiday and all, so my able assistant and I went around the ranch looking for tyre and boot marks. We found a few likely candidates and set up our shoot - Fujifilm IS-1, tripod, Whibal card, and etc. After shooting from 2 stops under - 2 stops over (each scenario) I loaded the files into Bridge - then into Photoshop CS5 as Layers.



Using both the HDR/Align and Equalizer functions in PercepTool2 ... and be prepared to wait a while, this is very CPU intensive stuff (my Mac's almost 3 years old now) ... I was quite satisfied with the initial results.



Right out of the camera, the RAW file is flat and uninteresting. Using PercepTool2, I was able to really bring out the details of the tread whilst adding a bit of punch. The included instructions are very easy to understand and follow (RTFM). The presets in Equalizer make perfect sense.

My initial impressions of this inexpensive plug-in are that evidence and forensic photographers are going to want a copy.

To be continued ...

Enjoy.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

HDR in forensic imaging

I wanted to pass along a quote from a noted image scientist on HDR's role in forensic imaging.

"HDR is a big deal. Too many people think it is an "exotic" kind of imaging, but in reality what we're trying to do is suppress large dynamic range while emphasizing details in a believable manner. With forensics, the limitation on believability isn't quite as important (we need to show that something is there, not necessarily that it looks nice, too.)"

I recognise that HDR is a big deal. That's why I'm excited about PerceptTool2, both conceptually and in practice. I think it will push forensic photographers and analysts towards thinking of mastery - towards getting as much detail out of a scene as possible and presenting it in such a way that it will positively effect the telling of the story.

Enjoy.

Depth Boundaries - latent print and shoe mark image development

I'm excited about using PercepTool2 on latent prints and shoe marks.

In any experiment, you start with a null hypothesis and an alternative hypothesis. In this case, the null would be that PercepTool2 will not dramatically clarify a latent print and/or shoe mark image. The alternative will thus be that PercepTool2 will dramatically clarify a latent print and/or shoe mark image.

I think we'll find that PercepTool2's work on edge enhancements, framework, and tonal articulation will be amazing. Am I biassed? No - just excited.

Enjoy.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The science of lightness perception - part 6

In continuing to set the stage for my review of the new PercepTool2, and realising that many don't yet have George DeWolfe's Book, B&W Printing, here I'll finish presenting some of George's glossary terms.

Remember, George notes that many of the words that he uses have additional meanings in other contexts, but are used here as they relate to the science of lightness perception. I'll present the basic information. Readers are encouraged to get George's book in order to dive into the details.

Scale normalization rule: the perceived range of grays within a framework shifts to a 30:1 range (in brightness) from highlight to shadow relative to the actual physical range given the framework.

Size: the greater the size of a local framework, the more important it is in the image.

Value: refers to where a black, white, or gray tone lies along a light to dark continuum.

Visual perception: the process of acquiring, interpreting, selecting, and organizing what we see.

Enjoy.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Help LAPD put names to faces of the more than 100 images recovered in possession of the Grim Sleeper

To view poster, click here.
To view all photos, click here.
If you can identify any of these photos, please call 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (1-877-527-3247)

Anyone wishing to remain anonymous may call Crimestoppers at 800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477). Tipsters may contact Crimestoppers by texting the number 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cell phone. All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD.” Tipsters may also go to LAPDOnline.org, click on "webtips" and follow the prompts.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The science of lightness perception - part 5

In continuing to set the stage for my review of the new PercepTool2, and realising that many don't yet have George DeWolfe's Book, B&W Printing, I'm going to present some of George's glossary terms in this and the next few posts.

George notes that many of the words that he uses have additional meanings in other contexts, but are used here as they relate to the science of lightness perception. I'll present the basic information. Readers are encouraged to get George's book in order to dive into the details.

Presence: the quality of good brightness constancy and high articulation of black/white values in an image.

Proximal stimulus: the image received by the retina in the human eye.

Reflectance: a measure of the percentage of incident light reflected from a surface.

Reflectance edge: an actual edge in an image that is revealed by a change in reflectance.

To be continued ...

Enjoy.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

It begs the question ...

A story that popped up on Government Video's web site begs an important question: "The installation of a mid-sized internet-protocol (IP) video surveillance system now costs less than installing a corresponding analog system, says report by a Swedish university research group.

The independent study, conducted by Lusax, a research group at Lund University in Sweden, compiled data comparing the costs of installing analog video surveillance systems with the costs of installing IP video surveillance systems.

Lusax compared the cost of installing analog systems with IP systems by surveying integrators who were actively selling and installing both analog and IP-based systems. The integrators were asked to provide bids on installing both types of systems at a retail store with 14, 25 and 40 cameras, and for all three scenarios the IP-based system returned a lower total cost than the analog system.

Thomas Kalling, a professor and leader of Lusax, said he was not surprised by the results because “The market for IP security products has developed rapidly and is much more mature than only a few years ago.”

Both integrators and installers have learned to benefit from using standard, off-the-shelf products for recording and storage, which has a positive effect on the total system cost, Kalling said.

A similar study conducted in 2007 showed that an IP-based surveillance system was more cost-efficient in installations, but only when the number of cameras exceeded 32.

“We are continuing to see the increasing benefits that modern IP technology brings to its customers, including scalability, quality and total cost of ownership,” Fredrik Nilsson, Axis Communications Inc.’s general manager, said in a written statement. “As IP adoption grows, cost-effectiveness needs to grow as well. This study validates the efforts Axis has made to deliver products that support that belief. We expect to see this cost advantage increase in the future as IP innovation continues, especially with the rise of hosted solutions,” said Nilsson, whose company paid for at least part of the study ..."

Did you see it? My question is, why is quality not factored in the equation? How about not driving the market based on cost entirely. Why not focus on the purpose of CCTV, then fit the installation to that purpose. Usually, if you get a $400 DVR - it's worth less than that when the images it produces are worthless in court. The same goes for IP based systems. I've been less than impressed with the quality that comes out of them.

Photoshop 12.0.3 update for CS5 Windows now available

From Adobe's John Nack: "In addition to containing the fixes that were part of the recent 12.0.2 update, the 12.0.3 update for Photoshop CS5 for Windows fixes a tooltip problem that was introduced by 12.0.2, as well as a security vulnerability. Photoshop CS5 for Mac doesn’t have these problems, so there’s no equivalent update for Mac."

Enjoy.

Friday, December 17, 2010

The science of lightness perception - part 4

In continuing to set the stage for my review of the new PercepTool2, and realising that many don't yet have George DeWolfe's Book, B&W Printing, I'm going to present some of George's glossary terms in this and the next few posts.

George notes that many of the words that he uses have additional meanings in other contexts, but are used here as they relate to the science of lightness perception. I'll present the basic information. Readers are encouraged to get George's book in order to dive into the details.

Illuminance: also called illumination, illuminance is the total perceived amount of light falling on a surface (incident light).

Illuminance edge: an actual edge in an image that is revealed by a change in illumination.

Intrinsic image: reflectance images and illuminance images - together these two types make up the luminance image seen by the retina of the eye and the camera sensor.

Lightness: perceived reflectance.

Luminance: also called intensity - luminance is the combined emission of illuminance (incident light) and reflectance (reflected light) from diffuse surfaces.

Luminosity: also called brightness, luminosity is the subjective quality of luminance as processed and perceived by the visual cortex of the brain.

Percept: an individual's visual experience of something external to themselves.

To be continued ...

Enjoy.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The science of lightness perception - part 3

In continuing to set the stage for my review of the new PercepTool2, and realising that many don't yet have George DeWolfe's Book, B&W Printing, I'm going to present some of George's glossary terms in this and the next few posts.

George notes that many of the words that he uses have additional meanings in other contexts, but are used here as they relate to the science of lightness perception. I'll present the basic information. Readers are encouraged to get George's book in order to dive into the details.

Fundamental error: the fundamental error in lightness perception is that objects on dark backgrounds appear lighter and objects on light backgrounds appear darker.

Gamut compression: a perceptual compression of the grayscale that occurs when the range of luminance values is greater than a 1:30 highlight to shadow ratio.

Gamut expansion: a perceptual broadening of the grayscale that occurs when the range of luminance values within a framework is greater than a 1:30 highlight to shadow ratio.

Gestalt principles of visual organization: proximity, similarity, closure, continuation, and belongingness.

Grouping: refers to the grouping of certain visual attributes such as tonal values, edges, depth boundaries, corners, and the Gestalt principles of visual organization in a local framework.

To be continued ...

Enjoy.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The science of lightness perception - part 2

In continuing to set the stage for my review of the new PercepTool2, and realising that many don't yet have George DeWolfe's Book, B&W Printing, I'm going to present some of George's glossary terms in this and the next few posts.

George notes that many of the words that he uses have additional meanings in other contexts, but are used here as they relate to the science of lightness perception. I'll present the basic information. Readers are encouraged to get George's book in order to dive into the details.

Constancy: refers to brightness constancy.

Depth cues: edge patterns used by the brain to detect depth.

Distal stimulus: the physical environment or object photographed.

Framework: a basic structure used to define and group visual elements such as highlights, shadows, midtones, depth indicators, and edges.

To be continued ...

Enjoy.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The science of lightness perception

In setting the stage for my review of the new PercepTool2, and realising that many don't yet have George DeWolfe's Book, B&W Printing, I'm going to present some of George's glossary terms in this and the next few posts.

George notes that many of the words that he uses have additional meanings in other contexts, but are used here as they relate to the science of lightness perception. I'll present the basic information. Readers are encouraged to get George's book in order to dive into the details.

Anchoring: anchoring takes the highest relative luminance in a framework and maps it to white.

Articulation: refers to the number of tonal values within a framework.

Brightness: also called luminosity, brightness refers to perceived luminance.

Contrast: is defined in lightness perception science as a luminance ratio.

To be continued ...

Enjoy.

Monday, December 13, 2010

The First Steps: Toward Understanding the Nature of Footwear Impression Evidence

From Evidence Magazine: "Since the very beginning, criminals have left their footmarks at the scene of the crime. It is an undeniable law of gravity that even the most intelligent criminal mind cannot circumvent. Criminals may easily don latex gloves but nary a one will commit their crimes wearing shoe covers. These impressions are an unclaimed bounty waiting to be discovered, and all that stands in our way is the proper tools and the knowledge of their application.

Footwear impressions represent the ultimate enigma in forensic science. They are among the most prevalent types of evidence to be found at crime scenes, but they are simultaneously the least sought-after clues. Over the years, a number of myths regarding footwear evidence have permeated our lexicon and drained our institutional knowledge of effective processing techniques. Police officers and criminalists alike are disadvantaged by this condition, resulting in valuable evidence going unnoticed.

Fortunately, there is a simple solution and the learning curve is slight. By understanding the nature of footwear impressions, we can better understand the best practices for recovering them.

Footwear impressions can tell us about both the criminal and the crime. We may be able to determine the make and style of shoe, and even the identity of the shoe to the exclusion of all others in the world. We can even use these impressions to rule out certain shoes and narrow the suspect pool.

Equally important is our ability to use footwear to tell us how the criminals moved through the scene. Did they climb through a window or boot open a locked door? Did they walk away from the scene or run? Did they enter a particular room or leave it untouched? All of these questions may be answered—but only if we discover the impressions ..."

Click here to continue reading this story.

Enjoy.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Techno Forensics Conference Expands to Encompass Crime Scene and Photography/Video Sessions

DFI News Digital Forensic Investigator® and TheTrainingCo.,LLC announced today that in conjunction with partnering to produce the 7th annual “Techno Forensics Conference,” the 2011 conference will debut a track specifically devoted to Forensics industry professionals with highlighted focus on photo/video forensics and crime scene investigation and evidence collection. Joining together the Digital Forensic and Forensic communities reflects the crossover apparent today within a wide range of forensic and digital disciplines. This annual event brings together key stakeholders from industry, academia and government in an effort to strengthen this important technology, research, and communication bridge.

For more information and to register: www.technoforensicsconference.com

“The conference will provide critical cross-industry learning and valuable new business partnership and networking opportunities. This is where to find knowledge, contacts and business.” said Patrick Murphy, CEO Vicon Publishing, a New Hampshire-based global leader in business-to-business media publications including DFI News Digital Forensic Investigator® and Forensic Magazine®. “Attendees include international leaders from public and private sectors in over 40 countries worldwide as well as luminaries bringing critical new intelligence including the National Institute of Justice.”

“Emerging technologies and applications are affecting the way industry experts interact with one another and the inter-dependencies loom large” said Donald Withers, CEO, TheTrainingCo. “This conference provides a perfect opportunity to present useful information and techniques designed to assist digital investigative and forensic professionals in day-to-day practice.”

The “Techno Forensics Conference” will be held on October 31 and November 1, 2011 at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center located at 2101 North Oak Street, Myrtle Beach, SC.

The conference will highlight a series of track presentations, live demonstrations, and industry experts.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Setting the stage for the review of PercepTool 2.0.2

I'm diving into PercepTool and the theory behind it - loving what I'm finding. In setting the stage for the forthcoming full tour and review, I want to pass along some of the philosophy behind the tool. This snippet comes from George DeWolfe's book on black and white printing,

"Behind all the inventions, techniques, and movements in painting and photography lies a fundamental truth about the inherent degree of visual perception involved in each: What the painter represents on canvas is a representation of what is visually perceived, while what the photographer represents in an unaltered image is only what is actually seen, not what it visually perceived. What is seen by the retina of your eye or the sensor of your digital camera represents a quantity of light as it falls on a subject or scene. This quantity of light is known as luminance. Luminance combines both the surface reflective nature of the scene being photographed as well as the illumination falling on the scene. What is visually perceived (and painted by a painter) is a many faceted neural operation that separates reflection and illumination and combines them with edge definition, depth, form, and wholeness—a process that, for the artist, is inherently more “real” than what we take for realism in a photograph."

Some interesting food for thought ...

Enjoy.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

This just in ...

Normally, I don't do press releases. This, however, will be a rare exception. I'm a fan of the people involved and look forward to taking this new tool for a spin. As usual, I'll do a review of it when I'm finished punishing it.

Here' goes ...

Atlantic Light Works and Reindeer Graphics announce the release of PercepTool 2.0.2TM, a Photoshop add-on suite that performs High Dynamic Range (HDR), Tone Mapping and Perceptual Effect operations on digital photographs. Compatible with both Windows and Mac platforms in 32- and 64-bit processing, it operates in Photoshop CS4 and CS5 (Photoshop Extended required for 32-bits/channel). PercepTool 2.0.2TM works with both B&W and Color images in 8-bits, 16-bits and 32-bits.

Completely revised and updated, PercepTool 2.0.2TM includes a new interface for the Perceptual Effect routine that now includes Exposure and Contrast adjustments instead of using Photoshop tools. The Perceptual Effect adjustment has been redesigned to operate faster and to protect the highlights. In addition, PercepTool 2.0.2TM now includes EqualizerTM, a superior multi-contrast Tone Mapping interface, and HDR Align and BlendTM, a High Dynamic Range operator that combines images without “grunge” effects. Included is a Histogram with both Levels and Ansel Adams Zone System scales. LiveViewTM, the ability to work on the image itself and not a preview, is unique to PercepTool 2.0.2TM.

Photographers will find the new HDR and Tone Mapping abilities of PercepTool 2.0.2TM especially exciting. HDR Align and BlendTM finds an optimal alignment for images to be blended (with multiple quality settings) that does not suffer from the flaws in Photoshop’s alignment. The blending of the images occurs with accurate color rendition, reduced noise, and attention to the realistic nature of the photograph itself, rather than an interpretation.

PercepTool 2.0.2TM may be downloaded only by clicking here. For those who have purchased the original PercepToolTM the upgrade cost is $75. The full version is $150.

Enjoy.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Cryptographers crack system for verifying digital images

From the UK Register: "Cryptographers have cracked software used to verify that images taken with Canon cameras haven't been altered.

Russian password-cracking company ElcomSoft said on Tuesday that it's able to extract the original signing key from the Canon Original Data Security Kit and use it to validate fake photos. Canon has billed the service as a way to verify the originality of an image and to confirm that global positioning coordinates, data, time, and other metadata hasn't been changed.

“The entire image verification system is proved useless,” ElcomSoft CEO Vladimir Katalov said in a statement. “If one company was able to produce fake images indistinguishable from originals, how do we know that others haven't been doing this for years?”

The Russian company mocked the system by posting doctored photos authenticated by the system purporting to show Russian cosmonauts landing on the moon ahead of US astronauts and Joseph Stalin brandishing an iPhone.

According to ElcomSoft, the verification kit embeds cryptographic data into every image taken with a compatible Canon camera that's supposed to verify the picture's authenticity and originality. The kit's demise joins a long list of other cracks by ElcomSoft that extract everything from iPhone 4 passwords to Wi-Fi encryption keys."