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Monday, December 22, 2014

PhotoDetective - first look

A few weeks ago, I alerted you to a Kickstarter campaign around a new image authentication product called PhotoDetective. Well, I've put my copy through a few tests and it's time to share the results.

The program is quite simple to use. It has a very clean/lean interface - almost too lean. It has a few of the basic authentication algorithms that you've come to expect. But, nothing fancy. No reporting. What you see is what you get.

Your basic Exif tools are there. You can export the info to a text file.

It's all menu driven.

Some of the filters are self explanatory, some aren't (if you're unfamiliar with the science of authentication). There's no title to the results - if you want to screen capture your resulting images.

There's also no comparative function. Sure, it gives you a basic look at the QT - but you'll have to do the work to make sure it's right.

Now, the results:
  • For my cut/delete/paint over tests - it found the problems rather easily as long as they were blatant. For my more subtly changed images, I found what I was looking for only because I knew where I was looking. I could probably fool the average user into a false negative (a false conclusion of no evidence of tampering).
  • For my cut/paste tests - again, it did well with the blatant examples and not so well with the subtle ones.
To be sure, there's nothing wrong (per se) with the program. It's very basic in its functionality. The problem will come when people buy this as their only tool. As I noted above, it could lead to a lot of false negatives when wielded by an untrained user.

In all, limited but not bad for $30 when used by a trained analyst. In untrained hands ... OMG.

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