Using Approximate Matching to Reduce the Volume of Digital Data

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date


Subject: LCSH

Hashing (Computer science), Computer forensics, Cyber forensics


Computer Engineering | Computer Sciences | Electrical and Computer Engineering | Forensic Science and Technology | Information Security


Digital forensic investigators frequently have to search for relevant files in massive digital corpora – a task often compared to finding a needle in a haystack. To address this challenge, investigators typically apply cryptographic hash functions to identify known files. However, cryptographic hashing only allows the detection of files that exactly match the known file hash values or fingerprints. This paper demonstrates the benefits of using approximate matching to locate relevant files. The experiments described in this paper used three test images of Windows XP, Windows 7 and Ubuntu 12.04 systems to evaluate fingerprint-based comparisons. The results reveal that approximate matching can improve file identification – in one case, increasing the identification rate from 1.82% to 23.76%.


Purchase chapter or book here

Find in a library

Also in UNH Library

IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology series, Vol. 433



Publisher Citation

Breitinger, Frank; Winter, Christian; Yannikos, York; Fink, Tobias; Seefried, Michael (2014): Using Approximate Matching to Reduce the Volume of Digital Data. In: Peterson, Gilbert; Shenoi, Sujeet (Ed.): Advances in Digital Forensics X, pp. 149-163, Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 2014, ISBN: 978-3-662-44951-6.