Students create e-learning site on forensics

Written By pcbolong on Tuesday, May 31, 2011 | 11:02 AM

Jena2i project offers a bilingual online platform to help judiciary understand technical aspects of cyber crimes

Abu Dhabi: Three students at the College of Information Technology of Zayed University (ZU) last week launched a project that aims to act as digital forensics e-learning platform.

The project is called ‘Jenaei', an Arabic word that translates into English as ‘forensics', but written as ‘Jena2i'. The project is an online e-learning site targeting judges, lawyers, prosecutors, and bankers to learn about the cyber crimes' investigation process.

"Jena2i is the first project of its kind in the region. It explores the idea of educating lawyers, judges and prosecutors in the UAE using an e-learning platform in both Arabic and English," Sarah Al Thahli, member of the three-member student team told Gulf News.

As high-tech crimes continue to grow in the UAE and the Mena region, she said, Jena2i can support judges, lawyers, and stakeholders involved in both law and criminal investigation.

She said the development of the new site was the graduation project of the three students who stressed that they would go ahead with their plan to continue it after the graduation from the university.

"We at first launched a survey addressing a large number of judges, lawyers and prosecutors to make sure our project will be beneficial. We got a response from 16 persons, mainly lawyers, who expressed a great interest," Sarah said.

As many as 12 out of the 16 respondents confirmed the importance of learning about computer forensics, while six said that lawyers and judges are already knowledgeable about the subject.

"Dr Ebrahim Baggili [the supervisor of the project] inspired us with the idea and was a great support all the way in executing the project," Sarah said.

Baggili said the new site provides information aimed at helping legal specialists to understand the intricate process of digital forensics, "The new bilingual website aims to offer them a better understanding of the technical aspect that cyber crimes investigation involves," he said.

Details of steps

"Our project details the steps taken to solve a cyber crime. How to find and analyse electronic data to provide it to court," said Sumaia Al Mansouri, another member of the team executing the project.

"The Ministry of Justice supported the project and provided the group with Dh15,000 to implement it," she added. The team has currently implemented the online e-learning platform.

The site includes a basic course on the basics of computer forensics in both Arabic and English that assist non-expert computer users in learning concepts related to computer forensics. "We took the course material from three universities — Purdue University in USA, University College Dublin and Zayed University (the course is taught at a master's degree level). We uploaded tests and quizzes, power point presentations and videos," Sumaia added.

The project was a team work where Sumaia and Sarah did the lab work while Sara Al Marzouqi did the documentation aspect.

Growing trend of online crimes, minister says

Dr Hadef Bin Jua'an Al Daheri, Minister of Justice, who attended the launch of the website said although the number of cyber crimes was still low in the UAE, the figures presented by the students showed a growing trend in this kind of crimes.

"Thes type of crimes presents a challenge in identifying and apprehending the criminals as they are often located outside the country," Al Daheri said.

"I am confident this project will go a long way in achieving its objectives for benefiting individuals and organisations involved in digital forensics such as the Ministry of Justice, judges, lawyers, banks and other sectors," Al Daheri added.