Sean McKeown
Sean McKeown

Dr Sean McKeown

Lecturer

Biography

Sean McKeown is an early career academic at Edinburgh Napier University, focusing in the areas of Digital Forensic and Digital investigations, as well as general Cyber Security. Prior to joining Napier, Sean worked on Open-Source Intelligence (OSINT) investigations, while his PhD moved to focus on fast digital forensics processing techniques, particularly for non-mechanical media. His PhD research drew the attention of a local forensics spinout after a presentation at SICSA Demofest in 2017, resulting in talks about how such an approach may be incorporated in commercial products.

Sean is particularly interest in image file formats and their various use cases in digital forensics. Recent work has had a focus on the High Efficiency Image File Format (HEIF), used in modern Apple devices, and Perceptual Hashing. In the former case it was discovered that existing forensics tooling, even expensive commercial tooling available to law enforcement, isn’t particularly well equipped to handle it. He is in the process of releasing tooling that will help alleviate this deficit in capability, though he has already had conversations about the format with developers from Griffeye and Hansken. Similarly, noting that there is a dearth of evidence-based evaluation of Perceptual Hashing techniques, he is also in the process of expanding on the existing public evaluation and producing a framework to allow others to do the same.

The Perceptual Hashing work is forming the basis of an EPSRC New Investigator grant application, which is currently under development – the foundations of which were laid in the Safety Tech Challenge Fund award he was heavily involved in. The bid will seek to further develop public understanding and deployment of such technologies, particularly to understand their behaviour at scale.

Going forward, in addition to Perceptual Hashing evaluation, Sean is also keen to explore the forensics implications and tooling surrounding generative AI technologies, such as stable diffusion. Towards this end, he is taking on a PhD student to further explore this topic.

Events

Esteem

Fellowships and Awards

  • Edinburgh Napier Researcher Development Fund
  • Edinburgh Napier 50th Anniversary PhD Scholarship

 

Invited Speaker

  • University of Glasgow - HATII SHAKE Seminar

 

Membership of Professional Body

  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

 

Reviewing

  • MDPI Applied Sciences Journal
  • IEEE Conference on Dependable and Secure Computing
  • 14th International Conference on Security of Information and Networks
  • MDPI Sensors Journal
  • Journal of Cyber Security Technology
  • Programme Committee - IEEE International Conference on Cyber Science comprising Cyber Situational Awareness, Social Media, Cyber Security and Cyber Incident Response
  • Journal of Digital Forensics, Security and Law (JDFSL)
  • Technical Comittee Member - IARIA Cyber 2019

 

Date


20 results

A Bibliometric Analysis and Systematic Review of a Blockchain-Based Chain of Custody for Digital Evidence

Conference Proceeding
Onyeashie, B. I., Leimich, P., McKeown, S., & Russell, G. (2024)
A Bibliometric Analysis and Systematic Review of a Blockchain-Based Chain of Custody for Digital Evidence. In Big Data Technologies and Applications. BDTA 2023. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-52265-9_8
The effective management of digital evidence is critical to modern forensic investigations. However, traditional evidence management approaches are often prone to security and...

An Auditable Framework for Evidence Sharing and Management using Smart Lockers and Distributed Technologies: Law Enforcement Use Case

Conference Proceeding
Onyeashie, B., Leimich, P., McKeown, S., & Russell, G. (2024)
An Auditable Framework for Evidence Sharing and Management using Smart Lockers and Distributed Technologies: Law Enforcement Use Case. In Big Data Technologies and Applications (156-167). https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-52265-9_11
This paper presents a decentralised framework for sharing and managing evidence that uses smart lockers, blockchain technology, and the InterPlanetary File System (IPFS). The ...

A forensic analysis of streaming platforms on Android OS

Journal Article
García Murias, J., Levick, D., & Mckeown, S. (2023)
A forensic analysis of streaming platforms on Android OS. Forensic Science International: Digital Investigation, 44, Article 301485. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fsidi.2022.301485
This work builds on existing research in streamed video reconstruction on the Android OS, which previously demonstrated that caching occurs in most cases for the Chrome and Fi...

Hamming Distributions of Popular Perceptual Hashing Techniques

Journal Article
McKeown, S., & Buchanan, W. J. (in press)
Hamming Distributions of Popular Perceptual Hashing Techniques. Forensic Science International: Digital Investigation,
Content-based file matching has been widely deployed for decades, largely for the detection of sources of copyright infringement, extremist materials, and abusive sexual media...

Practical Cyber Threat Intelligence in the UK Energy Sector

Conference Proceeding
Paice, A., & McKeown, S. (in press)
Practical Cyber Threat Intelligence in the UK Energy Sector. In International Conference on Cybersecurity, Situational Awareness and Social Media (Cyber Science 2022)
The UK energy sector is a prime target for cyber-attacks by foreign states, criminals, ‘hacktivist’ groups and terrorists. As Critical National Infrastructure (CNI), the indus...

A Comparative Analysis of Honeypots on Different Cloud Platforms

Journal Article
Kelly, C., Pitropakis, N., Mylonas, A., McKeown, S., & Buchanan, W. J. (2021)
A Comparative Analysis of Honeypots on Different Cloud Platforms. Sensors, 21(7), https://doi.org/10.3390/s21072433
In 2019, the majority of companies used at least one cloud computing service and it is expected that by the end of 2021, cloud data centres will process 94% of workloads. The ...

Phishing URL Detection Through Top-Level Domain Analysis: A Descriptive Approach

Conference Proceeding
Christou, O., Pitropakis, N., Papadopoulos, P., Mckeown, S., & Buchanan, W. J. (2020)
Phishing URL Detection Through Top-Level Domain Analysis: A Descriptive Approach. In Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Information Systems Security and Privacy. , (289-298). https://doi.org/10.5220/0008902202890298
Phishing is considered to be one of the most prevalent cyber-attacks because of its immense flexibility and alarmingly high success rate. Even with adequate training and high ...

Microtargeting or Microphishing? Phishing Unveiled

Conference Proceeding
Khursheed, B., Pitropakis, N., McKeown, S., & Lambrinoudakis, C. (2020)
Microtargeting or Microphishing? Phishing Unveiled. In Trust, Privacy and Security in Digital Business. , (89-105). https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-58986-8_7
Online advertisements delivered via social media platforms function in a similar way to phishing emails. In recent years there has been a growing awareness that political adve...

Towards Identifying Human Actions, Intent, and Severity of APT Attacks Applying Deception Techniques - An Experiment

Conference Proceeding
Chacon, J., Mckeown, S., & Macfarlane, R. (2020)
Towards Identifying Human Actions, Intent, and Severity of APT Attacks Applying Deception Techniques - An Experiment. https://doi.org/10.1109/CyberSecurity49315.2020.9138859
Attacks by Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs) have been shown to be difficult to detect using traditional signature-and anomaly-based intrusion detection approaches. Deception...

Using Amazon Alexa APIs as a Source of Digital Evidence

Conference Proceeding
Krueger, C., & Mckeown, S. (2020)
Using Amazon Alexa APIs as a Source of Digital Evidence. https://doi.org/10.1109/CyberSecurity49315.2020.9138849
With the release of Amazon Alexa and the first Amazon Echo device, the company revolutionised the smart home. It allowed their users to communicate with, and control, their sm...

Pre-Napier Funded Projects

  • SICSA Elevate Business Accelerator Training
  • SICSA Postgraduate Industry Internship

Current Post Grad projects

Previous Post Grad projects