Digital Forensics Framework for Investigating Hyperledger Fabric Blockchain Networks

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The British University in Dubai (BUiD)
Industry leaders worldwide are adopting a new initiative to replace all paper transactions with digital ones and adopt them on blockchain platforms. Many pilot projects rely on private blockchain platforms such as the Hyperledger Fabric platform, whether at the government or private sector level. The increasing rise of this type of platform has led to the new research approach in digital forensics. There is a lack of research papers dealing with digital forensic techniques within the Hyperledger platform. This research fills the gap in the literature and provides guidelines for investigating the blockchain network. It also provides an approach for digital forensic investigators to examine the layers and associated components of Hyperledger Fabric, involving either criminal incidents, violations or abuse. This prototype retrieves relative evidence and contributes a valuable model to the current state of research. This research focuses on four objectives. proposing a prototype for network traffic investigations and retrieving all possible clues from the Hyperledger Blockchain. In addition, the research developed data mining methods and techniques to analyse the BC components. These techniques use a deployed Python-based Forensics Extractor Tool to automate the process. Furthermore, the criminological method was introduced and offered a novel and a law enforcement approach to investigate legal criminal cases in HLF BC networks. These objectives follow an adequate assessment of the characteristics of the main network components and examine in-depth network traffic. As a result, this research overcomes these challenges by working on flexible and reliable digital investigations. The numerical data extracted from the proposed framework has been verified and validated using various samples to test this framework. Accordingly, all research hypotheses were fulfilled during the research study. The outcome of the research is promising. and excellent results were illustrated. Moreover. this proposed prototype serves as a general framework for in-depth monitoring and analysis of the Hyperledger Blockchain network.
digital forensics, Hyperledger Fabric, cyber crimes, security breaches, investigation, Hyperledger Fabric Platform