Data Security: Hashing and digital fingerprint explained

Digital Signature function authenticates and validates laser scanning data in Leica Cyclone REGISTER 360 PLUS


The majority of data utilised in forensic investigations is digital, requiring mathematical algorithms to compute "hash values," collectively forming a "digital fingerprint" for evidence. In recent years, the utilisation of laser scanners has surged in forensic examinations.


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All terrestrial 3D laser scanners produce data in a digital format, allowing for the generation of hash values to represent collected 3D scanner data. Leica Geosystems has developed software enabling the application of hash functions to scan data through an onboard signing process.

The hash value becomes an integral part of the collected dataset and can be accessed using Leica Cyclone REGISTER 360 PLUS software. The software validates this signature to ensure the integrity of the scanner-collected data, confirming no alterations, damages, or changes occurred during the transfer process.

The process of signing data on a Leica RTC360 scanner and subsequently ingesting it into the Cyclone REGISTER 360 PLUS environment underwent thorough testing and validation. Results indicated successful authentication of the signed data collected by the laser scanner, with the uploaded data to the software platform remaining unaltered.

This validation process involved both negative and positive controls. Purposeful modifications to signed data were swiftly detected by the processing software, triggering visual alerts and specific Audit Reports. This streamlined approach ensures the collection and authentication of forensically valid data without requiring user intervention or additional forensic hardware and software.

About the authors:


Jason Latham 

Laboratory Director, Certified Forensic Examiner, Co-Owner at Complete Digital Forensic Solutions, CDFS Inc.
Retired Sworn Deputy, Retired Army Officer, Certified Forensic Video Examiner, Co-founder/Owner of Complete Digital Forensic Solutions, Inc. and Co-founder of DME Forensics, Inc.

Kyp Stavrou

CEO, Owner at Complete Digital Forensic Solutions, Inc., Licensed Private Investigator at Alexander & Associates
Certified Digital Forensic Examiner Focused on Computer, Mobile Device, Video, Image and Audio forensics.
License Private Investigator and Certified Protection Professional who directs and consults for clients on internal and external legal and investigative matters.


William Henningsen

Forensic Manager - Forensic Video Analyst - HDS Laser Scanning
Specialities: Forensic Video Analysis, Digital Image Analysis, Crime Scene Mapping, Latent Fingerprint Examination, Crime Scene Investigation, Evidence Collection, and Expert Witness Testimony


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Watch the customer testimonial about Leica Geosystem's Data Security feature in the RTC360 and Cyclone REGISTER 360 PLUS:

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Please fill out the form below to download and read the whitepaper: Testing and Validation of the Internal Hashing and Signing Functions of a Terrestrial 3D Laser Scanner for Use in Forensic Examinations.

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