NIST Update to Software Reference Library Will Aid in Criminal Investigations

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Source: NIST
Source: NIST

July 12, 2022 | Originally published by NIST on June 27, 2022

A recent update to a publicly downloadable database maintained by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) will make it easier to sift through computers, cellphones, and other electronic equipment seized in police raids, potentially helping law enforcement catch sexual predators and other criminals.

The database, called the National Software Reference Library (NSRL), plays a frequent role in criminal investigations involving electronic files, which can be evidence of wrongdoing. In the first major update to the NSRL in two decades, NIST has increased the number and type of records in the database to reflect the widening variety of software files that law enforcement might encounter on a device. The agency has also changed the format of the records to make the NSRL more searchable.