Digital Signature to Authenticate Laser Scanning Data in Cyclone REGISTER 360 PLUS
As technology expands, so does the ease with which digital evidence for crime, crash, or fire scenes can be forged, altered or manipulated. The judiciary, police and prosecutors require data integrity to be proven and evidence must be authenticated before its introduction at trial. Presented digital files must be genuine.
One way to prove the authenticity of the data is by using write blockers or secure data storage locations. Another way is to encrypt the digital files so that data integrity can be verified and authenticated in a court of law.
The Data Security feature in Leica REGISTER 360 PLUS uses a digital signature protocol to prove authenticity of all captured files and meets the highest verification requirements.
What is Data Security and Why it is Important for Handling of Digital Evidence?
The Data Security feature in Cyclone REGISTER 360 PLUS digitally signs RTC360 laser scanning data, protecting them from manipulation and allowing for authentication of the origin of scan files. If there’s an objection to the chain of custody record for the scan data, verification can prove the submitted digital evidence is identical to the initially collected scan data.
Leica Geosystems’ Data Security feature exceeds the recommendations in “Guidelines for the Use of Terrestrial LiDAR Scanners in Criminal Justice Applications” (Terrestrial LiDAR Scanning Working Group The NIJ, in partnership with the FTCoE.).
Our Data Security protocol has proven to be the best practice for digital evidence handling.
How Does the Data Security Feature Work?
When used for the first time, the Data Security feature must be activated onboard the RTC360 laser scanner. It adds a cryptographic digital signature to scans immediately after they are captured and can be verified in the office software Cyclone REGISTER 360 PLUS. Once activated, the Data Security feature becomes the default for future jobs.
The Data Security feature allows users to activate on-device hashing of data that can be signed to authenticate to a specific device. REGISTER 360 PLUS provides built-in verification and reporting. Each scan signature can be independently verified by hashing the file with any SHA3-256 hash generator.
Leica Geosystems’ Data Security feature has two main components:
1) Initiate an independent, unique hash (an alphanumeric string) of every scan or piece of data added to the job.
2) Allow users to “sign” or “hash” the job with an authentic device signature (Public Private Key) upon completion.
The user can add additional evidence (scan setups) to the job. However, it would require the user to re-sign the files.
The hashing is done with the SHA3-256 protocol, allowing for easy verification of the hash values with open-source apps for transparency.
To simplify the workflow, built-in verification is possible using Leica Cyclone REGISTER 360 PLUS.
The Data Security Workflow
Getting Started: Prepare to use the Data Security feature
Preparing to use the Data Security feature on your Leica RTC360 laser scanner is easy – simply navigate to the feature in the Settings menu and enable it.
You will receive a message that the Data Security feature cannot be enabled until the Signature is installed – this is entirely normal. Installing the signature is the next workflow step.
Don’t yet have the Data Security feature? It will be installed when you update your RTC360 firmware by connecting to the latest Cyclone REGISTER 360 PLUS version.
The feature must be installed on the RTC360 by connecting to Cyclone REGISTER 360.
This action only needs to be done once.
The Data Security feature is supported by the new RTC360 firmware 6.0.24 and the new REGISTER 360 version 2023.
Connect your scanner to Leica Cyclone REGISTER 360 to install your Digital Signature
The Data Security feature enables a Signature that uniquely identifies your scanner and is installed in only a few steps.
Once your scanner is connected to Leica Cyclone REGISTER 360 PLUS (via Ethernet cable or via Wifi), select the New Signatures tab from the Settings menu, search for and select your scanner from the discovered devices, and click Install Signature to copy all files to your scanner.
Now you are ready to create signed scans.
Create and sign data on your Leica RTC360 scanner
Create signed scans that apply your secure signature to all the scans in your job with a few simple additions to your workflow.
After enabling the Data Security feature, padlock icons will provide visual checks as you create and sign your first scan, modify with additional scans, and sign the entire job when the capture is finalised.
Verify data in Cyclone REGISTER 360 PLUS before import
The Data Security feature also offers a way to quickly verify your signed data before import.
Check that Verify Signed Data on Import is enabled in the Signature tab. This ensures that when you drag and drop your job folder into the import area, you will have the option to verify the data, confirm the result, and move onto completing the job with complete confidence.
Import data in Cyclone REGISTER 360 PLUS and create a PDF verification report
Completing the workflow in Cyclone REGISTER 360 PLUS allows you to create a PDF report that verifies both complete jobs and single files.
After importing the data, navigating to the Files section within the Assets tab allows you to open the job’s PDF report.
This report displays the verification status of the overall job and individual files, proving that your captured data fulfils the highest data security requirements.