On Practical Issues of ENF Based Audio Forensics
Thing, Vrizlynn L. L.
Date of Issue2016
School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering
The transmission frequency of power grids, i.e., electric network frequency (ENF), has become a common criterion to authenticate audio recordings during the past decade, drawing much attention from both academic researchers and law enforcement agencies world widely. The properties of ENF enable forensic applications such as audio evidence timestamp verification and tampering detection. In this paper, based on a general review of existing works, we discuss several important practical problems and facts that have drawn less research attention or have not been formally studied, including ENF detection problems, limitations of ENF based tampering detection systems, and the difficulties in ENF analysis. During ENF detection, the challenges come from not only the noise and interference, but also the fact that audio recordings without captured ENF can still have signal components in the frequency band of interest (false positive). In ENF based tampering detection systems, the weakness of commonly used assumptions and the limitations of several existing solutions are discussed. In addition, we reveal that in the most intensively studied ENF based audio evidence timestamp verification, many works aiming at improving ENF estimation could only produce marginal performance improvement, while the main problems due to noise and interference remain open. All these analysis and discussions are related by a proposed big picture of ENF based audio authentication systems. After that, we also investigate the strategies to design more reliable audio authentication systems based on the ENF, which consists of a series of research and investigation works.
Electric Network Frequency
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