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What is a File Signature?
There are thousands of file types, some of which have been standardized. When file types are standardized, a signature (or header) is recognized by the program the file belongs to. For example, if one were to see a .DOC extension, it is expected that a program like Microsoft Word would open this file. One tactic in trying to hide data is to change the 3 letter file extension on a file or to remove the extension altogether.
Performing a signature analysis identifies which files may have been altered to hide their true indentity.
Center for Computer Forensics
21800 Melrose Ave
Southfield, MI 48075
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