Truth Labs document authentication

Questioned Documents: The Crucial Role of Light in the examination of documents

Questioned document examination involves intricate study of documents to determine their authenticity, origin, or any alterations that may have undergone, and among the myriad techniques employed in this process, one factor stands out for its profound impact: light.

Light, often considered a fundamental aspect of existence, takes on a whole new significance when it comes to scrutinizing documents under the lens of forensic analysis.

Truth Labs
Document examination using light

One of the primary ways light aids in document examination is through the use of various lighting sources and techniques. Forensic examiners utilize a range of lighting conditions, such as oblique lighting, transmitted light, ultraviolet (UV) light, and infrared (IR) light, to highlight different aspects of a document. These techniques can reveal alterations, indentations, watermarks, and other subtle features that may not be visible under normal illumination.

Oblique lighting, for instance, involves casting light at an angle to the surface of the document, thereby enhancing surface texture and revealing any irregularities or alterations. Transmitted light, on the other hand, involves passing light through the document to detect watermarks, alterations, or variations in thickness that may indicate tampering. UV and IR light sources unveil invisible inks, alterations, and even chemical treatments that might have been applied to the document.

The choice of lighting technique depends on the specific characteristics of the document under examination and the type of information sought. By carefully selecting and manipulating light sources, forensic experts can uncover crucial evidence that may have remained hidden to the unaided eye.

Moreover, the interaction of light with different materials provides valuable insights into the composition of documents. Paper, ink, printing methods, and even the age of a document can influence how it responds to light. For instance, variations in fluorescence under UV light can indicate different types of ink or paper, while the aging process may manifest as discoloration or degradation patterns visible under certain lighting conditions.

In addition to direct examination, digital imaging techniques further enhance the role of light in questioned document analysis. High-resolution photography, combined with various lighting setups, allows for detailed documentation and analysis of documents. Advanced imaging software can then process these images to enhance contrast, reveal hidden features, and even create three-dimensional reconstructions for further scrutiny.

The significance of light in questioned document analysis cannot be overstated. From uncovering forgeries and alterations to providing insights into the history and authenticity of documents, light serves as a powerful tool in the hands of forensic experts. By harnessing its illuminating properties, thes forensic professionals shed light on the secrets concealed within the written word, ensuring that justice and truth prevail.

Truth Labs experts use tools such as Electronic Microscope and Visual Spectral Comparator (VSC) to conduct light based questioned document examinations.

In the sensational case of national importance involving Electoral Bonds, Truth Labs report unveiled the hidden code in the SBI bond certificate allowing to conclude that an official bond was a unique number and is used for audit purposes.  Read the story here:  Unique Numbers in SBI Electoral Bonds

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cyber forensics

Recent Global meeting of INTERPOL

Cyber crime : Cyber Forensics to tackle current and emerging Threats


The meeting held in 22nd October at Delhi highlighted the global crime trend in 195 member countries and the role of cyber forensics to tackle this emerging threat worldwide. Financial and cybercrimes are found to be the world’s leading crime threats and also those projected to increase most in the future. The findings that are part of INTERPOL’s first-ever Global Crime Trend report saw more than 60 per cent of respondents rank crimes such as money laundering, ransomware, phishing and online scams as high or very high threats which are prone to increase in the next three to five years.

Cyber forensics is not just limited to white collar crimes but perhaps the most  disturbing trend is the related rise in online child sexual exploitation and abuse (OCSEA), which 62 percent of respondents expect to increase or significantly increase – the third highest-ranking future crime threat. The demand for, and production of, OCSEA materials also increased significantly during the pandemic. While drug trafficking has traditionally dominated crime threat lists, cyber- enabled financial crime has increased precipitously in recent years, notably throughout the pandemic and during and following lockdowns, rates of digitalization accelerated, with professional and personal activities performed almost exclusively from home and online.

You may also like to read about the emerging threats in cybercrime as well as the growing trend of cyber enabled forensic crimes.

Cyber Forensic Lab at Truth Labs

Truth Labs is a full fledged cyber forensic lab conducting examinations of exhibits related to cyber crime and assisting various law enforcement agencies in India.  Truth labs follows Interpol standard operating guidelines to ensure quality of services.

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lie-detection test

Polygraph (lie-detection) technique

What is a lie-detection test?


Human beings are marvelous creatures with complex psychological workings. Emotions and responses are a combination of voluntary and involuntary physiological mechanisms. Lying is one of those difficult reactions which includes Complete Deception; Half-Truths; Exaggeration; and Pertinent Omissions. Active lying is speaking or giving facts that are known to be untrue whereas passive lying involves concealment of some or all facts of the truth.

Assessment of deception is a crucial process for many reasons, inclusive of personal, business, criminal, and civil investigations, etc. Just as a doctor can check the physical symptoms of a disease; a trained professional can check for physiological reactions for deception.

What are the common techniques for lie-detection?


The most commonly utilized technique to analyze deception is through Polygraph, a method that studies and records physiological reactions to probes. It is known since the 1800s that when the body and mind are not in sync, the symptoms appear physiologically. Ergo, it was observed that when a person attempts to fabricate facts known to their mind, their body does not cooperate. Some tell-tale signs are changes in Speech patterns, Vocal tones, Eye Movement, Blood Pressure, Body Temperature, Breathing (Respiration), Perspiration, Pulse, etc.

Truth Labs offers a Lie Detection test called Polygraph Examination in cases where the search for the truth is being impeded by elusive individuals.


man undergoing polygraph test

Lie-detection case at Truth Labs


In one such compelling criminal case of tracing of missing persons, the police approached Truth Labs with a suspect who wanted to cooperate with the investigation and verify the facts of the suspect’s statement. The suspect underwent a Polygraph examination under the Forensic Psychology expert at Truth Labs.

The expert assessed the subject, and the case to formulate the relevant questionnaire, which was then administered while the subject was monitored by the Polygraph machine. The physiological changes were monitored to detect any signs of deception. Based on the test, the investigators received crucial indicators to proceed with the investigation and judicial proceedings helping all the people involved.

In other cases of civil and criminal investigations, serious personal (individual) cases, the Forensic Psychology experts at Truth Labs help test legitimacy and deception, which helps both civilians and government agents.

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cyber security in IT companies

Proportionality of cyber crime vulnerability to our Digital footprint

Cyber safety and data tracking.


Oblivious to the breadcrumbs of personal information being left behind in the online data sources, individuals fall prey to various online data theft. Such sources include social media profiles.

Commonly, data tracking is made possible by cookies on websites and default permissions setup for mobile applications installed. Website associated cookies may be required for its basic functioning and for quick subsequent access by remembering user details, but often they also have third party cookies for user tracking to improve experience. While third party cookies help deliver relevant content, they also gather personal data and preferences. Unnecessary permissions to access data on phones may provide certain mobile applications free access to user’s data.

Data breaches (e.g.- Twitter data breach in December 2021) have been a regular event despite the increased vigilance against cyber-attacks and have caused large databases vulnerable to theft and sale to interested unauthorised parties who then can misuse such data for stalking, misinformation and other targeted attacks on individuals and companies.

Truth Labs has examined cases involving hacking, blackmail by falsification or manipulation of data procured with unconsented access from devices of individuals, not surprisingly by persons very close to them with intentions of misuse.

Truth Labs has examined cases of email phishing in organizations that suffer significant loss due to bank transaction frauds where money was transferred to foreign accounts by way of data and communication manipulation.

Truth Labs has also examined cases of ransom-ware attacks, where root cause analysis indicated email phishing and weak password hacking resulting in network compromise

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Ai and IoT in cyber crime

Future of Cyber Crimes

Can Cyber Forensics tackle cyber crime?


How to stop criminal activities whose returns far outweigh any fear of punitive actions which all the international law enforcement agencies have in place? The efforts to cut down cyber crimes is approaching hopeless proportions, with a 15% annual growth rate. At that rate, these clever cybercrooks are even bound to increase their bounties by around $10.5 trillion by 2025.

Broadly the cyber crimes causing concern to the society today are listed below:

  • Pandemic-related Phishing

  • Ransomware Attacks

  • Increase in Business Email Compromise (BEC) Attacks

  • Mobile Malware

  • Cyberoptimism

  • AI to IoT in Cybercrime

  • Supply Chain Attacks

  • Data Breaches

  • Crypto jacking

  • Targeted Attacks

  • Encrypted Communication Platform

  • Raising usage of Bitcoins

  • DDoS Attacks

  • Outdated and Open-Source Vulnerabilities

  • Social Engineering

  • RDP (Remote Desk Protocol) Attacks

Some of the cyber crime trends to watch for are worth mentioning

As it is with the proverbial two sides for every coin, there are two sides to cyberspace. Cyberspace is a great place for commerce, societal advancement, and innovation. However, the same place harbors crooks who are ready to pounce any chance they get. Advanced technology and systems give an edge to businesses and organizations, but it means newer and more advanced methods for cybercriminals to attack too, leading to a marked increase in dangerous cybercrime trends.

Cyber crime presents the trickiest types of criminals to deal with. Armed with sophisticated tools of the trade, they are getting more audacious every day, threatening businesses of all sizes. Bigger organizations have deeper pockets for more advanced security tools to face cyber threats, but small business enterprises are not always so lucky. Thus, staying aware and vigilant at all times can go a long way in preventing these cyber attacks from occurring, and it is also helpful to know what IT security solutions are perfect to protect your site

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Forensic science sits at the intersection of science, law, policing, justice, government and policy

Forensic Science and Law.


Let us examine the relationship between forensic science, law, and justice. In today’s world of technology, boundaries are being blurred and international law is increasingly being used to give shape and form to issues of data, privacy, policing, and justice.  At the same time, the development, distribution and use of new technology must itself be governed by the rule of law. If used improperly, technology can pose a threat to the rule of law. Additionally, data privacy is part of an individual’s right to privacy and should always be protected when creating new applications.

Science is the systematic approach that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe. Law, on the other hand, refers to the system of rules which have been laid down by the social institutions to regulate the actions of members and it may enforce such behaviour by the imposition of penalties.

However, with the growth of scientific and technological advances, law, and science, the two disciplines became interdependent on each other. The law also plays an essential role in the development of innovation and promoting technologies through legal doctrines and mechanisms. The most important aspect relates to intellectual property, by which the law gives the investors and creators a time-limited exclusive right to commercially exploit the output of the work of their workers. The main objective of protecting intellectual property is to promote innovation, by giving researchers, and authors economic incentives which will aid them to create new inventions and works.

New technologies cause fundamental challenges to traditional doctrines. For example, digital information might not be adequately protected by old traditional laws and it requires the copyright owner to bring a lawsuit alleging infringement. Because unlimited copies can be made by simply uploading material on the internet and thereafter, legislatures and courts have extended more copyright protection for digital data. There also exist challenges in adapting patent law to genetic discoveries. Patenting genes have raised numerous scientific, legal, ethical and practical complexities that established patent law not yet equipped to address.

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financial fraud image

Economic offences and organised crime

Online business transactions and financial fraud.


Economic offences and organised crime landscape across the globe including India has changed drastically in the past decade -in large part due to advancements in technology. Criminals quickly adopt and integrate new technologies into their modus operandi or self styled novel business models are woven around them. The use of new technologies by organised crime groups (OCGs) has an impact on criminal activities across the spectrum of white-collar crime and organised crime. This includes expansion of online trade and widespread availability of encrypted communication channels, as well as other aspects of technological innovation such as more accessible and cheaper drone technology, and advanced 3D printing technologies.

Today technology has become a key component of most of the organized crimes, if not all, and criminal activities carried   out by organized crime groups in India has afforded an unprecedented degree of flexibility to carry out phishing/ vishing/ online seams within and across border. Economic offences and organised crime has become a key threat to the national security and public safety in India. Criminal groups and individual criminals continue to generate large turnover in terms of cash profits from their activities each year. Some aspects of the organised  crime landscape have changed drastically in recent years

—In large part due to advancements in technology that have had a profound impact on the involvement of criminal gangs spreading across wider society and economy.

In a recent survey based study by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) and SAS (statistical analysis system) among its members worldwide, it was revealed that Data Analytics Apps proved indispensable in helping businesses across industries control/ effectively deal with pandemic-driven fraud. The benefits were particularly evident in banking and financial services. Almost half (45%) of banking and financial sector survey respondents reported that the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated their organizations’ use of data analytics to combat fraud. Nearly all (99%) indicated their analytics capabilities helped them boost the volume of transactions involving suspected fraudulent cases identified.

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online cyber crime

Cyber crime : Current and Emerging Threats

Protecting your Identity online from cyber crime.


All over the world, societies are increasingly reliant on the identification information. Identity-related information about individuals is used e.g. for banking, shopping, traveling, and collecting social assistance. Increasingly, such information also includes biometric information. The more our society becomes computerized, the more avenues are open for cyber crime to exploit the vulnerabilities of those systems to commit identity-related crimes, which generate significant profits for criminals each year, with a far-reaching impact not only on economies and online commerce but also on individuals who fall victim to it. Where identity-related information is obtained by criminals, it can be abused to launder money,  commit fraud and enable illicit activities for organized crime purposes, including acts of corruption, human trafficking, migrant smuggling, and even terrorism.

Millions of dollars can be stolen using false identification either in highly sophisticated single events or through millions of smaller incidents. In the hands of unscrupulous criminals, these illegally derived profits can be used to commit further crimes.

Law enforcement agencies and cybersecurity professionals are constantly working to develop innovative solutions to prevent and mitigate cybercrime. However, it’s a collective responsibility to stay vigilant and protect our personal information to minimize the risks.

Remember, by staying informed, practicing good cybersecurity hygiene, and seeking assistance from experts when needed, we can all contribute to creating a safer online environment.

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cyber enabled financial crime

Growing trend of cyber enabled financial crimes

The Internet as a hunting ground for cyber criminals.


Crime has also moved online, and cyber-enabled financial crimes, such as business email compromise, CEO fraud (where cybercriminals impersonate executives), e-commerce scams and investment fraud, have escalated in nearly every region. Today’s ransomware attacks target ‘big game’ targets, including major corporations, governments and critical infrastructure. To maximize harm and illicit profit, strategies have shifted to techniques like double extortion, where victims’ data or files are both encrypted and threatened with public exposure, compounding the risks of business disruption and reputational damage.

While world governments have their hands full dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, shady cyber heist operators are busy working the other way creating a vast fortune, to the tune of $6 trillion by 2021 end alone.

If that total amount is a country’s GDP, it’s next only to the income of the US and China as all of us know India is at $3 trillion mark and planning to touch $5 trillion in next 5 years after crossing the economic indicators of Britain.

Technology keeps evolving at a rapid pace, so do cybercrooks. Apart from newer forms of cyber threats, even the oldest tricks in the book are not completely useless for these cybercriminals. They take these tricks out of the box and make modifications and updates to bypass security measures especially created for them.

Truth Labs has performed a number of forensic investigations of financial fraud and accounting for public sector and corporate clients.

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expert testimony

The Crucial Role of Expert Testimony in Upholding Truth and Justice

Expert Testimony and the Courts. 

In the realm of justice, achieving truth and fairness relies on a delicate equilibrium between evidence, legal arguments, and expert testimony. Expert testimony, an invaluable form of evidence, plays a pivotal role in ensuring that justice prevails, victims find redress, and legal verdicts align with the law. Throughout the process of forensic analysis, encompassing data collection, preservation, analysis, and maintaining the chain of custody, this role becomes even more pronounced. 

Expert Medical Testimony is a linchpin in numerous criminal and civil cases, especially those involving personal injury, medical malpractice, or criminal acts. These specialized testimonies draw upon the wisdom and expertise of recognized medical professionals in their respective fields. Similarly, experts in various forensic sciences contribute their insights, interpretations, and opinions based on their specialization, often significantly influencing case outcomes. 

The journey commences with meticulous data collection, a foundational step in expert medical testimony. Whether it’s evidence from crime scenes or medical examinations, precision and attention to detail are paramount. Collaborative efforts of forensic experts and medical professionals ensure no detail goes unnoticed. Every sample, photograph, and document is handled with care to preserve its integrity, as any lapses can jeopardize evidence and lead to miscarriages of justice. 

Preservation of collected evidence becomes paramount after data collection. This process guarantees that biological samples, documents, and both digital and physical evidence remain unaltered and uncontaminated until presented in court. Proper storage, sealing, and labeling are essential to maintain the chain of custody and establish evidence reliability. In cases involving DNA or blood samples, even slight mishandling can render the evidence inadmissible. 

Expert medical testimony often pivots on forensic analysis to unearth the facts. Specialized professionals, such as forensic pathologists, toxicologists, DNA analysts, cyber forensics, and audio-video forensic experts, are summoned to examine the evidence, provide interpretations, and draw conclusions. Their work merges scientific expertise with legal scrutiny, and, in many cases, this analysis definitively connects suspects to crimes or proves the innocence of accused individuals. 

Once forensic analysis concludes, experts must craft comprehensive reports, acting as the bridge to the courtroom. These reports elucidate findings, methodologies, and conclusions, serving as critical tools for attorneys and judges to comprehend complex medical and scientific evidence. A well-structured, transparent report can be the linchpin of successful expert medical testimony. 

Throughout this process, the chain of custody acts as a legal safeguard, documenting evidence handling from collection to presentation in court. It’s indispensable for establishing evidence authenticity and credibility, ensuring it remains untampered, uncontaminated, and properly managed. The chain of custody upholds fairness and integrity in the judicial process. 

Expert medical testimony plays a transformative role in the pursuit of justice. It determines guilt or innocence in criminal cases, aids victims in seeking compensation and closure in civil matters, and holds medical professionals accountable for malpractice, protecting patient rights and well-being. 

In the intricate web of the legal system, expert testimony serves as a beacon of truth and justice. From data collection to the chain of custody, each step in forensic analysis ensures accurate evidence preservation and presentation in court. Expert medical testimony, backed by forensic professionals’ expertise, delivers justice, holds wrongdoers accountable, and upholds the legal system’s commitment to truth and fairness. It transcends being a mere courtroom witness; it’s the guardian of justice itself. 

Truth Labs has an impressive track record, with experts providing testimony in over 6000 cases during the past 15 years. They cover a wide array of areas, including questioned documents, signature forgery, alterations, document tampering, disputed fingerprints, audio and video authentication, medico-legal matters, insurance fraud investigations, paternity disputes, physiochemical and biochemical analysis, polygraph testing, ballistics, and DNA analysis. 

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