DNA Impersonators

DNA Impersonators developed their threat model at Hack the Police 4 Sep 2019, and subsequently presented at the showcase in New Scotland Yard, Nov 2019.

To reach out to Rebecca, Joe and Derek about their work, please contact: team@policerewired.org

A threat model for falsifying DNA evidence

with mitigations for investigators...

Rebecca, Joe, Derek

My name is Joe and I’m a PhD student at the University of Reading. I study the genetics of strawberries and how to improve them. I’m particularly interested in law and justice and saw Hack the Police 4 as a way to learn more about the work police do. I also wanted to give something back to the law and justice system.

As both Rebecca and I were geneticists by training, it felt natural to investigate the applications of genetics in police; namely forensic DNA evidence. I had wondered for some time on the reliability of genetic evidence in prosecutions and I thought this was a great opportunity to investigate it further. Our project, DNA Impersonators, suggests it may be possible to falsify DNA to incriminate an innocent person or mask a criminal at the scene of a crime.

I would love to follow up this project and experimentally verify the falsification approach we described in our project. I imagine this would require collaboration with a University with access to a forensics laboratory as well as a research grant.