IWF and Cyacomb Contraband Filter

New tool helps police on the front line



For the first time, police forces all around the world can access anonymised ‘hashes’ of known child sexual abuse images to quickly scan for illegal files on suspects’ devices. 

The IWF Contraband Filter is a tool developed with our partners, digital forensics company Cyacomb, that makes our digital fingerprints, or hashes, of 2.2 million child sexual abuse images available to law enforcement in their investigations.  

The images have all been assessed and graded by skilled IWF analysts. 

The cutting-edge technology is secure by design. Once a Contraband Filter has been created, it can be used to match content found on suspects’ devices but cannot be used to recreate, search for, or otherwise link to the original material. This protects the security of the database and the privacy of victims.   

The IWF’s hashes are trusted, reliable data which has come from our own human analysts and this tool ensures our world-leading expertise can be quickly drawn upon by police and law enforcement the world over.  

Those using the tool will be able to identify child sexual abuse material in record time while keeping the original data collected by IWF safe and secure.  

This contributes to the speed and scale at which justice can be served, and even more importantly enables prompt action to safeguard children.