Insights Blog

C4All Integration Within BlackLight

Categorizer For All, or C4All, is a staple tool used worldwide in the investigation of child exploitation media. For those unfamiliar with this incredible resource, here’s a brief description. Once an examiner has acquired all the necessary evidence in a case, C4All can be used to quickly compare pictures and videos found in that evidence against an expansive database comprised of known file hashes of photos and videos containing child exploitation content. Once this process has been completed, the case files are exported to a C4All package and provided to a trained child exploitation investigator, who categorizes the files based on their relevance to the investigation.
With our team having an extensive background in child exploitation investigations, we can say firsthand that almost nothing is more devastating than seeing physical or mental harm being inflicted upon a helpless child. And we couldn’t be prouder to be a part of a company like BlackBag, which has recognized the importance of running C4All in investigations and has incorporated the C4All process into BlackLight as of 2015 R1. While our group may be admittedly biased, we truly believe we’ve created the most intuitive and well-implemented C4All experience available to our law enforcement brethren.
The newest release BlackLight allows for users to connect directly to their C4All database, whether it is hosted locally in a MySQL database or on a remote SQL Server database. After entering database credentials BlackLight will begin comparing the hashes of the image and video files within the BlackLight case to those on the C4All server. When the hashing process is complete, the user can export the files into the requisite C4All folder structure, complete with the C4All index files and other files required by the C4All client.
Perhaps the most rewarding part of this implementation, and of C4All in general, is that with the completion of each investigation the new hash values derived from that case can be added to the known child exploitation pictures and videos database. This means that with each case investigated, the amount of known pictures and videos can potentially be expanded, thereby reducing the amount of time spent by investigators categorizing media and increasing the chances of catching predators in the future. We also realize that seeing is believing, and we hope that you’ll take the time to test this new functionality by updating or requesting a fully functional trial, provide feedback, and stand beside us as we further support the law enforcement community. Finally but certainly most importantly, we at BlackBag would like to extend our sincerest thanks and kudos to Trevor Fairchild (@C4All_Developer), and the Ontario Provincial Police who spearheaded the C4All effort, and as a result made an invaluable impact in the child exploitation field. Your work has made a difference that can’t be measured, only felt by the children and families you’ve impacted.
Carpe Datum,
The BlackBag Bloggers


The BlackBag blog team is composed of a number of ex-law enforcement professionals from around the globe that have a combined 100 years of experience in the field. With an intense passion for sharing the knowledge they’ve gained during their impressive careers, the team now spends their time training investigators worldwide, and creating content to help their brothers and sisters still in uniform.
BlackBag Training Team
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