Computer Forensics Tools And Techniques Pdf

computer forensics tools and techniques pdf

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Digital forensic is a process of preservation, identification, extraction, and documentation of computer evidence which can be used by the court of law. There are many tools that help you to make this process simple and easy. These applications provide complete reports that can be used for legal procedures.

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Digital forensics sometimes known as digital forensic science is a branch of forensic science encompassing the recovery and investigation of material found in digital devices, often in relation to computer crime.

Digital forensics investigations have a variety of applications. The most common is to support or refute a hypothesis before criminal or civil courts.

Criminal cases involve the alleged breaking of laws that are defined by legislation and that are enforced by the police and prosecuted by the state, such as murder, theft and assault against the person.

Civil cases on the other hand deal with protecting the rights and property of individuals often associated with family disputes but may also be concerned with contractual disputes between commercial entities where a form of digital forensics referred to as electronic discovery ediscovery may be involved. Forensics may also feature in the private sector; such as during internal corporate investigations or intrusion investigation a specialist probe into the nature and extent of an unauthorized network intrusion.

The technical aspect of an investigation is divided into several sub-branches, relating to the type of digital devices involved; computer forensics, network forensics , forensic data analysis and mobile device forensics. The typical forensic process encompasses the seizure, forensic imaging acquisition and analysis of digital media and the production of a report into collected evidence. As well as identifying direct evidence of a crime, digital forensics can be used to attribute evidence to specific suspects, confirm alibis or statements, determine intent , identify sources for example, in copyright cases , or authenticate documents.

Prior to the s crimes involving computers were dealt with using existing laws. The first computer crimes were recognized in the Florida Computer Crimes Act, which included legislation against the unauthorized modification or deletion of data on a computer system.

Canada was the first country to pass legislation in The growth in computer crime during the s and s caused law enforcement agencies to begin establishing specialized groups, usually at the national level, to handle the technical aspects of investigations. For example, in the FBI launched a Computer Analysis and Response Team and the following year a computer crime department was set up within the British Metropolitan Police fraud squad. As well as being law enforcement professionals, many of the early members of these groups were also computer hobbyists and became responsible for the field's initial research and direction.

One of the first practical or at least publicized examples of digital forensics was Cliff Stoll's pursuit of hacker Markus Hess in Stoll, whose investigation made use of computer and network forensic techniques, was not a specialized examiner.

Throughout the s there was high demand for these new, and basic, investigative resources. The strain on central units lead to the creation of regional, and even local, level groups to help handle the load. For example, the British National Hi-Tech Crime Unit was set up in to provide a national infrastructure for computer crime; with personnel located both centrally in London and with the various regional police forces the unit was folded into the Serious Organised Crime Agency SOCA in During this period the science of digital forensics grew from the ad-hoc tools and techniques developed by these hobbyist practitioners.

This is in contrast to other forensics disciplines which developed from work by the scientific community. Rosenblatt wrote:. Seizing, preserving, and analyzing evidence stored on a computer is the greatest forensic challenge facing law enforcement in the s. Although most forensic tests, such as fingerprinting and DNA testing, are performed by specially trained experts the task of collecting and analyzing computer evidence is often assigned to patrol officers and detectives.

Since , in response to the need for standardization, various bodies and agencies have published guidelines for digital forensics. The issue of training also received attention. Commercial companies often forensic software developers began to offer certification programs and digital forensic analysis was included as a topic at the UK specialist investigator training facility, Centrex.

Since the late s mobile devices have become more widely available, advancing beyond simple communication devices, and have been found to be rich forms of information, even for crime not traditionally associated with digital forensics. Focus has also shifted onto internet crime, particularly the risk of cyber warfare and cyberterrorism. Through cyberspace, enemies will target industry, academia, government, as well as the military in the air, land, maritime, and space domains.

In much the same way that airpower transformed the battlefield of World War II, cyberspace has fractured the physical barriers that shield a nation from attacks on its commerce and communication. The field of digital forensics still faces unresolved issues. A paper, "Digital Forensic Research: The Good, the Bad and the Unaddressed", by Peterson and Shenoi identified a bias towards Windows operating systems in digital forensics research.

The paper also identified continued training issues, as well as the prohibitively high cost of entering the field. During the s very few specialized digital forensic tools existed, and consequently investigators often performed live analysis on media, examining computers from within the operating system using existing sysadmin tools to extract evidence.

This practice carried the risk of modifying data on the disk, either inadvertently or otherwise, which led to claims of evidence tampering. A number of tools were created during the early s to address the problem. By the end of the s, as demand for digital evidence grew more advanced commercial tools such as EnCase and FTK were developed, allowing analysts to examine copies of media without using any live forensics. More recently, the same progression of tool development has occurred for mobile devices ; initially investigators accessed data directly on the device, but soon specialist tools such as XRY or Radio Tactics Aceso appeared.

A digital forensic investigation commonly consists of 3 stages: acquisition or imaging of exhibits, [25] analysis, and reporting. However, the growth in size of storage media and developments such as cloud computing [28] have led to more use of 'live' acquisitions whereby a 'logical' copy of the data is acquired rather than a complete image of the physical storage device.

An alternative and patented approach that has been dubbed 'hybrid forensics' [30] or 'distributed forensics' [31] combines digital forensics and ediscovery processes. This approach has been embodied in a commercial tool called ISEEK that was presented together with test results at a conference in During the analysis phase an investigator recovers evidence material using a number of different methodologies and tools.

In , an article in the International Journal of Digital Evidence referred to this step as "an in-depth systematic search of evidence related to the suspected crime. The actual process of analysis can vary between investigations, but common methodologies include conducting keyword searches across the digital media within files as well as unallocated and slack space , recovering deleted files and extraction of registry information for example to list user accounts, or attached USB devices.

The evidence recovered is analysed to reconstruct events or actions and to reach conclusions, work that can often be performed by less specialised staff. Digital forensics is commonly used in both criminal law and private investigation. Traditionally it has been associated with criminal law, where evidence is collected to support or oppose a hypothesis before the courts.

As with other areas of forensics this is often a part of a wider investigation spanning a number of disciplines. In some cases, the collected evidence is used as a form of intelligence gathering, used for other purposes than court proceedings for example to locate, identify or halt other crimes. As a result, intelligence gathering is sometimes held to a less strict forensic standard. In civil litigation or corporate matters digital forensics forms part of the electronic discovery or eDiscovery process.

Forensic procedures are similar to those used in criminal investigations, often with different legal requirements and limitations. Outside of the courts digital forensics can form a part of internal corporate investigations. A common example might be following unauthorized network intrusion.

A specialist forensic examination into the nature and extent of the attack is performed as a damage limitation exercise, both to establish the extent of any intrusion and in an attempt to identify the attacker. The main focus of digital forensics investigations is to recover objective evidence of a criminal activity termed actus reus in legal parlance.

However, the diverse range of data held in digital devices can help with other areas of inquiry. One major limitation to a forensic investigation is the use of encryption; this disrupts initial examination where pertinent evidence might be located using keywords.

Laws to compel individuals to disclose encryption keys are still relatively new and controversial. The examination of digital media is covered by national and international legislation.

For civil investigations, in particular, laws may restrict the abilities of analysts to undertake examinations. Restrictions against network monitoring , or reading of personal communications often exist. In the UK the same laws covering computer crime can also affect forensic investigators.

The computer misuse act legislates against unauthorised access to computer material; this is a particular concern for civil investigators who have more limitations than law enforcement. An individual's right to privacy is one area of digital forensics which is still largely undecided by courts. The US Electronic Communications Privacy Act places limitations on the ability of law enforcement or civil investigators to intercept and access evidence. The act makes a distinction between stored communication e.

The latter, being considered more of a privacy invasion, is harder to obtain a warrant for. Article 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights asserts similar privacy limitations to the ECPA and limits the processing and sharing of personal data both within the EU and with external countries. The ability of UK law enforcement to conduct digital forensics investigations is legislated by the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act.

When used in a court of law digital evidence falls under the same legal guidelines as other forms of evidence; courts do not usually require more stringent guidelines. US federal laws restrict seizures to items with only obvious evidential value. This is acknowledged as not always being possible to establish with digital media prior to an examination. Laws dealing with digital evidence are concerned with two issues: integrity and authenticity.

Integrity is ensuring that the act of seizing and acquiring digital media does not modify the evidence either the original or the copy. Authenticity refers to the ability to confirm the integrity of information; for example that the imaged media matches the original evidence.

Attorneys have argued that because digital evidence can theoretically be altered it undermines the reliability of the evidence. US judges are beginning to reject this theory, in the case US v. Bonallo the court ruled that "the fact that it is possible to alter data contained in a computer is plainly insufficient to establish untrustworthiness. Digital investigators, particularly in criminal investigations, have to ensure that conclusions are based upon factual evidence and their own expert knowledge.

The sub-branches of digital forensics may each have their own specific guidelines for the conduct of investigations and the handling of evidence.

For example, mobile phones may be required to be placed in a Faraday shield during seizure or acquisition to prevent further radio traffic to the device. The "Electronic Evidence Guide" by the Council of Europe offers a framework for law enforcement and judicial authorities in countries who seek to set up or enhance their own guidelines for the identification and handling of electronic evidence.

The admissibility of digital evidence relies on the tools used to extract it. In the US, forensic tools are subjected to the Daubert standard , where the judge is responsible for ensuring that the processes and software used were acceptable. In a paper Brian Carrier argued that the Daubert guidelines required the code of forensic tools to be published and peer reviewed.

He concluded that "open source tools may more clearly and comprehensively meet the guideline requirements than would closed source tools. He argued that "the science of digital forensics is founded on the principles of repeatable processes and quality evidence therefore knowing how to design and properly maintain a good validation process is a key requirement for any digital forensic examiner to defend their methods in court.

Digital forensics investigation is not restricted to retrieve data merely from the computer, as laws are breached by the criminals and small digital devices e. Some of these devices have volatile memory while some have non-volatile memory. Sufficient methodologies are available to retrieve data from volatile memory, however, there is lack of detailed methodology or a framework for data retrieval from non-volatile memory sources.

The goal of computer forensics is to explain the current state of a digital artifact; such as a computer system, storage medium or electronic document. Computer forensics can deal with a broad range of information; from logs such as internet history through to the actual files on the drive. In prosecutors used a spreadsheet recovered from the computer of Joseph E. Duncan III to show premeditation and secure the death penalty.

Mobile device forensics is a sub-branch of digital forensics relating to recovery of digital evidence or data from a mobile device.

Tools and Technology for Computer Forensics: Research and Development in Hong Kong (Invited Paper)

Digital forensics sometimes known as digital forensic science is a branch of forensic science encompassing the recovery and investigation of material found in digital devices, often in relation to computer crime. Digital forensics investigations have a variety of applications. The most common is to support or refute a hypothesis before criminal or civil courts. Criminal cases involve the alleged breaking of laws that are defined by legislation and that are enforced by the police and prosecuted by the state, such as murder, theft and assault against the person. Civil cases on the other hand deal with protecting the rights and property of individuals often associated with family disputes but may also be concerned with contractual disputes between commercial entities where a form of digital forensics referred to as electronic discovery ediscovery may be involved.


PDF | Different tools are used to aid the investigation process. The need of specialized software is required for the acquisition and examination.


Digital Forensics Tools and Techniques

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With the increased use of Internet and information technology all over the world, there is an increased amount of criminal activities that involve computing and digital data. These digital crimes e-crimes impose new challenges on prevention, detection, investigation, and prosecution of the corresponding offences. Computer forensics also known as cyberforensics is an emerging research area that applies computer investigation and analysis techniques to help detection of these crimes and gathering of digital evidence suitable for presentation in courts. This new area combines the knowledge of information technology, forensics science, and law and gives rise to a number of interesting and challenging problems related to computer security and cryptography that are yet to be solved.

15 BEST Digital Forensic Tools in 2021 [Free/Paid]

Nowadays the use of computers is increasing more and more.

Anti-Forensics - Techniques Detection and Countermeasures

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