After the positive attempt of digital forensics to minimize cyberattacks, anti-forensic techniques came into existence to make it challenging for cyber forensic experts to identify culprits. It has been hindering the work of computer investigators, ever since its inception. The basic idea behind anti-forensic techniques is to erase footprints or make them impossible to track. As forensic investigators start at the end, it becomes difficult to establish any facts in the absence of prior knowledge.
Although the concept of anti-forensics is nothing new, the past few years saw a spike in its use. Several reasons that sum up this rise are –
- The launch of more sophisticated anti-forensic tools, and
- Its availability to threat actors working on Unix as well as Windows.
In simpler words, anti-forensic tools are now available to even non-technical users.
With the increasing security incidents, even the use of anti-forensic tools is rising. To retrieve digital evidence, which is admissible in court, cyber forensic investigators need to follow a strict procedure. During a forensic investigation, several factors can disrupt the recovery of digital evidence. It could be a human element or dependency on tools. Even the physical and logical limitations can impact the examination. As a result of this, digital investigators face challenges when keeping up with advanced technologies.
Without a standard definition for anti-forensics, the concept is open to perception, and that’s how investigators retrieve digital evidence based on their personal experiences. In such a situation, it’s best that the cyber forensic investigators exchange their experience, so that they can learn from each other. By sharing knowledge, one could formulate effective mitigation strategies.
Before we dig deeper into the topic, go through this fabulous video by Michael Perklin, a Senior Investigator:
Detect anti-forensics techniques
Organizations have now started putting up fake assets to lure cyber attackers. These assets offer a limited amount of data to keep cybercriminals engaged until the security professionals track them. Any malicious activities on these assets alarm the security professionals and initiate the required incident response. Skilled digital forensic experts can seek clues by investigating these assets through anti-forensic measures. They rely on the presence of cryptographic tools, rootkits, an encrypted Virtual Machine (VM), and other pieces of evidence. Also, the investigators use their own trusted programs to retrieve information. Familiarity with private programs makes it easy for examiners to detect anti-forensic techniques.
Approaching the problem of anti-forensic techniques
The right solution is to build a healthy community of digital forensic investigators. The experience of skilled professionals will help others to stay one step ahead of obfuscation, steganography, encryption, tunneling, and other anti-forensic measures. The community should share their discoveries so that others won’t fall for the same mistake. Other than that, maintaining a continuous educational environment will be a wise move.
How to become a digital forensic investigator?
Now, if you are someone who wants to contribute to this domain, you can register for Computer Hacking Forensic Investigator (C|HFI). The program leads you through the process of detecting hacking attacks and retrieving pieces of digital evidence. These clues then used to either track down the attacker or prevention of future attacks.
After gaining the skills of a digital forensic investigator, you’ll be able to –
- Analyze the storage media,
- Examine text, graphics, multimedia, and digital images,
- Conduct full scan on the hard disk,
- Maintain chain of custody,
- Extract information from available assets,
- Use of anti-forensic tools and techniques,
- Recover deleted data or files,
and many other responsibilities.
The features of C|HFI that gives an edge over others –
C|HFI is one of the few training programs that specialized in information security (IS) and achieved ANSI 17024 accreditation.
Built by the experts
The program is designed by the best in the industry. It is built after thorough job-task analysis (JTA), covering the entire digital forensic domain in detail.
Follows regulatory compliance
As per the need of the hour, the program focuses on all international and regional regulatory compliance standards, including GDPR, HIPAA, PCI, and others.
The program allows its attendees to put their theoretical knowledge into practice so that the participants can perform in the real world too. The EC-Council iLabs offer a real-time environment to develop industry-demanded practical skills.
Register for Computer Hacking Forensic Investigator (C|HFI) today and join the digital forensic community to fight a fair battle against the increasing use of anti-forensic techniques.