Many people consider digital forensics as a magical route to solving cybercrimes, but they are unaware of the depth of the domain. Digital forensics is the science of identifying, analyzing, retrieving, and preserving evidence collected from digital information assets. The process needs to be supervised carefully as forensic experts can’t risk sacrificing the integrity of the evidence. It is a layered process that is achieved after multiple investigative procedures using various digital forensic tools.
In short, a cyber forensic investigator backtracks a security incident to find how it happened. During this entire process, the professional follow healthy security policies to extract digital evidence in a secure environment.
Know what a Cyber Forensic Expert does
As our previous blog on digital forensic tools, this one will help you to get familiar with FTK Imager, Hex Editor Neo, and Bulk Extractor.
Best of Digital Forensic Tools: A Crucial Factor in Solving Crimes
In today’s world, there is an availability of numerous tools and processes that helps in conducting a successful investigation. An average user cannot spot crucial evidence involved in cybercrime. For that, organizations need cyber forensic experts who can retrieve easily accessible as well as not readily viewable evidence. These professionals possess specialized skills and knowledge to handle various forensic tools. Let’s look at the three valuable assets of an incident investigation.
FTK Imager is an acquisition and imaging tool responsible for data preview that allows the user to assess the device in question quickly. The tool can also create forensic images (copies) of the device without damaging the original evidence.
Features of FTK Imager
- Generates forensic images of local hard drives, CDs/DVDs, complete folders, and even individual files.
- Previews the contents of forensic images.
- Creates a read-only image for viewing the content of the original drive
- Recovers deleted files
- Uses two hash functions – Message Digest 5 (MD5) and Secure Hash Algorithm (SHA-1) for creating hashes of the files.
Hex Editor Neo
This file optimizing editor allows you to alter and examine binary files and hexadecimal data. It is designed to deal with ASCII, hex, decimal, float, double, and int data. It is a user-friendly tool offering unlimited undo and redo. The tool gives you the liberty to save and load the visual history, which can be modified later.
Features of Hex Editor Neo
- Availability in four editions – Free, Standard, Professional, and Ultimate.
- Supports all kinds of files that work fine with the underlying file system, i.e., FAT, FAT32, and NTFS.
- Locates patterns in a file.
- Permits customization of editor color schemes.
- Easy patch creation.
bulk_extractor scans files and disk images to extract useful data without parsing the file system. By using this tool, the expert can create a histogram of crucial features. On evaluating the results with automated tools, the data can be analyzed, parsed, and processed to get useful information. In simpler terms, bulk_extractor is a high-performance feature extraction tool that relies on bulk data analysis.
Features of Bulk Extractor
- Analyzes digital evidence files to extract e-mail addresses, credit card numbers, URLs, and other forms of data.
- Assists in malware and intrusion surveys, also, in image analysis and password cracking.
- It offers faster processing because of multithreaded nature.
- Creates histogram after complete analysis, displaying all the information.
The next part of the series will give you the idea about the other four valuable digital forensic tools – Volatility, Xplico, ProDiscover, and X-Ways Forensics.
To learn more about such tools, join ANSI accredited Certified Hacking Forensic Investigator (C|HFI). The program provides hands-on experience of hundreds of cyber investigation tools. It comprehensively covers all the techniques and forensic investigation scenarios. Under this training program, the attendees build skills that meet regulatory compliance standards, such as ISO 27001, PCI, HIPAA, and many others.