Just like the physical world, cybercriminals can be traced through their digital footprints. Most of the digital assets keep track of who you interact with, your location, online activities, and other important data. Digital traces can be collected from activity logs, login sessions, and timestamps, which possess a lot of value when tracking the footprints of an individual. These traces could lead to the establishment of useful evidence by retrieving deleted files or reconstructing pieces of software for legal purposes. They help in building a strong criminal case against cybercriminals. Despite the various reasons that digital forensics is used, its primary motive is to examine, interpret, and reconstruct the whole attack. To conduct these investigations, cyber forensic experts use numerous digital forensic tools.
In this blog, we will continue our series of top digital forensic tools. Here we will cover Xplico, a network forensic analysis tool, and Volatility, an advanced framework.
Digital Forensic Tools that every cyber forensic expert should know
For selecting the below-listed tools, we considered three important factors – affordability, accessibility, and accountability.
Xplico is a network forensic analysis tool (NFAT) that helps in reconstructing the data acquired using other packet sniffing tools like Wireshark. It is free and open-source software that uses Port Independent Protocol Identification (PIPI) to recognize network protocols. The tool is built on four key components, which are – Decoder Manager, IP Decoder, Data Manipulators, and Visualization System.
Features of Xplico
The Xplico architecture consists of an input module, an output module, and a set of decoding modules known as protocol dissector. The software has the following features –
- It supports a number of protocols – HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol, Post Office Protocol (POP), Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP), IPv6 (Internet Protocol v6), and many others.
- No limit on the number of file entries.
- It offers modularity with input interface, protocol dissector, and output dispatcher modules.
- It is multithreaded.
Download this network-based forensic tool from https://www.xplico.org/download.
The Volatility Framework is a collection of tools designed for analyzing digital artifacts from volatile memory, i.e., RAM in 32- and 64-bit systems. This Python-based tool supports all major platforms, including Linux, Windows, Mac, and Android systems. The open-source framework is used to analyze raw dumps, crash dumps, VMware dumps, virtual box dumps and other RAM dumps.
Features of Volatility
- It is written in Python, allowing loads of libraries.
- It offers a scriptable API.
- The algorithms used to Volatility are fast and efficient.
To get this tool, visit the official website on https://www.volatilityfoundation.org/26.
The last part of the series will introduce you to two other forensic tools – ProDiscover and X-Ways Forensics.
To learn how to use these tools and hundreds of others, join the Computer Hacking Forensic Investigator (C|HFI) program. It focuses on several digital forensic sub-domains, including network forensics, operating system forensics, database forensics, cloud forensics, malware forensics, and others. The program gets you the industry-demanded hands-on experience to increase your employability. The skills obtained from this training and credentialing program are used in law enforcement, banking, defense, and other areas.