digital forensic tools

How to Get Started with Digital Forensic Tool – X-Ways

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Digital forensic tools are still fairly new. X-Ways forensic is an advanced work setting for forensic computer examiners and it is the resource you need to get the job done. X-Ways forensic covers both specialist and general features known with WinHex. However, before you get started with X-Ways forensic, there are certain basic pieces of information that you should know.

You can get X-Ways forensics training and other pieces of training on how to use different digital forensic toolkit by signing-up for our globally recognized Computer Hacking Forensic Investigation (CHFI) certification program.

What are Digital Forensics Tools?

Digital forensics analysis describes an in-depth investigation technique used for detecting and investigating the culprits, patterns, motives, and implications of a security incident, network intrusion, or abuse of organizational rules and state laws. This necessitates a broad array of digital forensic tools, techniques, investigation procedures, and methodologies. Some of the famous computer forensics cases (like Matt Baker, 2010) necessitated the use of digital forensic tools.

A certified forensic examiner collects a variety of information by working with automated tools and working in a conventional manner (documenting and writing of reports). There are different categories for digital forensic tools, and all other tool falls under this category. The exact preference for forensic tools will largely depend on how and where you want to apply it.

While the following categories are not the exhaustive list, they give you an idea of what digital forensic tools cover and what you can do with them. Some of the broad categories of digital forensic tools include:

  • Network forensics
  • Database forensics
  • Computer forensics
  • Digital image forensics
  • Memory forensics
  • Audio/video forensics
  • Disk and data capture
  • File analysis
  • File viewer
  • Email analysis
  • Registry analysis
  • Internet browsing analysis

X-Ways Forensics

Unlike other digital forensic tools that consume all the resources on a system, X-Ways forensics is not a resource-hungry platform, making it effectively usable for everything else. It will merely use the resources required to execute the task. This suggests that your workspace will continue being usable while X-Ways is running. X-Ways Forensics is completely portable, easy to use, runs faster, detects deleted files, and runs off a USB stick on any given Windows system with no installation needed.

On typical 64-bit hardware, comprising various processors and 4 GB of RAM, X-Ways forensic can manage excessive numbers of files. It does this through an effective and speedy approach. Nevertheless, X-Ways forensic will also run on outmoded systems including a 32-bit machine running Windows XP with only 256 MB of RAM. The major features of X-Ways forensic include:

  • Disk cloning and disk imaging
  • Directory Browser for FAT, NTFS, Ext2/Ext3, ReiserFS, CDFS/ISO9660, UDF
  • Extensive access to RAIDs, disks, and images with above 2 TB size
  • Computerized detection of missing or deleted partitions
  • File slack capturing
  • Disk catalog creation
  • Recursive view of all current and deleted files in all subdirectories
  • Text capturing
  • Watching and correcting binary data structures via templates
  • Data recovery
  • Data interpreter
  • Simultaneous search
  • Bates-numbering file

Learn more about digital forensics tools, sign-up for the CHFI certification program today!

What is autopsy forensic tool?

An autopsy is an adaptable GUI-based program that gives you room to proficiently analyze smartphones and hard drives. Autopsy forensic tool describes a computer software that facilitates the deployment of several open-source programs and plugins applied in The Sleuth Kit.

This digital forensic tool contains a plug-in architecture that allows you to find add-on modules or develop custom modules in Python or java. Autopsy offers search by keywords, timeline analysis, integrity checking image, hash filtering, ability case management, file system analysis, and other automated operations. Autopsy forensic tool is used for the following purposes:

  • To recover deleted content
  • To investigate the contents of files (in hex or ASCII format)
  • To examine the time sequence of events based on changes to the facility and time of access
  • To investigate the contents of folders, as well as deleted files
  • For reporting of activities
  • For content search based on regular expressions
  • For metadata analysis

What are the steps in digital forensics?

There are basically five important steps in digital forensics, which all add to a comprehensive and divulging investigation.


The first step to a successful forensic investigation is the procedures involved in identifying probable evidence in a cyberattack. At the heart of an efficient identification process is a strong understanding of the specifics of the current case and the classification of the cyberattack you’re dealing with.

Before commencing an investigation, the digital forensics examiner must outline the categories of evidence he is searching for sought and also have a strong understanding of how to preserve relevant data. Next, he/she must establish the source and integrity of the data before using it as evidence.

Acquisition and Preservation

The most important aspect of any digital forensic investigation is the method of acquiring evidence and preserving data. Once your evidence has been mishandled, it will be inadmissible in the courts. Your data must be acquired through a careful and legitimate method.

Evidence Examination

The computer hacker forensic investigator (CHFI) basically examine data from designated archives, through different techniques and methodologies to evaluate information. The forensic examination could include anti-forensics techniques used, applying analysis software to comb vast records of data for precise file formats or keywords, and the processes for recovering lost or deleted files.


All digital forensic tools used, and other techniques used by the forensic IT investigators during a particular case should be explained in a digital format and documented properly in the authorized archives. Likewise, together with completely documenting all the information linked with the software and hardware devices, the computer forensic investigator must have an appropriate record of all activity connected with the investigation.

This would include the techniques applied to identify, examine, and assess evidence, together with all the actions performed to test system functionality, copy, retrieve, and store data. By documenting your findings and forensic investigation processes, it ensures the validity of your conclusions and grants other IT professionals the opportunity to know the where, when, why, and how of the evidence recovered.


You need to prepare the findings of your investigation in a detailed and comprehensible manner. Your audience may not include only forensics experts. You need to choose your words with care so the non-technical audience can understand your report. Your report must also be free from bias.

This grants other experts the opportunity to verify the authenticity of the evidence you present by matching the data in your reports to exact dates and times when the potential perpetrator gained access to the forensics evidence through external sources.

Why CHFI is Your Go-To For All Things Digital Forensics

EC-Council is a globally recognized certification and training company that specializes in the fields of digital forensics, ethical hacking or anti-hacking, and penetration testing. The aim of the EC-Council’s CHFI certification program is to authenticate the candidate’s competences and abilities to pinpoint a perpetrator’s footprints and to accurately assemble all the relevant evidence needed to take legal actions against the intruder. Moreover, EC-Council’s CHFI program is a vendor-neutral certification that endorses individuals in the particular security field of computer forensics. For more details on our CHFI course, visit our course page.

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