Digital Forensic Tools & Software

Content Written By Henry Dalziel, 2020

Digital Forensic Hacking Tools For Use In 2020

Cybercrime keeps growing. My research shows that Pre-COVID, i.e. BCV, (Before Corona Virus) the estimates were that Cybercrime will cost as much as $6 trillion annually by 2021. However, owing to the “desperation” many unemployed now feel, this figure might be a lot higher.

Digital Cybersecurity Forensics is a booming niche that will likely remain so for a long time.

Digital Forensics is a massive subject and requires meticulous planning and execution for it to be deemed successful. When we say ‘successful’ we refer to there being a guilty conviction for am incriminating cybercrime that took place.

Typically InfoSec Digital Forensics is dictated by the “Chain Of Custody” principle and vital to that process is the procuring and storing of evidence which is achieved by some of the tools that we’ve gone ahead and listed below.

Within all the different IT security careers we’d say that Digital Forensics ought to be one of the fastest-growing sectors within Cybersecurity. The sheer escalating level and variations of hacks all require investigation, analysis, and legal processes to secure convictions.

Autopsy
Maltego
Encase
Helix3 Pro

Autopsy

Autopsy is a digital forensics platform that works in a GUI environment. Autopsy works within ‘The Sleuth Kit (TSK)’ library is a collection of command-line forensic tools.

This tool allows the user to investigate disk images. The Sleuth Kit is used law enforcement, military, and corporate examiners to investigate what happened on a computer – and therefore if you would like to start a career in as a digital forensic investigator then a thorough understanding of this tool would be a clever and smart investment.

Is Autopsy Free?

Yes, this tool is free to use.

Does Autopsy Work on all Operating Systems?

It works on Linux, Windows and MAC OS X.

What are the Typical Uses for Autopsy?

The main purpose of TSK is to execute volumes, drives and file system data. The plug-in framework allows additional modules to view file contents and build automated systems. The library can be incorporated into larger digital forensics tools and the command line tools can be directly used to find evidence.


Maltego

Very possibly one of the best-known forensics and social engineering hacking tools on the market. It’s a very popular tool amongst those that are familiar with it.

Maltego is developed by Paterva and is a tool used for open-source forensics and intelligence. Its focus is to provide a library of transforms for the discovery of data from different open sources and visualize that data into a graph format which is suitable for data mining and link analysis.

Maltego allows building custom entities, allowing it to produce any type of information in addition to the types of basic entity which are part of the tool. The primary focus of this tool is to analyze real-world relationships between people, websites, groups, internet infrastructure, networks, domains and affiliations with social media services such as Facebook and Twitter.

This hacking tool has two types of reconnaissance options, personal and infrastructural. Personal reconnaissance includes personal information such as phone numbers, email addresses, mutual friends, social networking profiles, etc. while Infrastructural reconnaissance deals with the domains, covering DNS information such as mail exchangers, name servers, DNS to IP mapping and zone transfer tables.

Maltego sends clients’ information in the XML format over a secure HTTPS connection by using seed servers. Once the information is processed at the server-side, the results are brought back to the Maltego client. Getting all publicly available data using manual techniques and search engines is time-consuming but with Maltego, it automates the data gathering process to a great extent, thus saving a lot of time for the user/attacker.

Is Maltego Free?

Maltego CE and Casefile are free to download wherein Maltego XL and Maltego Classic are paid tools. Maltego XL is the premiere edition of this tool. Features and capabilities of Maltego Classic are included here but this is the enhanced version that can work on large graphs. This will also allow you to map out a clear threat picture of the entire network making it easy in identifying abnormalities or weak points.

Maltego Classic, on the other hand, is the professional version of Maltego that gives extended compatibilities and functionalities with the community version of the tool. This can also be used in a commercial environment in which free versions cannot. This paid tool can create far larger graphs compared to the community version since this has no limitation on the entities that can be returned from a single transform. You can also export the results from a range of different formats.

Does Maltego Work on all Operating Systems?

Maltego currently works on Windows, Linux and Mac operating systems.

What are the Typical Uses for Maltego?

The primary focus of this tool is to analyze real-world relationships between data that is accessible through the internet which includes footprinting internet infrastructure and gathering data about people and organizations owning it. The connection between these pieces of data is found by using OSINT techniques by querying searches such as whois records, social networks, DNS records, different online APIs, extracting metadata and search engines. A wide range graphical layout results will be provided by this tool that allows for the clustering of data which makes relationships accurate and instant.


Encase

Commonly used by law enforcement, EnCase is forensics software and its use has made it one of the de-facto standards in forensics.

EnCase is not a free tool but you can request a demo in case you’re interested in using this tool.

Does EnCase Work on all Operating Systems?

EnCase is a Windows-only tool.

What are the Typical Uses for EnCase?

EnCase is primarily used in collecting information from a computer system by employing checksums to aid in detect tampering to evidence. It can collect information from different types of devices and produce concise forensic reports.


Helix3 Pro

Just like the previous tools, Helix3 Pro is a unique tool customized for computer forensics. It has been created very carefully to avoid touching the host computer.

The good thing is that Helix will not automatically mount swap space nor auto mount any devices attached.

Is Helix3 Pro Free?

No, Helix3 Pro is a commercial tool. There’s a free version of this tool but it’s older and not anymore supported.

Does Helix3 Pro Work on all Operating Systems?

This tool works natively on Linux operating systems, MAC OS X and Windows.

What are the Typical Uses for Helix3 Pro?

Helix3 Pro focuses on forensics tools and incident response techniques. It is designed to be used by individuals who have an understanding of these techniques. With this tool, users can create forensic images of all internal devices, search for specific file types like document files, graphic files, etc.


FAQ

What Is The Definition Of Digital Forensic Technology?

Digital forensics is a branch of forensic science that is concerned with identifying, recovering, investigating, validating, and presentation of facts regarding digital evidence found on computers or similar digital storage media devices.

What Is The Function Of Digital Forensic?

The main role of computer forensics techniques is to searching, preserving and analyzing information on computer systems to seek potential evidence for a trial. In the early days of computers, it was possible for a single detective to sort through files because storage capacity was so low.

Is It Crucial To Have Digital Forensic Installed?

Computer forensics very essential because it can save your organization money.

From a technical standpoint, the main purpose of computer forensics is to identify, collect, preserve, and analyze data in a way that preserves the integrity of the evidence collected so it can be used effectively in a legal case.

What’s The Point Of Digital Forensics?

Computers are instruments for carrying out cybercrime, and with the help of the burgeoning science of digital evidence forensics, law enforcement now uses computers to fight crime. Digital evidence is commonly associated with electronic crime, or e-crime, such as child pornography or credit card fraud.

How High Is The Demand For Computer Forensic Experts?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) categorizes the work computer forensics examiners do under the information security analyst category. According to 2017 data, it is expected that the demand for this job will rise up to 28 percent from 2016 to 2026, which is extremely fast.

How Does Digital Forensic Differ From “Information Security”?

Cyber security serves as a protection and defends the information systems from threats such as the misuse of systems, attackers, data theft, malware outbreaks, and system outages. While cyber forensics is the collection, preservation, acquisition, and analysis of digital artifacts for use in legal proceedings.

What Bachelor’s Degree Does A Computer Analyst Need To Start A Career In Digital Forensics?

Striving forensic computer analysts basically needs to pursue bachelor’s degree in a field such as digital forensics, computer forensics, or computer security.

How Does Digital Forensics Relates Towards Cyber Security?

Generally, Digital forensics clearly referred to as the search for and detection, recovery, and preservation of evidence found on digital systems, often for criminal or civil legal purposes

When Did The Digital Forensics Begin?

Since 1990s, the name which was previously known as digital forensics was commonly termed ‘computer forensics’. The first computer forensic technicians were law enforcement officers who were also computer hobbyists. In the USA in 1984 work began in the FBI Computer Analysis and Response Team (CART).

How Much Does A Digital Forensic Specialist Earn Per Year?

A computer forensic investigator receives a total amount of $58,000 annually this is according to the job site. While many private investigator jobs do not require degrees, computer forensic technicians are usually required to have bachelor’s degrees in criminal justice, computer science or even accounting.

I’m not sure how this figure has changed as a result of the Coronavirus devastation but I suspect that it is still a decent salary.

What Is The Work Of A Digital Forensic Analyst?

Computer forensic analysts generate their ideas by combining their computer science background with their forensic skills to recover information from computers and storage devices. Analysts are responsible for assisting law enforcement officers with cyber crimes and to retrieve evidence.

Henry, "HMFIC"

I'm Henry, the guy behind this site. I fancy myself as a bit of a Cyber Expert Specialist and I've been Growth Hacking since 2002, yep, that long...

10 thoughts on “Digital Forensic Tools & Software

  1. Dear Experts,

    I am searching for an E-Mail Forensic Software that will assist me in investigating fraudulent companies. Having tried Sys Tools, Mail Examiner which also has limitations and cannot determine the Real IP if hidden, such as in G-Mail. Unfortunately, this tool was unable to get behind Cloudflare who offers network service solutions including pass-through security services, a content distribution network (CDN) and registrar services.

    The Requirements:
    a) Using the existing E-Mail or (header) received from the fraudulent company extract all forensic Meta Data information about the sender of this E-Mail, see below. In particular, identify the real server IP which is most likely hidden.

    Bait Tactics
    b) Another possibility could be to send E-Mail with SW which would be installed the background on the fraudulent server to collect computer forensic data/information later to be used in a Cout of Law.

    It is the process to track the IP address of the sender of a particular mail under investigation. In this technique, a mail containing an HTTP: <img src> tag is sent to the mail address from which the mail has been received. The recipient, in this case, is the culprit. When the mail is opened, a log containing the IP address of the recipient is captured by the mail server that is hosting the image and the recipient is tracked. In case the recipient is using a Proxy server, the address of the proxy server gets recorded.

    Extraction From Server
    c) Server investigation comes handy when the emails residing on the sender and receiver ends have been purged permanently. Since servers maintain a log of the sent and received emails, the log investigation will generate all the deleted emails. Furthermore, the logs can give information of the source from which the emails have been generated. Server investigation does not mean that all the purged emails can be extracted. This is because, after a certain retention period, the emails are deleted permanently from a server.

    d) Ideally, then connect to the server with a view to extracting all computer forensic data information or even creating a Ghost Image or similar! The information collected would then be used to determine the physical location of the server and ultimately finding and locating the criminals behind the fraud and blackmail.

    1. In what sense do you want to “hack bitcoins?” Do you mind mine and/or generate crypto coins? That’s totally another discussion. You’ll never crack the code that blockchain/crypto works on – but of course, if you get access to the raw string of alphanumerical text that makes up a coin, sure, that has value but that’s of course on the blackhat side of things. Let me know – I am sure there’s someone here that can help out.

  2. Hi Henry! Have you tried Belkasoft Evidence Center? It’s great for computer and memory forensics, both acquisition and analysis. Good with extracting and analysing mobile devices as well.

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