Friday, January 21, 2011

6 of the Best Free Linux Digital Forensics Tools

Digital forensics is a specialist art. It allows investigations to be undertaken without modifying the media. Being able to preserve and analyze data in a safe and non-destructive way is crucial when using digital evidence as part of an investigation, and even more so when a legal audit trail needs to be maintained.

Digital forensics can be used in a wide range of investigations such as computer intrusion, unauthorised use of computers including the violation of an organisation's internet-usage policy, gathering intelligence from documents and emails, as well as the protection of corporate assets.

We have extolled the virtues of open source software in many of our previous articles. The debate between open source and closed source software has often centered on factors such as freedom, reliability, interoperability and open standards, support, and philosophy.

In this instance, open source software offers a legal benefit, as it can increase the admissibility of digital forensic evidence. This is because open source tools enable the investigator and court to verify that a tool does what it claims and makes it easier to prove that the original drive has not been modified, or that a copy has not been modified.

Linux has a good range of digital forensics tools that can process data, perform data analysis of text documents, images, videos, and executable files, present that data to the investigator in a form that helps identify relevant data, and to search the data.

To provide an insight into the software that is available, we have compiled a list of 6 of our favorite digital forensics tools. Hopefully, there will be something of interest here for anyone who needs to undertake digital investigations.

So, let's explore the 6 digital forensics tools at hand. For each application we have compiled its own portal page, a full description with an in-depth analysis of its features, screenshots, together with links to relevant resources and reviews.
Digital Forensics Tools
The Sleuth Kit Collection of tools for forensic analysis
Autopsy Forensic Browser Graphical interface to SleuthKit
Automated Image and Restore Graphical front-end to dd/dc3dd
Forensic imaging tool based on Qt
dcfldd Enhanced version of dd for forensics and security
rdd Forensic copy program

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