7 Open Source Forensic Tools That You Should Know About


In this blog we will learn about open source forensic tools, cyber forensics tools, top digital forensic tools, digital investigation tools and forensic sources. So let’s get started.

Open source forensic tools

Let’s look at open source forensic tools. The computer is a valid spectator that cannot lie. Digital evidence comprises an unfiltered account of a suspect’s activity, documented in his/her direct words and actions. However, some people say that using digital data as the information is a bad idea. If it’s simple to change computer information, how can it be utilized as reliable evidence?

To recognize all the hidden details that are left after or during an incident, computer forensics is utilized. The objective of computer forensics techniques is to search, maintain and analyze data on computer systems to discover potential evidence for a trial.

Computers are becoming more powerful day by day, so the arena of computer forensics must quickly develop. Earlier, we had multiple computer forensic tools that were utilized to apply forensic techniques to the computer. But, we have recorded some top digital forensic tools that are promising for today’s computers:

  1. SANS SIFT
  2. ProDiscover Forensic
  3. Volatility Framework
  4. The Sleuth Kit (+Autopsy)
  5. CAINE
  6. Xplico
  7. X-Ways Forensics
Top 7 open source forensic tools are available in the market.

Let’s have a glimpse of digital investigation tools and forensic sources.

SANS SIFT

An Ubuntu-based Live CD which encompasses all the equipment you require to perform an in-depth forensic or incident response investigation is the SANS Investigative Forensic Toolkit (SIFT). The free SIFT toolkit that can conform to any recent incident response and forensic tool suite is also starred in SANS’ Advanced Incident Response course (FOR 508). 

It indicates that progressive investigations and responding to intrusions can be achieved using cutting-edge open-source tools that are freely accessible and repeatedly updated. Moreover, it comprises tools such as Scalpel for information file carving, the timeline from system logs, Rifiuti for analyzing the recycle bin etc.

Let’s look at key modern features of SIFT include:

  1. Ubuntu LTS 14.04 Base.
  2. 64-bit base system.
  3. Better memory utilization.
  4. Auto-DFIR package update and customizations.
  5. Recent forensic tools and techniques.
  6. VMware Appliance ready to tackle forensics.
  7. Cross compatibility between Linux and Windows.
  8. Online Documentation Project at http://sift.readthedocs.org/
  9. Expanded Filesystem Support.

ProDiscover Forensic

ProDiscover Forensic is a strong computer security tool. It preserves evidence and builds quality evidentiary reports for use in legal proceedings. It can reclaim deleted files, evaluate slack space, access Windows Alternate Data Streams, and dynamically authorizes a preview, search, and image-capture of the Hardware Protected Area (HPA) of the disk using its own pioneered technology. 

Here are the key features of ProDiscover Forensic include:

  1. Organize a Bit-Stream edition of the disk to be analyzed, comprising a hidden HPA section (patent pending), to maintain actual evidence safe.
  2. Use Perl scripts to automate investigation tasks.

Volatility Framework

The Volatility Framework was broadcasted publicly at the BlackHat and established over years of published academic research into progressive memory analysis and forensics. It also delivered a cross-platform, modular, and extensible platform to facilitate more work in this exciting arena of research.

The Sleuth Kit (+Autopsy)

open source forensic tools

The Sleuth Kit is a compilation of command line tools that authorizes us to analyze disk images and recover files from them. The core functionality of The Sleuth Kit (TSK) enables you to analyze volume and file system data. The plug-in framework permits you to integrate additional modules to analyze file contents and create automated systems.

An autopsy is modest to use, a GUI-based program that lets us evaluate hard drives and smartphones efficiently. It possesses a plug-in architecture that assists us to find add-on modules or formulate custom modules in Java or Python.

Let us look at the list of Autopsy features:

  1. Multi-User Cases – Collaborate with fellow examiners on huger cases.
  1. Timeline Analysis- Displays system events in a graphical interface to enable identify activity.
  1. Keyword Search- Text extraction and index searched modules help you to find files that mention particular terms and find regular expression patterns.
  1. Web Artifacts- Extracts web activity from common browsers to assist identify user activity.
  1. Media Playback- View videos and images in the application and not need an external viewer.
  1. Thumbnail Viewer- Displays thumbnail of images to assist quick view pictures.

CAINE

A Linux Live CD that includes a wealth of digital forensic tools is CAINE (Computer Aided Investigative Environment). The modern edition of Caine is established on the Ubuntu Linux LTS, MATE, and LightDM. Compared to its original version, the new version has been altered to fulfill the standard forensic reliability and security standards.

Caine includes:

  1. It is a user-friendly interface that formulates together some prominent forensic tools, multiple of which is open source
  2. Semi-automatic report generator
  3. Characteristics include a Network Forensics, semi-automated report creation, a user-friendly GUI, and equipment for Data Recovery Mobile Forensics, etc.

Xplico

Xplico is a network forensics analysis tool, which is software that reconstructs the contents of accessions accomplished with a packet sniffer. For example, Wireshark, tcpdump, Netsniff-ng. Xplico is skilled to extract and reconstruct all the Web pages and contents like images, files, cookies, and so on.

Features of Xplico include:

  1. Protocols supported: SIP, IMAP, HTTP, POP, SMTP, UDP, IPv4,etc
  2. Multithreading
  3. Modularity as each Xplico component is modular

Xplico is installed by default in the primary distributions of digital forensics and penetration testing:

  1. Kali Linux
  2. BackTrack
  3. DEFT
  4. Security Onion
  5. Matriux
  6. BackBox
  7. CERT Linux Forensics Tools Repository

X-Ways Forensics

X-Ways Forensics is a progressive work environment for computer forensic examiners. X-Ways Forensics is productive to utilize, not resource-hungry, frequently runs faster, discovers deleted files and proposes various features that the others lack. X-Ways Forensics is entirely portable as it runs off a USB stick on any given Windows system.

open source forensic tools

Some key features of X-ray forensic include:

  1. Disk cloning and imaging
  2. Capacity to read file system structures inside raw image files, VHD, ISO and VMDK images
  3. Extensive access to disks, RAIDs, and images more than 2 TB in size
  4. Automatic identification of lost/deleted partitions
  5. Viewing and rewriting binary data patterns by using templates
  6. Recursive view of all prevailing and deleted files in all subdirectories

These are some reasonable and outstanding cyber forensics tools used by various experts and law enforcement agencies in performing different forensics. But, the list is not restricted to the above-defined tools. There are multiple other free and premium tools accessible in the market as well. These open source forensic tools can be utilized to examine the evolving attacks.