Top 11 Best Computer Forensics Software (Free and Paid)
Computer forensics is the art of collecting, preserving and analyzing data present in any kind of digital format. Computer forensics software applications have today replaced the human forensics experts in retrieving such kinds of data from almost all kin sod electronic and digital media. The data can be easily retrieved from hard disks, digital media disks, digital dashboards, mobile phones, digital media players and even websites. Today, some of these software applications have become so adept that they can even determine how the data was created and transferred.
Clearly, the most important use of computer forensics software is for law investigators. Here it is mainly used to assist evidencing. Many a fraud case has been solved today by using digital forensics software.
However, it becomes necessary to invest in the right kind of computer forensics software. Here are a few features that you must look out for.
Read More: Best Ediscovery Software List
1. It must provide access to every file, cluster, nibble, bit, byte and sector of the computer.
2. It should allow an easy duplication of the disk, both through DOS and through Windows.
3. It should allow to set up a restore point when the digital medium is retrieved so that subsequent changes can be tracked. However, if there a good cloning or duplication feature, this is not necessary.
4. It should work with every system, Windows, Linux and Mac.
5. It should provide easy recovery of data, even that which has been deleted from the computer’s hard disk.
6. At the same time, it should be able to forensically clean the digital medium, which means it should clean up the entire medium and replace the data present in it with zero values.
7. It should be able to capture data that had been present but now deleted from certain clusters that look empty.
8. It should be able to look at the empty spaces that are not allocated to any of the hard disk partitions and determine whether any data is present there.
9. It should be able to convert most data in the form of pure text. This helps when emails and certain documents need to be recovered.
10. Computer forensics software must also make a table of all files and directories, both currently present and those that have been deleted. This information must include the size of the files and directories, their date and time stamps and their NTFS alternate data streams.
11. It must know all the different kinds of data that are in use, such as the date formats, the kinds of integer and floating point values, etc.
12. It should be compatible with both a text search as well as a Boolean search.
13. It must automatically number all the files inside a folder and all its hierarchies so that they can be hashed for evidentiary purposes later on.
14. It should have features that allow restoration and recovery of lost data.
Read More: Best Law Enforcement Software
These are only some of the features that must be present in a computer forensics software kit. Labs around the world are conducting research studies to include more and more cutting edge features each day so that modern computer forensics software has become virtually invincible.
Top 11 Best Computer Forensics Software (Free and Paid):
Learn more about our computer forensics & cyber security services. We’re expert risk management professionals serving London for 10 years.
Guidance Software, now OpenText, is the maker of EnCase, the gold standard in forensic security. Guidance Software provides deep 360-degree visibility across all endpoints, devices and networks with field-tested and court-proven software.
X-Ways Forensics is an advanced work environment for computer forensic examiners and our flagship product. Runs under Windows XP/2003/Vista/2008/7/8/8.1/2012/10*, 32 Bit/64 Bit, standard/PE/FE.
CAINE Computer Aided INvestigative Environment Live CD/DVD, computer forensics, digital forensics.
Intella makes it easy for forensic investigators to process investigations without the high cost of training of traditional forensic software analysis tools.
Autopsy is the premier end-to-end open source digital forensics platform. Built by Basis Technology with the core features you expect in commercial forensic tools, Autopsy is a fast, thorough, and efficient hard drive investigation solution that evolves with your needs.
ADF digital forensics software is the leader in intelligent tools for field forensic investigators and lab examiners. Our products include Digital Evidence Investigator (DEI), Triage-Investigator, and Triage-G2 the leading media exploitation solutions.
IntaForensics – Provides Computer Forensics, Mobile Device Forensics, Forensic Data Recovery, Cyber Security, PCI/DSS and Expert Witness services.
Mobile phone & computer forensics equipment & software. We’re the UK’s leading supplier of specialist tools and training for forensic mobile phone, computer and other digital investigations. We have more than 20 years’ experience in finding and providing the right equipment – and now it’s online too.
Our Forensic Recovery of Evidence (FRED) computer systems are built in Wisconsin, USA and lead the industry in performance, features, and value. From data acquisition through analysis and reporting, we integrate, sell, and support a complete line of products for digital forensic and eDiscovery customers around the world.
Mount Image Pro computer forensics software can mount EnCase images, SMART image and Unix/Linux DD images under Windows.
A computer forensic examiner is a professional who helps in the analysis of digital media including data recovery and other related tasks. The job is mostly investigative. If a company needs to know what an employee has been really doing on the company computer, a computer forensic examiner is the right kind of technical person to be assigned the job. Computer forensics examiners, also known as computer forensics specialists, are different from private investigators who might also claim to do the same kind of job. However, private investigators may not be as qualified or as technical as forensics examiners. Hence, they are your best bet when you are trying to investigate digital media like computer hard disks, mobile phones, CDs and DVDs, laptops, etc.
Judging by the sensitive nature of the task, it is important that you spend some time and effort in selecting the right analyst for your purposes. The following are some points on how you must go about selecting the right kind of computer forensics examiner.
1. Look at the qualifications. They must have completed a certification course in computer forensics through one of the several IT and computing technical schools that are present. If you are dealing with a company, you can ask them to show the relevant education certificate or degrees of the examiner who will handle your computer.
2. Check out since how long they have been in business and what kind of expertise they have. This is vital because computer forensics is eventually not something that can be learnt out of a classroom. Most of this subject is learnt through experimentation and actual hands-on work.
3. They must also have dealt with investigation of crime before. This is quite important if you expect litigation will follow based on the nature of their findings. For example, if what they analyze in your employee’s computer hard disk is sufficient grounds for you to fire them, the examiner will need to provide witness in the litigation that will almost invariably follow. You must also see if the testimony they provided in their past cases withstood a judicial review or not.
4. One more thing is to look at what tool they use. Most computer forensic examiners will use software or other kinds of custom made tools for their analysis and recovery processes. Though they will not divulge their modus operandi to you entirely, you can attempt to speak with them in a bid to get assured about their method of working.
5. There are several forensic organizations in every state. It is worthwhile to check which of these organizations the examiner is a part of. This is because computer forensics is mostly a science of exchange. People learn more when they exchange ideas. Thus, making sure that the computer forensics examiner you are choosing is well-networked with their guild is a good indicator of their worth.
Mostly, you must have an initial talk with them and try to take a look at their laboratory. The lab of the computer forensic examiner is a very good place to learn how seriously they must be performing their job.