What to Expect from a Digital Forensics Investigation

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As the years go on, more users than ever are opting to use mobile and interconnected devices such as a computer, and these are often at the core center of investigations. Evidence that is presented to a court of law is usually gathered by digital forensic experts. Here is what to expect from a digital forensics investigation

Digital Forensic Experts

The purpose of a digital forensic expert is to help identify any criminal behavior and analyze evidence against the suspect. There are skilled and trained experts who work alongside public law information to carry out tasks related to collecting and analyzing digital evidence. Digital forensic experts also write reports that can be used in legal and investigative settings.

The Process

For a digital forensic investigation to begin, there are several steps that a digital forensic expert must follow, which are collection (searching and seizing digital evidence), examination (applying tools and techniques to establish and extract data), analysis (using data that an expert has gathered to prove their case), and reporting (presenting information that they have gathered to a court of law). No forensic case is the same. While some deal with intruders stealing computer data, there are other cases that involve hackers who break into websites and launch attacks.

Obtaining Evidence Forensically

Digital forensic investigations are commonly performed to explore hard drive content. Whenever a forensic expert is needed for further analysis, it is normally completed in a lab environment. This is where a dead analysis comes into the equation. A dead analysis is used to obtain data from a computer that has been turned off. This is when an examination of a system is at rest (otherwise dead). A dead analysis is deemed important so experts can retrieve important physical evidence such as DNA (fingerprints).

Computer Forensic Tools

There are various computer forensic tools that can be used in an investigation, such as X-Ways, Linux DD, and Paraben. Software programs like these are often useful for crime scene investigators to be able to provide a reliable and detailed analysis of their findings. The process can start by identifying network traffic with sniffer tools such as Wireshark that are capable of intercepting traffic and logging it for extensive analysis. An alternative tool to Wireshark is NetworkMiner (used to extract or recover every file). Companies like can give you more information on digital computer forensics.

Future Forensic Tools

With new technologies being created daily, there are several problems that forensic experts are facing. These include looking for information on personal computers or laptops and finding information on smartphones and tablets. New forensic tools need to be implemented so experts can gain a better understanding of how to perform tasks on new models that hackers may have access to.

Digital forensic specialists are needed more than ever by today’s businesses to determine and establish the root cause of any hacking attacks. Evidence that is collected by a digital forensic specialist can then be presented to a court of law for the perpetrator to face justice.

I am a frontend and backend web developer who loves building up new projects from scratch. In my blog "Lingulo" me and some guest authors regularly post new tutorials, web design trends or useful resources.

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