Technology and the internet have provided a wide platform for cyber as well as white collar crimes. Crime involving the use of computers and technology is rising in unprecedented proportions. In light of this, the field of forensic investigation has introduced cutting edge tools and equipments in order to remain at par with the criminals. From retinal scanning to tracing evidence on internet servers, computer forensics has improvised technology to solve sophisticated crimes involving the use of modern day resources like computers, laptops, cell phones and tablets.
The basic functionality of Computer forensic tools is to extract and analyze vast amount of data and zero –in on the relevant facts and evidence beneficial to the criminal or civil litigation at hand.
While the acquisition of digital evidence and the process of presenting it at courts is a complex task carried out by expert Computer Forensic Investigators, there are countless tools available to aid the procedure. However, among the wide range of cool technologies available, forensic experts rely on software and equipments that are court –incited platforms and helps them investigate efficiently and effectively. The state of the art tools selected by digital forensic investigators must be platforms accepted by a court of law. This increases the reliability and the admissibility of the evidence. Here we have tried to focus on the use of specific tools, their benefits and advantages over other forensic equipments available.
Forensic Toolkit (FTK)
FTK or Forensic toolkit is a digital forensic tool approved by court and designed for analyzing vast repository of data with uncontested speed. It is characterized by stability, ease of use and speed which makes it reliable as a source of digital evidence. It efficiently searches, filters, analyzes, indexes and points out relevant facts and evidence pertaining to the case. Owing to the comprehensive architecture, FTK can be used for collaborative analysis and web based case management. However, the most important aspect of FTK that makes it a favorite among computer forensic investigators is the speed with which it filters relevant evidence from a heap of data.
Mobile Phone Examiner Plus (MPE+)
Selecting a tool for cell phone forensic examination is a challenging task. Investigators are required to choose a Cell Phone Analysis tool that meets the ever changing mobile phone technology. Mobile Phone Examiner Plus is a stand-alone investigative solution for digital cell phone forensic analysis. It presents a unique approach to cell phone data extraction thus easily zeroing on the key facts and evidence. Plus, it supports the analysis of more than 7000 mobile phone models, including GSM/CDMA devices and using versatile technologies like Blackberry, Android, iOS and Windows. MPE+ has robust tools built into its architecture thus providing a single solution for multiple platforms and thus making the investigation a cost effective process.
dtSearch is one of the most common effective search tool used by computer forensic examiners. It is deployed by most forensic investigators owing to its ability to reduce data search time. It primarily helps in imaging, hashing, searching and indexing data on drivers and other digital storage media devices. dtSearch is a pivotal element of modern forensic investigation due to its ability to search through a variety of document types such as HTML, PDFs, PSTs, Unicode and common files like word documents, excel sheets and more. Instantaneous identification of key facts say file names and strings reduces the overall time frame of analysis thus providing accurate desired results that assist in finding successful resolution on a case.
The role of a computer forensic investigator and that of forensic tool is complementary in an investigation. High end, user friendly and effective tools are imperative to the successful resolution of a case and effective representation of clients involved. Similarly, competent and experienced analysts should also be employed who can operate and extract required information from these complex equipments and present them as admissible evidence.