CWU The Most Popular Computer Forensic Tools Discussion Response

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I researched the most popular computer forensics tools and discovered the reasons behind why they are the best. In my opinion, based off of my research, I believe the top five tools are X-Ways, EnCase, SANS SIFT, ProDiscover Forensic, The Sleuth Kit (Autopsy).

X-Ways is an advanced digital forensics platform. It runs on all Windows versions, low resource utilization and runs faster [3]. It’s very convenient. because it doesn’t require any type of installation since it runs off a USB stick and downloads within seconds [2]. Key features include disk cloning and imaging, ability to file system partitions and structures, and automatic identification of lost and deleted partitions [3]. X-Ways has even more features than what I have listed and proves to be a top forensic tool.

EnCase is a multi-function forensic platform [1]. It is globally recognized as the gold standard for digital forensics. It has reliable acquisition of evidence, which means it ensures the integrity of the evidence[4]. An important feature is Deep Forensic Analysis, which is it’s ability to uncover evidence on a device that might of went unnoticed otherwise [4]. EnCase has more functions, but with it’s recognition as the gold standard, I believe it is a top tool.

SANS Investigative Forensic Toolkit (SANS SIFT) was the number one tool I discovered in my research. Essentially, it is an Ubunto-based live CD which contains various types of tools to perform deep forensic or incident response investigations[3]. Key features include better memory utilization, contains latest forensic tools and techniques, a VMware Appliance ready for use for forensics, and cross compatibility between Linux and Windows [3]. I believe the SANS SIFT is quite handy, convenient, and portable. It’s a CD that contains everything you could need to operate as a forensic examiner.

ProDiscover Forensic is a computer security tool that allows professional to locate all of the data on a hard drive while simultaneously protecting evidence and create quality reports [3]. It has the capability to recover deleted files, can preview all files on the system to include hidden and deleted without altering Metadata, and can create a Bit-Stream copy of the disk to be analyzed to ensure the original is intact [3].

The Sleuth Kit is just as important as the other tools I’ve discussed. It’s core function is to analyze volume and file system data [3]. It has the Autopsy function, which is a GUI-based program used to analyze hard drives and mobile devices. Also, it allows for user collaboration on cases [3].

Each of the tools I’ve discussed are important and are each viable in different situations. It’s good to note that you should definitely use more than one tool as a digital forensics examiner. Out of all of the ones I’ve discussed, my favorites would be X-Ways and SANS SIFT. X-Ways for it’s portability and features. SANS SIFT for having various forensic tools, appliances, and techniques at your disposal contained in a CD. ProDiscover, EnCase, and Sleuth Kit are just as good, but by functionality, X-Ways and SANS SIFT seems quite intriguing.

[1]”Popular Computer Forensics Top 21 Tools [Updated for 2019]”, Infosec Resources, 2020. [Online]. Available: https://resources.infosecinstitute.com/computer-forensics-tools/#gref. [Accessed: 15- Jan- 2020].

[2]X. AG, “X-Ways Forensics: Integrated Computer Forensics Software”, X-ways.net, 2020. [Online]. Available: http://www.x-ways.net/forensics/. [Accessed: 15- Jan- 2020].

[3]”7 Best Computer Forensics Tools [Updated for 2019]”, Infosec Resources, 2020. [Online]. Available: https://resources.infosecinstitute.com/computer-forensics-tools/#gref. [Accessed: 15- Jan- 2020].

[4]”EnCase Forensic Product Overview”, OpenText Security, 2020. [Online]. Available: https://www.guidancesoftware.com/document/product-brief/encase-forensic-product-overview [Accessed: 15- Jan- 2020].

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