List of digital forensics tools

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During the 1980s, most digital forensic investigations consisted of "live analysis", examining digital media directly using non-specialist tools. In the 1990s, several freeware and other proprietary tools (both hardware and software) were created to allow investigations to take place without modifying media. This first set of tools mainly focused on computer forensics, although in recent years similar tools have evolved for the field of mobile device forensics.[1]

Computer forensics[edit]

Main article: computer forensics
Name Platform License Version Description
EnCase Windows proprietary 7.10 Multi-purpose forensic tool
Wireshark cross-platform GPL n/a Open-source packet capture/analyzer, backend library used is [win]pcap.
SANS Investigative Forensics Toolkit - SIFT Ubuntu 2.1 Multi-purpose forensic operating system
Internet Evidence Finder (IEF) Windows proprietary Targeted forensics tool that recovers Internet related communications and activity from hard drives and RAM captures
Registry Recon Windows proprietary Forensics tool that rebuilds Windows registries from anywhere on a hard drive and parses them for deep analysis.
EPRB Windows proprietary 1435 Set of tools for encrypted systems & data decryption and password recovery
Digital Forensics Framework Unix-like/Windows GPL 1.3 Framework and user interfaces dedicated to Digital Forensics
FTK Windows proprietary 5.1.1 Multi-purpose tool, commonly used to index acquired media.
PTK Forensics LAMP proprietary 2.0 GUI for The Sleuth Kit
The Coroner's Toolkit Unix-like IBM Public License 1.19 A suite of programs for Unix analysis
CAINE Linux Linux free/open source 6.0 Gnu/Linux computer forensics live distro.
COFEE Windows proprietary n/a A suite of tools for Windows developed by Microsoft
MailXaminer Windows proprietary n/a Complete suite of email forensic tools for Windows developed by SysTools
The Sleuth Kit Unix-like/Windows IPL, CPL, GPL 4.1.2 A library of tools for both Unix and Windows
Categoriser 4 Pictures[2] Windows freeware 4.0.2 Image categorisation tool develop, available to law enforcement
Open Computer Forensics Architecture Linux LGPL/GPL 2.3.0 Computer forensics framework for CF-Lab environment
SafeBack[3] N/a proprietary 3.0 Digital media (evidence) acquisition and backup
Windows To Go n/a proprietary n/a Bootable operating system
Shell Control Box Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, mobile proprietary 4.0 SCB inspects remote access protocols such as SSH, RDP, Telnet, or Vnc protocols. It can act as a transparent device, and also in different non-transparent ways.
Netherlands Forensic Institute / Xiraf[4] n/a proprietary n/a Computer-forensic online service.
X-Ways Forensics Windows proprietary 18.1 Multi-purpose forensic tool
ForensiCopy[5] Windows freeware 1.3 Forensic file copy tool. Copies files in a forensically sound manner preserving MAC Times and generating a log file.
BlackLight[6] Windows and Mac proprietary 2014R2.2 Multi-platform forensic analysis tool. Analyze forensic images and data from Mac, Windows, iOS and Android.
M3 Bitlocker Recovery[7] Windows freeware 4.5 Forensic tool to decrypt data from damaged, corrupted, failed, inaccessible or crashed Bitlocker encrypted drive.

Memory forensics[edit]

Main article: memory forensics

Memory forensics tools are used to acquire and/or analyze a computer's volatile memory (RAM). They are often used in incident response situations to preserve evidence in memory that would be lost when a system is shutdown, and to quickly detect stealthy malware by directly examining the operating system and other running software in memory.

Name Vendor/Sponsor Platform License
WindowsSCOPE BlueRISC Windows proprietary
Volatililty Volatile Systems Windows & Linux Free (GPL)

Mobile device forensics[edit]

Mobile forensics tools tend to consist of both a hardware and software component. Mobile phones come with a diverse range of connectors, the hardware devices support a number of different cables and perform the same role as a write blocker in computer devices.

Name Platform License Version Description
Cellebrite Mobile Forensics[8] Windows proprietary Universal Forensics Extraction Device - Hardware and Software
Secure View Mobile Forenscis Software[8] Windows proprietary Hardware/Software package
Internet Evidence Finder (IEF) Windows proprietary Targeted forensics tool that recovers 3rd party app data and native app data from smartphones and tablets
Radio Tactics Aceso[8] Windows proprietary "All-in-one" unit with a touch screen
Paraben Device Seizure[8] Windows proprietary Hardware/Software package
MicroSystemation XRY/XACT[8] Windows proprietary Hardware/Software package, specializes in deleted data
Oxygen Forensic Suite (former Oxygen Phone Manager[8]) Windows proprietary Smart forensics for smartphones
MOBILedit! Forensic[8] Windows proprietary Hardware-Connection kit/Software package
NowSecure Forensics[9] Santoku Linux (bare metal or in a VM on Mac OSX VMWare Fusion or Windows VMWare Player) proprietary 2.9 Automated filesystem, backup, and logical acquisitions of SMS, apps, contacts and more
MPE+ Mobile Phone Examiner Plus[8] Windows proprietary Universal Cell phone and Smart phone Forensics Extraction and Analysis Tool - Hardware and Software


Name Platform License Version Description
HashKeeper Windows free n/a Database application for storing file hash signatures
Evidence Eliminator Windows proprietary 6.03 Anti-forensics software, claims to delete files securely
DECAF Windows free n/a Tool which automatically executes a set of user defined actions on detecting Microsoft's COFEE tool


  1. ^ Casey, Eoghan (2004). Digital Evidence and Computer Crime, Second Edition. Elsevier. ISBN 0-12-163104-4. 
  2. ^ Sanderson, P (December 2006). "Mass image classification". Digital Investigations 3 (4): 190–195. doi:10.1016/j.diin.2006.10.010. 
  3. ^ Mohay, George M. (2003). Computer and intrusion forensics. Artechhouse. p. 395. ISBN 1-58053-369-8. 
  4. ^ Bhoedjang, R et al. (February 2012). "Engineering an online computer forensic service". Digital Investigations 9 (2): 96–108. doi:10.1016/j.diin.2012.10.001. 
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ "A free Bitlocker recovery tool: M3 Bitlocker Recovery". 
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h Mislan, Richard (2010). "Creating laboratories for undergraduate courses in mobile phone forensics". Proceedings of the 2010 ACM conference on Information technology education (ACM): 111–116. Retrieved 29 November 2010. Among the most popular tools are products named MicroSystemation GSM .XRY and .XACT, Cellebrite UFED, Susteen Secure View2, Paraben Device Seizure, Radio Tactics Aceso, Oxygen Phone Manager, and Compelson MobilEdit Forensic 
  9. ^