As we step further into the digital age there has been a stronger call for digital forensic tools. With personal technology running rampant it is important to have user friendly forensic analysis devices that can be used as ‘tool kits’ for those officers and forensic technicians who have not gone through years of training to collect data at a scene. In light of all of these professional tools there is an abundance of tools for the every day user that can aid in protecting your information and vital data.
Disk imaging software – Primarily used in computer crimes. – The contents of a hard drive, along with the structure of the files, can all be traced. The way the files are organized as well as the relationship between these files is all laid out in easy to understand lines with disk imaging software. Digital imaging software can range in price from $600.00 (Forensic Digital Data Recovery Kit Pro available from ProofPronto.com) all the way up and over $5,000.000 (UNITRON enVision HD Digital Imaging System produced by the New York Microscope Company.)
Hashing Tools – Primarily used in computer crimes and identity theft. – These tools compare data present in the original hard drive to the copied data available. These analyze both original and copy while assigning numbers that must match to have a valid, non-violated copy. These can be purchased for individual things such as SIM cards for your phone for as little as $79.00 (Paraben’s SIM Card Seizure from ProofPronto).
File Recovery Programs – Primarily used by anyone, professional or otherwise. – With the help of these programs lost data can be recovered. Professionals use these programs on computers clients bring in and forensic teams use them when someone has tried to destroy the files that they need to analyze. For an every day person these Recovery programs can be purchased for as little as $12.99 for a picture recovery program off of eBay. Kits can be purchased for iPhones, zip files and more.
Software and Hardware writing tools – Primarily used by forensic analysts. – These programs can take pieces of fractured hard drive information, documents and similar things and will reconstruct then bit by bit without changing the current information present on the hard drive or in the document. These are strictly to reconstruct fractured material to it’s original state so that the analyst can further analyze on the finished, complete hard drive.
Encase Software – Primarily used by forensic analyzers and law enforcement officials. – In 1998 this commercial forensic tool was created by Guidance Software and to this day has become one of the most widely used commercial tools available. This single tool can do disk imaging, verification and analysis of data and can also scan unallocated spaces in a hard drive to check for information that may have once been deleted but is lingering or retrievable on the system itself.