List of digital forensics tools

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.

Computer forensics


Main article: computer forensics
Name Platform License Version Description
Categoriser 4 Pictures[4] Windows freeware 4.0.2 Image categorisation tool develop, available to law enforcement
COFEE Windows proprietary n/a A suite of tools for Windows developed by Microsoft
Digital Forensics Framework Unix-like/Windows GPL 1.3 Framework and user interfaces dedicated to Digital Forensics
EnCase Windows proprietary 7.10 Multi-purpose forensic tool
EPRB Windows proprietary 1435 Set of tools for encrypted systems & data decryption and password recovery
FTK Windows proprietary 6.0.1 Multi-purpose tool, FTK is a court-cited digital investigations platform built for speed, stability and ease of use.
Netherlands Forensic Institute / Xiraf[6] n/a proprietary n/a Computer-forensic online service.
Open Computer Forensics Architecture Linux LGPL/GPL 2.3.0 Computer forensics framework for CF-Lab environment
OSForensics[2][3] Windows proprietary 3.3 Multi-purpose forensic tool
PTK Forensics LAMP proprietary 2.0 GUI for The Sleuth Kit
Registry Recon Windows proprietary Forensics tool that rebuilds Windows registries from anywhere on a hard drive and parses them for deep analysis.
SafeBack[5] N/a proprietary 3.0 Digital media (evidence) acquisition and backup
SANS Investigative Forensics Toolkit – SIFT Ubuntu 2.1 Multi-purpose forensic operating system
The Coroner’s Toolkit Unix-like IBM Public License 1.19 A suite of programs for Unix analysis
The Sleuth Kit Unix-like/Windows IPL, CPL, GPL 4.1.2 A library of tools for both Unix and Windows
Windows To Go n/a proprietary n/a Bootable operating system
Wireshark cross-platform GPL n/a Open-source packet capture/analyzer, backend library used is [win]pcap.

Memory forensics


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


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
MicroSystemation XRY/XACT[7] Windows proprietary Hardware/Software package, specializes in deleted data



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. Jump up^ Casey, Eoghan (2004). Digital Evidence and Computer Crime, Second Edition. Elsevier. ISBN 0-12-163104-4.
  2. Jump up^ Nelson, Bill; Phillips, Amelia; Steuart, Christopher (2015). Guide to Computer Forensics and Investigations. Cengage Learning. pp. 363, 141, 439, 421, 223, 554 ,260, 168, 225, 362.ISBN 978-1-285-06003-3.
  3. Jump up^ “OSForensics – Digital investigation for a new era by PassMark Software®”.
  4. Jump up^ Sanderson, P (December 2006). “Mass image classification”. Digital Investigations 3 (4): 190–195. doi:10.1016/j.diin.2006.10.010.
  5. Jump up^ Mohay, George M. (2003). Computer and intrusion forensics. Artechhouse. p. 395. ISBN 1-58053-369-8.
  6. Jump up^ 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.
  7. Jump up^ 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


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