Chapter 20. Ten Cool Tools for Computer Forensics

In This Chapter

  • Computer forensic software

  • Computer forensic hardware

  • Field equipment

  • Laboratory equipment

Every computer forensic gumshoe needs a set of good, solid tools to undertake a proper investigation, and the tools you use vary according to the type of investigation you're working on. The list of tools in this chapter isn't all-inclusive — and you may have your own favorites — but the ones we describe are the basic ones you should use.

Computer Forensic Software Tools

The days of hard-core computer geeks knowing every square digital inch of an operating system are years behind us. Although computer forensic professionals can now do the drudge work of scanning for evidence using nothing more than a keyboard and a hex editor, that person has access to tools that automate the work in order to use their time more effectively. In fact, modern computer forensic software can find evidence in only minutes, whereas in the "old days" the process took hours or even days! You still have to know your way around a computer, but these tools are true time-savers. Just remember that a tool is only as good as the person who uses it.


EnCase, the gold standard, is used by countless organizations for almost any computer forensic investigation. The power of this must-have item for your computer forensic toolbox, and your ability to customize it for unique searches, set it apart from most competitors.

EnCase comes built-in with many forensic features, ...

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