What is Digital Forensics?

Digital Forensics is defined as the process of preservation, identification, extraction, and documentation of computer evidence which can be used by the court of law. It is a science of finding evidence from digital media like a computer, mobile phone, server, or network. It provides the forensic team with the best techniques and tools to solve complicated digital-related cases.

Digital Forensics helps the forensic team to analyzes, inspect, identifies, and preserve the digital evidence residing on various types of electronic devices.

Objectives of computer forensics:

Here are the essential objectives of using Computer forensics:

It helps to recover, analyze, and preserve computer and related materials in such a manner that it helps the investigation agency to present them as evidence in a court of law.

It helps to postulate the motive behind the crime and identity of the main culprit.

Designing procedures at a suspected crime scene which helps you to ensure that the digital evidence obtained is not corrupted.

Data acquisition and duplication: Recovering deleted files and deleted partitions from digital media to extract the evidence and validate them.

Helps you to identify the evidence quickly, and also allows you to estimate the potential impact of the malicious activity on the victim

Producing a computer forensic report which offers a complete report on the investigation process.

Preserving the evidence by following the chain of custody.

Process of Digital forensics:

Identification

It is the first step in the forensic process. The identification process mainly includes things like what evidence is present, where it is stored, and lastly, how it is stored (in which format).

Electronic storage media can be personal computers, Mobile phones, PDAs, etc.

Preservation

In this phase, data is isolated, secured, and preserved. It includes preventing people from using the digital device so that digital evidence is not tampered with.

Analysis

In this step, investigation agents reconstruct fragments of data and draw conclusions based on evidence found. However, it might take numerous iterations of examination to support a specific crime theory.

Documentation

In this process, a record of all the visible data must be created. It helps in recreating the crime scene and reviewing it. It Involves proper documentation of the crime scene along with photographing, sketching, and crime-scene mapping.

Presentation

In this last step, the process of summarization and explanation of conclusions is done.

However, it should be written in a layperson’s terms using abstracted terminologies. All abstracted terminologies should reference the specific details.

Types of Digital Forensics

Three types of digital forensics are:

Disk Forensics:

It deals with extracting data from storage media by searching active, modified, or deleted files.

Network Forensics:

It is a sub-branch of digital forensics. It is related to monitoring and analysis of computer network traffic to collect important information and legal evidence.

Wireless Forensics:

It is a division of network forensics. The main aim of wireless forensics is to offers the tools need to collect and analyze the data from wireless network traffic.

Database Forensics:

It is a branch of digital forensics relating to the study and examination of databases and their related metadata.

Malware Forensics:

This branch deals with the identification of malicious code, to study their payload, viruses, worms, etc.

Email Forensics

Deals with recovery and analysis of emails, including deleted emails, calendars, and contacts.

Memory Forensics:

It deals with collecting data from system memory (system registers, cache, RAM) in raw form and then carving the data from Raw dump.

Mobile Phone Forensics:

It mainly deals with the examination and analysis of mobile devices. It helps to retrieve phone and SIM contacts, call logs, incoming, and outgoing SMS/MMS, Audio, videos, etc.

Example Uses of Digital Forensics

In recent time, commercial organizations have used digital forensics in following a type of cases:

Intellectual Property theft

Industrial espionage

Employment disputes

Fraud investigations

Inappropriate use of the Internet and email in the workplace

Forgeries related matters

Bankruptcy investigations

Issues concern with the regulatory compliance

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