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The Foray into Digital Forensics

As part of  my tertiary studies I'm now working on Digital Forensics. Our latest assignment includes some steganography, some bit shifting and writing a forensic report on a made-up or actual scenario that we find or invent.

I thought it might of use to write a bit about the experience I'm having getting into this. From the course we are supplied a variety of different tools with a variety of different capabilities. Being a Linux chap, I thought it would be cool to go into the open source tools. Running ElementaryOS on laptop has made this difficult and more than a little frustrating. Perhaps because I'm not big on what the best tools are, or the install methods - but I'm experiencing annoyance. I'm currently downloading Ubuntu 14.04 Desktop to put the SANS Investigative Forensic Toolkit (SIFT) version 3 on it. Details on SIFT can be found at I'll work this later - I'm still waiting on Ubuntu to download. It doesn't help living out in the bush.

The Windows tools I have played with thus far include:

  • ProDiscover Basic
  • Hex Workshop
  • OSForensics
  • WinHEX
I've also found Notepad++ to be quite useful. It's a very powerful notepad replacement I find useful for many applications of work - find it here:

The textbook also seems pretty good - "Guide to Computer Forensics and Investigations" Nelson, Phillips and Steuart are the authors. Lots of good examples and methods for working through things. Annoyingly, but this is to be expected, it all has a US slant on it, including laws and rights. Translating them into Australian can be tricky at times. There are a lot of good resources on the Net - SANS as I've already mentioned, CERT and AusCERT aren't bad. Google is, as always, your friend.

I've spoken with some friends about this and they immediately assume its like CSI-Cyber and we use cyber to describe everything - it's a cybercrime, it's a cyberstalking, its a cyberpen I'm writing on this cyberpaper with etc. Of course it's not like that at all. Lots of painstaking attention to detail and writing a *lot* of notes. You can't blow through this stuff on a hunch - stupid TV shows seem to make it a lot easier than it is and people jump around with ideas and stuff all the time. What a bag of pish! At any rate it's fascinating stuff if you have the patience and technical background for it.

I'll update and add a post as I play with SIFT and with the particular case I'm investigating.

I have spent some time on the digital forensic reddit which has some great info and great help for people. I thank the contributors for their time and effort. Was looking through a bit list of blogs and stuff about forensics. Sad that so many of them have fallen away. There's some gold in amongst it though. On to the SIFT install!


  1. Great article. I also ca say that today security of data in internet is very important. I studied data room review and there are good variants.


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