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Digital Forensics Overview | Understanding the BasicsAugust 22, 2021 - BY SIFS India

Digital Forensics Overview | Understanding the Basics

 Digital Forensics is the preservation, identification, birth, interpretation, and attestation of computer substantiation which can be used in a court of law. It is used to help investigate cyber crime or identify through evidence of a computer-assisted crime.

Branches of Digital Forensics

  • Network forensics
  • Firewall forensics
  • Database forensics
  • Mobile forensics

Digital Forensics help to cover from and break cases involving:

  • Theft of intellectual property
  • Financial fraud
  • Hacker system penetration
  • Distribution and prosecution of virus and worms

Challenges Faced by Digital Forensic Experts

  • The increase of PC’s and internet access has made the exchange of Information affordable.
  • Easy accessibility of hacking tools.
  • Lack of physical substantiation makes crime harder to make.
  • The large quantum of storehouse space available to suspects, up to over 10 TB.
  • Rapid technological changes necessary constant upgrades or changes to results.

   So, we can say that digital forensics:

  • Can be as simple as reacquiring a single piece of data.
  • Can be as complex as making together a trail of numerous digital objects.

Why Do We Use Digital Forensics?

  • To recover data in the event of a tackle or software failure.
  • To dissect a computer system after a break-heft, for illustration, to determine how the bushwhacker gained access and what the bushwhacker did.
  • To gather substantiation against a hand that an association wishes to terminate.
  • To gain information about how a computer system works to debug, perform optimization, or rear-engineering.

Chain of Custody

  • “Chain of Custody” is the desired method of saying. “The expertise to figure out who has checked the net instruction being given as a confirmation”.
  • Special measures should be taken when conducting a forensic inspection if it's applicable for the results to be used in a court of law.
  • One of the most important measures is to assure that the proof has been correctly collected and that there is an understandable chain of custody from the scene of the crime to the investigator and basically to the court

5 Steps in Performing Digital Forensics

  • Preparation (of the analyst, not the details)
  • Collection (the data)
  • Digital Evidence can be collected from many obvious sources such as computers, cell phones, digital computers, hard drives, CD-ROM, and USB storage flash drives.
  • Examination
  • Analysis
  • Reporting

Computer Forensic Tools Categories

These are the main types of digital forensic tools:

  • Disk forensic
  • Network forensic
  • Wireless forensic
  • Database forensic
  • Malware forensic
  • Email forensic
  • Memory forensic
  • Mobile phone forensic

Some Digital Forensics Tools

  • Disk Analysis: Autopsy/The Sleuth Kit
  • Image Creation: FTK Imager
  • Memory Forensics: Volatility
  • Windows Registry analysis: Registry Recon
  • Mobile Forensics: Cellebrite UFED
  • Network Analysis: Wireshark
  • Linux Distributions: CAINE
  • ProDiscover Forensic
  • EnCase
  • Registry Recon

The Best Digital Forensic Software Tools

There are some top digital forensic software tools which include;

  • ProDiscover Forensic
  • Sleuth Kit
  • EnCase
  • FTK Imager
  • Wireshark
  • Volatility Framework

Characteristics of Digital Forensics

Digital forensics is typically related to the detection and prevention of cyber crime.

It is associated with digital security therein both are focused on digital incidents.

While digital security focuses on preventative measures, digital forensics focuses on mechanic measures.

Digital forensics can be broken up into the following branches:

Disk Forensics: It deals with bringing out data from cache media by searching active, modified, or deleted folders.

Network Forensics: It is a section of digital forensics. It is related to monitoring and analysis of computer network stoppage to collect important information and legal documentation.

Wireless Forensics: It is a sub-discipline of network forensics. The main target of wireless forensics is to offers the tools need to collect and inspect the data from wireless network stoppage.   

Database Forensics: It is a branch of digital forensics relating to the study and examination of databases and their linked metadata.

Malware Forensics: This branch deals with the identification of destructive cipher, to study their payload, viruses, worms, etc. 

Email Forensics: Deals with recovery and analysis of emails, including deleted emails, agenda, and connection.

Memory Forensics: It deals with gathering data from system disk (system registers, cache, RAM) in raw form and afterward abstraction of the data from Raw dump. 

Mobile Phone Forensics: It mostly deals with the examination and analysis of mobile equipment. It helps to recover phone and SIM data, call logs, incoming, and outgoing SMS/MMS, Audio, etc.

Peer-to-peer file sharing is the soft area targeted by criminals.

Mobile device forensics is a recently developing branch of digital forensics relating to the recovery of digital documentation from a mobile device. The digital medium has enhanced the essential area for electronic mail hacking.

Uses of Digital Forensics

In recent times, remunerative organizations have used digital forensics in the following a type of cases:

  • Intellectual property piracy
  • Industrial reconnaissance
  • Employment contend
  • Fraud inspection
  • Irrelevant use of the internet and electronic-mail in the industry
  • Fraud related matters
  • Bankruptcy analysis
  • Issues concerned the governing compliance

Advantages of Digital Forensics

These, are the pros/benefits of digital forensics:

  • To confirm the ethics of the computer network.
  • To produce documentation in the court, can lead to a penalty for the criminal.
  • It helps the companies to capture important information if their computer administration or networks are negotiated.
  • Expertly traces down cyber criminals from all over the world.
  • Helps to secure the association's finances and beneficial time.
  • Allows evoking, processing, and interpreting the factual documentation, so it proves the cyber criminal actions in the court.

Disadvantages of Digital Forensics

These, are major cos/deficiency of using Digital Forensic

  • Digital documentation accepted into court. But it must be proved that there is no tampering.
  • Producing electronic records and storing them is an extremely expensive affair.
  • A legal professionals must have exclusive computer knowledge.
  • Need to produce authentic and impressive documentation.
  • If the tool used for digital forensics is not according to specified typical, further in the court of law, the documentation can be disapproved by justice.
  • A lack of high-tech knowledge by the examining officer might not offer a convenient result.


Digital forensics may be a multi-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary field encompassing diverse disciplines like criminology, law, ethics, computer engineering, knowledge, and communication technology (ICT), computing, and forensic science. It is the method of uncovering and interpreting electronic data so as preserve any evidence in its most original form. Colleges and universities around the world have begun to offer courses in DF within the information security curriculum at undergraduate and graduate levels.

The Digital Forensic Research Workshop (DFRWS) has contributed quite the other organization to research and development in digital forensics. It has organized annual open workshops dedicated to digital forensics since 2001.


Introduction to Digital Forensics

Digital Forensics | Private Investigators

As a non-profit organization, DFRWS (/ sponsors a peer-reviewed online International Journal of Digital Evidence (

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