Computer forensics practitioners work in a technically demanding field. As computers become more powerful day by day, they also become more difficult to decrypt and operate. With that said, computer forensics practitioners are required to stay up to date on the most current computer forensics techniques. Below you will find some of the most popular techniques that computer forensics practitioners use today.
Extracting data is one of the main jobs that computer forensics practitioners perform. Since different computers may store data differently, several methods are used to extract data from hard drives. One technique is known as “live analysis." This method uses system administrator tools to extract information from the hard drive.
Another technique, named “deleted files analysis," is used to extract data from a hard drive, even after deletion. This technique takes advantage of the fact that when deleting files, most computers do not physically delete data. Instead, the computers “forget” the data, allowing itself to write over existing data. With this knowledge, computer forensics practitioners carefully look for and extract data which might have been deleted due to their fraudulent nature.
Volatile Data Analysis
When working in computer forensics, it is crucial to understand all aspects of a computer’s memory. In terms of volatile data analysis, computer forensics practitioners may be conducting time-sensitive work, as data may be stored in the computer’s random access memory (RAM). Since data stored in the ram is destroyed once the computer turns off or processes new information, computer forensics practitioners must be able to extract information from a computer’s RAM quickly.
Computer Forensics Tools
Computer forensics practitioners have many tools at their disposal when attempting to extract data from computers. While there are a variety of tools available for use, the National Institute of Standards and Technology is the main organization which promotes the use of and innovation of computer forensics tools. The National Institute of Standards and Technology is a nonregulatory part of the United States Department of Commerce, and therefore, has no governing actions in the field. In terms of forensics tools, typical forensic analysis may involve programs which extract data, conduct keyword searches, and review Windows registries for important information.