SOLUTION: American Military University Contrasting Computer Forensics Tools Term Paper

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Introduction to Computer Forensics
This paper seeks to discuss and tear down the benefits of digital forensics tools. Giving the
similarities among the tools and differences hindering the usability of either one of them. The
paper introspects on the world of computer forensics or as modernly known as digital forensics.
Computer forensics has been described as the act of gaining information from computers after
proper investigation for legal purposes and accomplishments. Bill Nelson, and co-scholars on the
other hand, help us define computer forensics as use of computer science procedures to acquire
information from a computer legally, as evidence and to secure it for analysis through verified
tools to prepare a report (Nelson et al., 2014). There are two major types of forensics tools. They
are classified into hardware forensic tools and Software forensics tools. The named
classifications are based on other groupings of their own as will be discussed under each
category. Trending in computer forensics is a cross-discipline called cloud forensics. Although
cloud forensics is a subset of network forensics, it is a combination of the hardware forensics
tools and software forensics tool in a virtual environment of a host of machines to gather and
secure data of computers on the internet (Ruan et al., 2011).
Computer Forensics Tools
In the wake of the digital era, every item has been given a specific function. The
hardware category contains a list of tangible computer devices. The devices in this category are
used with the software category to make the best out of the investigation process. Software
forensics tools are applications or programmed executable files that help gain required access to
the said files being investigated. Bill Nelson, in his book, a guide to computer forensics and



investigations, hardware tools have been categorized further. They comprise of simple, singlepurpose and whole computer systems and servers. Forensic hardware tools on the spectrum on
this paper will include, the digital intelligence forensics recovery of evidence device (FRED),
which is the most commonly used hardware and its family associations. Software categories, on
the other end, deal with command-line and GUI based applications. Software tools are mainly
used to copy an image of the suspect’s drive (Nelson et al., 2014). When selecting any type of
forensic tool, a computer forensics investigator is expected to know their way around the tools,
knowing the architecture of the hardware tools, different drives involved, and how they work. On
the other hand, selecting a software tool may demand specificity of function. Software tools are
selected depending on the activity or type of investigation being carried out.
The forensics tools have generalized functions. These include reporting, extraction of
data, validation and verification of data, data reconstruction, acquisition, among other features.
Based on the functionality, comparisons and analysis can be made on the choice of
recommended forensics tool to use. The various subsets of functions can be clustered in fewer
classifications, especially with the modern trends that have introduced complex tools having
most functions. These will include time-saving factor, the efficiency of resource usage, the
performance of specific tools, and reliability of data, among other crucial elements. These
significant factors are discussed based on how they make an individual tool stand out, making it
superior to the rest but as well how they work together to deliver the best results. The results give
the more recommended choice of forensics tools.



Basic Functions of the Forensics Tools
Extraction is the most crucial element of the forensics process. Recovering data in a congruent
and readable format for investigation. In most instances of data investigation, data extraction or
recover of data is the first process of analysis. There are key strings or strategies for conducting a
data recovery process that makes the process easier. This includes the ability to view data in the
suspect’s drives, collecting specific data for the investigation through the use of keyword search,
decompressing data and decrypting data found. The process becomes more manageable with the
availability of subfunctions in a forensic tool. Viewing data in its original format, ability to
decrypt data as well as decompress said data are an added plus to a tool with the said
Reconstruction closely follows the extraction process binging on piecing together data in a
manner of the suspect’s image drive to elucidate the events of the crime. This involves the ability
to collect data from unal…

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