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John Martin
John Martin

Forensic Toolkit

Create full-disk forensic images and process a wide range of data types from many sources, from hard drive data to mobile devices, network data and Internet storage, all in a centralized, secure database. FTK processes and indexes data upfront, eliminating wasted time waiting for searches to execute. Cut down on OCR time by up to 30% with our efficient OCR engine.

Forensic Toolkit


Forensic Toolkit, or FTK, is a computer forensics software made by AccessData. It scans a hard drive looking for various information.[1] It can, for example, potentially locate deleted emails[2] and scan a disk for text strings to use them as a password dictionary to crack encryption.[3]

FTK is also associated with a standalone disk imaging program called FTK Imager. This tool saves an image of a hard disk in one file or in segments that may be later on reconstructed. It calculates MD5 and SHA1 hash values and can verify the integrity of the data imaged is consistent with the created forensic image. The forensic image can be saved in several formats, including DD/raw, E01, and AD1.[4]

Forensic Toolkit (FTK) is computer forensics software, created by AccessData. It is a court-accepted, digital investigations software that includes many features and capabilities such as full-disk forensic images, decrypt files and crack passwords, parse registry files, collect, process and analyze datasets, and advanced volatile memory analysis. FTK is recognized as the standard toolkit for cyber defense forensic analysts, incident responders and other professionals working or collected forensic evidence.This path will cover the basic tools within the FTK suite - FTK Imager, Registry Viewer and Password Recovery Toolkit (PRTK.) Then dive into use cases and analysis with FTK Suite.

iOS Forensic Toolkit 8 for Mac introduces a new extraction method for select iOS devices based on the modified bootloader. The new extraction method is the cleanest yet, enabling repeatable, verifiable extractions and forensically sound workflow.

The HomePod is now fully supported with the forensically sound checkm8 extraction process regardless of the version of iOS installed on the device. Accessing information stored in the first-generation HomePod requires a specific set of tools and steps, including partial disassembly and the use of a custom 3D-printable USB adapter.

The forensically sound bootloader-level extraction process is available for multiple Apple devices ranging from the ancient iPhone 4 all the way up to the iPhone X, a large number of iPad, iPod Touch, Apple Watch S3, and Apple TV models. The newly developed checkm8 extraction process supports the widest range of major OS releases in three different flavors (iOS, tvOS, watchOS) for three different architectures (arm64, armv7, armv7k).

Better yet, agent-based extraction is completely safe as it neither modifies the system partition nor remounts the file system while performing automatic on-the-fly hashing of information being extracted. Agent-based extraction does not make any changes to user data, offering forensically sound extraction.

Both the file system image and all keychain records are extracted and decrypted. The agent-based extraction method delivers solid performance and results in forensically sound extraction. Removing the agent from the device after the extraction takes one push of a button.

(1) The passcode unlock and forensically sound, checkm8-based extraction are available for the iPhone 4s, iPod Touch 5, iPad 2 and 3 devices via a custom flashed Raspberry Pi Pico board, which is used to apply the exploit. The firmware image is provided with iOS Forensic Toolkit; the Pico board is not supplied.

FTK is intended to be a complete computer forensics solution. It gives investigators an aggregation of the most common forensic tools in one place. Whether you are trying to crack a password, analyze emails, or look for specific characters in files, FTK has got you covered. And, to sweeten the pot further, it comes with an intuitive GUI to boot.

Evidence visualization is an up-and-coming paradigm in computer forensics. Rather than analyzing textual data, forensic experts can now use various data visualization techniques to generate a more intuitive picture of a case. FTK empowers such users, with timeline construction, cluster graphs, and geolocation.

A traditional strong suit of Access Data has been its ample support through documentation and tutorials. The most relevant resources available on the web regarding FTK are those provided by Access Data itself on its Knowledge Library page. Here, you will find video tutorials on FTK, as well as additional forensic techniques. You can also look at brochures, infographics, and even eBooks to maximize your experience with FTK. Besides first-party support, you may also want to look at external resources like these.

FTK is the first software suite that comes to mind when discussing digital forensics. The toolkit offers a wide range of investigative capabilities, enabling professionals to tackle wide-ranging problems. In this article, we saw some of the core features that FTK offers, as well as its accompanying disk imaging solution, FTK Imager. We hope the knowledge you gained from this article helps you become a better forensic specialist.

Over the last few years, advances in massively parallel sequencing technologies (also referred to next generation sequencing) and bioinformatics analysis tools have boosted our knowledge on the human microbiome. Such insights have brought new perspectives and possibilities to apply human microbiome analysis in many areas, particularly in medicine. In the forensic field, the use of microbial DNA obtained from human materials is still in its infancy but has been suggested as a potential alternative in situations when other human (non-microbial) approaches present limitations. More specifically, DNA analysis of a wide variety of microorganisms that live in and on the human body offers promises to answer various forensically relevant questions, such as post-mortem interval estimation, individual identification, and tissue/body fluid identification, among others. However, human microbiome analysis currently faces significant challenges that need to be considered and overcome via future forensically oriented human microbiome research to provide the necessary solutions. In this perspective article, we discuss the most relevant biological, technical and data-related issues and propose future solutions that will pave the way towards the integration of human microbiome analysis in the forensic toolkit.

Some of this software has been further enhanced and released as commercial forensic software with thousands of licences sold worldwide. Please Note: The Sanderson Forensics suite of tools has been designed to retrieve and process small to medium datasets that are normally found on devices such as cellphones, computers, and other IoT devices, and are not intended for large-scale databases.

Sanderson Forensics provides the SQLite forensics community with a host of resources to help them in their database analysis and investigation. Scroll through our support articles, community forum threads, or join the Google Group to find the answers to commonly asked questions, help with troubleshooting, and much more.

SQLite Forensic Explorer provides an unparalleled view into the structure and workings of SQLite at a file-level and is invaluable to forensic investigators who want to know more about the structure of a database, including; examining unused spaces in tables and indexes, viewing how each record in encoded and stored in a table or index, exploring the free list and every page within it, and much more.

One of the distinctions that we still find in cyberforensics is between media forensics and network forensics. While mobile devices once were treated entirely separately from computer disks, today it is common to find these two capabilities combined in a single tool. Such is the case with FTK, the venerable pioneer in the computer forensics world. FTK has been a staple in our lab for years and we were eager to see what the latest release brought us. We were not disappointed.

This year we saw the inclusion of ElasticSearch, which empowers some analytics that significantly extend the tool's usefulness. Data from the internet, the local area network, mobile devices and computer disks all can be combined into a single case. So, while this is not specifically a network tool, it has plenty of power and capability to consume and analyze network data, especially in the context of other enterprise-wide forensic data.

Another feature that we have used before but has come back in this release with a lot of analytic power is Cerberus. This dog has a lot more than the three heads of the guardian at the gates of Hades. He can catch and analyze pretty much any malware that might appear in the case. While this is not pure reverse engineering as we might see with tools such as IdaPro, it is so close that for forensic purposes it is far more than adequate. Cerberus starts by identifying suspicious files. It then performs an analysis that gives actionable intelligence about the suspicious file. This is a multi-stage process. With each stage the data becomes more granular. Cerberus is an option but, certainly, one we would advise getting.

In Learn Computer Forensics: Your one-stop guide to searching, analyzing, acquiring, and securing digital evidence, computer forensic investigator and author William Oettinger teaches new and experienced investigators everything they need to search for and analyze digital evidence, including which software and hardware to consider. 041b061a72


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