Digital forensic tools help to investigate, preserve, extract and document computer evidence for law procedures. This article focuses on digital forensic tools.

Top 5 Open Source Digital Forensic Tools In 2021


Digital forensic tools help in investigation, identification, extraction, preservation and documentation of digital evidences. These tools deals with the collection of facts during criminal cases regarding digital evidence found on computers and other digital devices which can be used by the court of law. There are many open source digital forensic tools that help you to make forensics process simple and easy. These digital forensics software (DFS) applications generate complete reports of crime events that can be used in legal procedures. As cyber crimes flourish and evolve, law enforcement organizations need a fleet of tools to defend and investigate incidents.

Digital evidences or electronic evidence can exist on a number of different platforms and in many different forms that a party to a court case may use at trial. Whether it is an internal human resources case, an investigation into unauthorized server access or mobile devices, open source digital forensic tools will help you conduct an in-depth analysis about what is under the hood of a system. Forensic investigation includes crime-related physical evidences, analysis of network activity, fingerprints, files, emails, hard drives and sources of clues to establish how a crime took place. Using the right digital forensics tools will always help you move investigations faster and result in more productive results.

The following blog post outlines the top open source digital forensic tools in 2021 for computer forensics investigation and what security organizations should consider when buying or acquiring a popular digital forensics software (DFS) tool.

  • Mobile Verification Toolkit (MVT)
  • Wireshark
  • The Sleuth Kit And Autopsy
  • Volatility Framework
  • SANS Investigative Forensic Toolkit (SIFT)
  • Why Do You Need Digital Forensic Software?
  • Final Thoughts

1. Mobile Verification Toolkit (MVT) – Android and iOS analysis

Amnesty International has released a toolkit called Mobile Verification Toolkit or MVT to help you find forensic traces to understand whether the Pegasus spyware has targeted your IOS or Andriod phone.


  • Decrypt encrypted iOS backups.
  • Process and parse records from iOS system.
  • Extract installed applications from Android devices.
  • Extract diagnostic information from Android devices through the adb protocol.
  • Compare extracted records to a provided list of malicious indicators in STIX2 format.
  • Generate JSON logs of extracted records.
  • Separate JSON logs of all detected malicious traces.
  • Generate a unified chronological timeline of extracted records,
  • Generate a timeline all detected malicious traces.


2. Wireshark — Network protocol analysis

Wireshark is a tool that analyzes a network packet. It can be used to for network testing and troubleshooting. This tool helps you to check different traffic going through your computer system.


  • It provides rich VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) analysis.
  • Capture files compressed with gzip can be decompressed easily.
  • Output can be exported to XML (Extensible Markup Language), CSV (Comma Separated Values) file, or plain text.
  • Live data can be read from the network, blue-tooth, ATM, USB, etc.
  • Decryption support for numerous protocols that include IPsec (Internet Protocol Security), SSL (Secure Sockets Layer), and WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy).
  • You can apply intuitive analysis, coloring rules to the packet.
  • Allows you to read or write file in any format.


3. The Sleuth Kit And Autopsy — Disk analysis

Sleuth Kit & Autopsy is a Windows based utility tool that makes forensic analysis of computer systems easier. This tool allows you to examine your hard drive and smartphone.


  • You can identify activity using a graphical interface effectively.
  • This application provides analysis for emails.
  • You can group files by their type to find all documents or images.
  • It displays a thumbnail of images to quick view pictures.
  • You can tag files with the arbitrary tag names.
  • The Sleuth Kit enables you to extract data from call logs, SMS, contacts, etc.
  • It helps you to flag files and folders based on path and name.


4. Volatility Framework — Memory forensics

Volatility Framework is software for memory analysis and forensics. It is one of the best Forensic imaging tools that helps you to test the runtime state of a system using the data found in RAM. This app allows you to collaborate with your teammates.


  • It has API that allows you to lookups of PTE (Page Table Entry) flags quickly.
  • Volatility Framework supports KASLR (Kernel Address Space Layout Randomization).
  • This tool provides numerous plugins for checking Mac file operation.
  • It automatically runs Failure command when a service fails to start multiple times.


5. SANS Investigative Forensic Toolkit (SIFT) – SIFT Workstation for Ubuntu

SANS SIFT is a computer forensics distribution based on Ubuntu. It is one of the best computer forensic tools that provides a digital forensic and incident response examination facility.


  • It can work on a 64-bit operating system.
  • This tool helps users to utilize memory in a better way.
  • It automatically updates the DFIR (Digital Forensics and Incident Response) package.
  • You can install it via SIFT-CLI (Command-Line Interface) installer.
  • This tool contains numerous latest forensic tools and techniques.


Why Do You Need Digital Forensic Software?

You need digital forensics tool because it plays an important role in a comprehensive cybersecurity infrastructure. Digital forensics and cyber security work together to protect your online presence and private data information. Digital forensics software (DFS) specializes in investigating IT systems, routers or servers in the context of security events.

Digital forensics can be useful to corporations as well as law firms to identify cyber threats. Your business needs digital forensic tools to increase cyber security by reducing the risk of identity theft, fraud, and other digital crimes. Digital forensics tool collect information using complex tools in order to bring a person to justice for exploiting or tampering with private information.

Final Thoughts:

We have discussed most popular open source digital forensic tools spanning many implementations with quicker turnaround time compared to traditional methods. Data forensics tools are largely tech-driven with speedy alternative to manual analysis. These are some of the top free tools you can use for forensics. We hope you enjoyed reading through the list. In our upcoming blog articles, we’ll discuss more interesting topics about open source digital forensic tools.

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