Network Forensics Tools and Software [Updated 2024]

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Network Forensics Tools and Software [Updated 2024]

Network Forensics Tools and Software can help forensic investigators solve cyber attack cases faster by identifying the evidence left by the adversaries. Moreover, this article will teach you how network forensics tools and software prevent more cyberattacks from occurring.

Daily, people confront cyberattacks in the world without the preparation of any security measures or data backup which takes a lot of time and effort for the professionals to get the systems and servers back to work. Let’s continue!

What is a Network Forensic Tool?

Network security experts and digital forensic investigators employ network forensic tools as software or hardware applications to gather, monitor, examine, and preserve digital evidence from computer networks and networked devices.

Through the analysis of network traffic, the detection of anomalies, and the recovery of important data for judicial and investigative purposes, these technologies aid in the investigation of security incidents, cybercrimes, and network-related problems.

There are many different types of network forensic tools that offer a wide variety of functionality for network investigation and evidence gathering.

What are the types of network forensics?

In order to look into security incidents, network breaches, and other cybercrimes, network traffic and activities must be

  1. Captured,
  2. Recorded, and

There are several types of network forensics:

S.No. Types Facilities
1. Full Packet Capture (FPC) It entails recording and archiving all network traffic information, including packet contents, for further study.

This makes it beneficial for in-depth investigations since it enables investigators to reconstruct network sessions and study the entire transmission.

2. Session Data Analysis The goal of this kind of network forensics is to record and examine data about network sessions, such as

a)      Session Metadata,

b)      Session Initiation, and

c)       Termination Details.

It aids investigators in comprehending communication patterns and flow.

3. Log Analysis Log-based network forensics entails the examination of logs produced by various network devices, including

a)      Routers,

b)      Firewalls, and

c)       Intrusion Detection Systems.

These logs can offer useful information regarding security incidents and network occurrences.

4. Network Flow Analysis Network flow data is a collection of compiled details on network connections, including

a)      Source & Destination IP Addresses,

b)      Ports, and

c)       Data Transfer Rates.

Network traffic abnormalities and trends can be found with the aid of flow analysis.

5. Protocol Analysis Examining network traffic at the protocol level is the main goal of protocol analysis.

In order to understand how communication works and identifying any protocol-specific anomalies or assaults, entails analyzing and understanding network protocols.

6. Payload Analysis Payload analysis entails looking at the information included in network packets to determine

a)      Malicious Payloads,

b)      Malware, or

c)       Data Exfiltration Attempts.

It is especially important for identifying and reducing cyber risks.

7. Time-Based Analysis Network forensics might entail looking at network data over a predetermined time period to spot any suspicious or out-of-the-ordinary activity.

Reconstructing incidents requires careful attention to timelines and event sequences.

8. Pattern Analysis Pattern analysis scans network traffic for recurrent patterns or trends that could point to illegal activity or security flaws.

Pattern recognition frequently makes use of statistical analysis and machine learning.

9. Incident Response A key element of incident response is network forensics.

It minimizes possible damage by assisting companies in swiftly identifying, mitigating, and recovering from security problems.

10. Wireless Network Forensics In order to look into security lapses or unwanted access, this branch of network forensics focuses on monitoring wireless network traffic, including that of Wi-Fi and mobile networks.
11 Cloud Network Forensics Because cloud services are being adopted more widely, this kind of network forensics entails looking at occurrences and actions involving cloud-based resources, like data saved in the cloud or cloud-based apps.

Tools and Software for Network Forensic

  1. AccessData FTK

Digital forensic investigators use AccessData FTK (Forensic Toolkit), a network forensic tool, to gather, examine, and preserve digital evidence from computer networks.

The ability of specialists to study network traffic, spot anomalies, and retrieve pertinent data for legal and investigative purposes aids in the investigation of cybercrimes and security issues.

  1. Bulk Extractor

A network forensic program called Bulk Extractor is used to extract and examine digital artifacts from a variety of data sources, including

  1. Computer Networks,
  2. Storage Devices, and
  3. Digital Media.

For quickly locating and gathering data like this, it is especially helpful in digital forensics and cybersecurity investigations.

  1. Email Addresses,
  2. Credit Card Numbers,
  3. URLs, and
  4. Other potentially valuable data from large datasets.
  5. CAINE

It is a network forensic application built on the Linux operating system that is intended to help digital forensic investigators gather, examine, and preserve digital evidence from computer networks and digital devices.

To assist in the investigation of cybercrimes and other digital occurrences, it offers a complete set of tools and a user-friendly interface.

  1. Cellebrite UFED

Its main function is not as a network forensic tool. Instead, it is a thorough digital forensic tool made specifically for the extraction, analysis, and reporting of data from mobile devices.

Law enforcement and digital forensic experts frequently employ UFED to extract data from different mobile devices, such as

  1. Smartphones and
  2. EnCase

EnCase Network Forensic Tool is a piece of software used for network forensics and incident response that was created by Guidance Software, which is now a part of OpenText.

It makes it possible for cybersecurity experts and digital forensic investigators to keep an eye on and analyze network traffic, look into security issues, and gather digital evidence from networked devices.

The EnCase Network Forensic Tool aids in locating and recording network-related problems, security flaws, and other online dangers.

  1. HackerCombat

HackerCombat is a relatively unknown and underutilized piece of network forensic software. It’s likely that this tool is very new or specialized, or that it’s not well-known in the network forensics community.

I suggest examining the most recent online sources or official websites for updates and information if you want to learn more about HackerCombat or any recent advancements connected to it.

  1. HELIX3

The primary use of HELIX3 is not as a network forensic tool. A live Linux-based distribution for digital forensics and incident response is called HELIX3, also referred to as Helix3 Pro.

It is intended for use in data recovery and forensic analysis operations on computer systems and other digital devices.

It may have some network forensic capabilities, but disk and memory forensics are its main areas of interest.

  1. NetworkMiner

It is a network forensic tool made to record and examine network traffic so that important data and artifacts can be gleaned from it.

It is widely utilized by network security experts and digital forensic investigators to scan network packets and find information such

  1. Hostnames,
  2. Open Ports,
  3. Operating Systems, and
  4. Many More.

NetworkMiner is useful for examining network behavior and looking into security incidents.

  1. Paraben

Network forensic solutions are among the many digital forensic tools provided by Paraben Corporation. The network forensic tools from Paraben are made to assist investigators in gathering and examining digital evidence from networks of computers and other networked devices.

These technologies are significant resources in the fields of digital forensics and cybersecurity since they help with the detection and documenting of network-related incidents, security breaches, and other cybercrimes.

  1. ProDiscover Forensic

The main applications of the digital forensic tool ProDiscover Forensic include disk forensics and digital investigations.

It is not especially made to be a network forensic tool for analyzing network traffic or capturing data from network communication, however, it can be used to analyze data on computer hard disks and storage devices.

In legal and law enforcement investigations, ProDiscover Forensic is frequently used to assist forensic investigators in gathering and analyzing data from computer systems.

  1. Registry Recon

A digital forensic program called Registry Recon is primarily designed for Windows Registry examination. Forensic investigators use it to extract and evaluate data from the Windows Registry, which holds important user and system data.

Although it is a useful tool for forensic examination of Windows-based computers, neither network forensics nor network traffic analysis are its intended uses.

Instead, Registry Recon supports the recovery and analysis of registry artifacts from specific computer systems by investigators.


Digital forensic software distribution that is available for free and open source. It is made to help digital forensic investigators do a variety of forensic activities, such as

  1. Disk Forensics,
  2. Memory Forensics, and
  3. Network Forensics.

Despite the fact that SANS SIFT has network forensic capabilities, it is a complete toolkit that covers many different digital forensics topics, making it a useful tool for analysts and investigators.

  1. Sleuth Kit (+ Autopsy)

The Sleuth Kit and Autopsy are two open-source digital forensic tools for examining file systems and scanning disk devices.

However, Autopsy, a graphical user interface (GUI) built on top of The Sleuth Kit, has some network forensic capabilities despite the fact that these tools are largely focused on disk forensics.

It is a flexible solution for forensic investigators working on both disk- and network-related investigations because it can be used to look at network artifacts and evaluate data gathered from network traffic.

  1. Splunk

Splunk is a powerful security information and event management (SIEM) system rather than a conventional network forensic tool. Even though it is not explicitly made for network forensics, it is extremely important for network security and incident response.

It gathers and examines log data and events from numerous sources, including servers, network devices, and software. Moreover, it can also be used to track down network activity, look into security incidents, and assess network behavior.

In the larger context of network security and forensics, it is a useful tool even though it might not offer the same level of network packet capture and analysis as specialized network forensic tools.

  1. Snort

Snort is an open-source network intrusion detection system (NIDS) and intrusion prevention system (IPS), not primarily a forensic tool.

It is intended to continuously watch network traffic, examine it for irregular patterns or signatures, and notify administrators of potential security risks.

  1. Tcpdump

A common tool for network forensics and network troubleshooting is Tcpdump, a command-line network packet capture program.

On a computer or network interface, it enables users to record and examine network traffic. Tcpdump has the ability to record packets, see them in real time, and store them in a file for later analysis.

  1. Volatility

Volatility is a potent open-source memory forensics framework rather than a network forensic tool.

Using it, incident responders and digital forensic investigators can examine memory dumps from many computer systems, including

  1. Running Processes,
  2. System Artifacts, and
  3. Network-Related Information.

Volatility can assist in analyzing network-related actions and connections by looking at the artifacts stored in a system’s memory, even if it doesn’t collect network traffic like conventional network forensic tools.

It is a useful tool for looking at cyber incidents and examining how compromised systems behave.

  1. WindowsSCOPE

A software package called WindowsSCOPE is primarily intended for Windows memory forensics and analysis. It is used to look at the information in physical memory (RAM) on Windows-based computers by digital forensic investigators and incident responders.

Although it is not explicitly a network forensic tool for recording or analyzing network traffic, by looking at memory artifacts, it can aid in understanding a system’s activity, including network-related activities.

Even though WindowsSCOPE is more interested in memory forensics than network forensics, it can be a useful tool in more extensive digital investigations.

  1. Wireshark

A popular open-source network protocol analyzer is Wireshark. It is an effective network forensic tool that enables users to capture and instantly examine data packets on a network.

Network administrators and digital forensic investigators frequently utilize Wireshark for a variety of tasks, including network security monitoring, network troubleshooting, and conducting network forensics to look into security issues.

  1. Xplico

An open-source network forensic program called Xplico is used to extract and examine network traffic data.

It is made to break down and collect data from protocols like HTTP, SMTP, POP, and others, enabling network security experts and digital forensic investigators to analyse network traffic and extract pertinent data.

  1. XRY

A digital forensic program called XRY is largely targeted at mobile device forensics, including tablets and smartphones.

It is used to extract, examine, and recover data from mobile devices by law enforcement and digital forensic specialists.

Additionally, as part of its wider forensic skills, it has some capability for analyzing data pertaining to mobile network communications. Instead of network forensics, it places more of an emphasis on mobile device forensics.

  1. X-Way Forensics

This all-inclusive piece of digital forensic software is used for data recovery, file system analysis, and disk forensics on computers and storage devices.

It is also renowned for its effectiveness in handling and examining digital evidence from a variety of sources.

Industries and Users that use Network Forensic Tools?

Network forensic tools are frequently used by a variety of users and sectors, including:

  1. Law Enforcement Agencies
  2. Corporate Security Teams
  3. IT Security Professionals
  4. Digital Forensic Investigators
  5. Government Agencies
  6. Financial Institutions
  7. Healthcare Providers
  8. Telecommunication Companies
  9. Educational Institutions
  10. Managed Security Service Providers (MSSPs)
  11. Software Developers
  12. Incident Response Teams
  13. Penetration Testers and Ethical Hackers
  14. Network Administrators
  15. Compliance Officers

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Frequently Asked Questions

About the Best Network Forensic Tools and Software

  1. What are network forensic tools?

Following are some of the popular network forensics tools:

  1. AccessData FTK,
  2. Bulk Extractor,
  3. CAINE,
  4. Cellebrite UFED,
  5. EnCase,
  6. HackerCombat,
  7. HELIX3,
  8. NetworkMiner,
  9. Paraben, and
  10. ProDiscover Forensic
  1. What are the two types of forensics software tools?

Following are 2 examples of forensics software tools

  1. Volatility, and
  2. WindowsSCOPE.
  1. What are the types of network forensics?

There are several types of network forensics:

  • Full Packet Capture (FPC),
  • Session Data Analysis,
  • Log Analysis,
  • Network Flow Analysis,
  • Protocol Analysis,
  • Payload Analysis,
  • Time-Based Analysis,
  • Pattern Analysis,
  • Incident Response,
  • Wireless Network Forensics, and
  • Cloud Network Forensics.
  1. What software is used for forensic audit?

Investigating financial irregularities, fraud, and other financial crimes is crucial for forensic accountants and auditors. Several software tools are commonly used in forensic audits, including:

  1. ACL (Audit Command Language),
  2. IDEA (Interactive Data Extraction and Analysis),
  3. CaseWare IDEA Data Analysis,
  4. Tableau,
  5. Microsoft Excel,
  6. Quicken,
  7. Xero,
  8. QuickBooks,
  9. SAP Forensic Toolkit (SAPFT), and
  10. EnCase Forensic.

What is forensic software used for?

In the realm of digital forensics and investigations, it serves a number of functions. Here are five key points highlighting the uses of forensic software:

      • Evidence Collection,
      • Data Recovery,
      • Analysis and Examination,
      • Chain of Custody, and
      • Reporting and Presentation.

What is forensic analysis and tools?

In order to be used in legal processes, incident response, or investigative purposes, forensic analysis seeks to locate, recover, and interpret digital objects, events, and actions in a forensically sound manner.

Digital forensic analysts and investigators employ forensic tools, such as software programs, utilities, or hardware, to carry out forensic analysis efficiently. These tools assist in various stages of the forensic process, including

      1. Evidence Acquisition,
      2. Examination,
      3. Analysis, and
      4. Reporting

What is the best digital forensics software?

“EnCase Forensic” from OpenText is a reputable choice for digital forensics software. It is a complete and well-known digital forensic tool that provides a variety of features for gathering, examining, and summarizing digital evidence from many sources, such as

      1. Computers,
      2. Mobile Devices, and
      3. Storage Media.

Which software do we use in mobile forensics?

The following are some of the well-known mobile forensic software tools:

      1. Cellebrite UFED (Universal Forensic Extraction Device),
      2. MSAB XRY,
      3. Oxygen Forensic Detective,
      4. MOBILedit Forensic Express,
      5. Belkasoft Evidence Center,
      6. Celebrite Physical Analyzer,
      7. Autopsy, and
      8. Magnet AXIOM.

What is network forensics in cyber security?

In order to investigate security issues, cyberattacks, and network-related crimes, network forensics in cybersecurity entails the observation, capture, analysis, and preservation of network traffic and communication patterns.

In order to find abnormalities, intrusions, and unauthorized actions within a computer network, it primarily focuses on looking at data packets, network logs, and network devices.

What is forensic in cyber security?

In relation to cybercrimes, security events, or unlawful activity, it describes the procedure of gathering, examining, and archiving digital evidence.

Cybersecurity forensics uses methods and strategies to look into and comprehend the size, significance, and causes of

      1. Security Breaches,
      2. Data Breaches,
      3. Malware Infections, and
      4. Other Cyber Threats.

To support this, it seeks to ascertain the who, what, when, where, and how of digital incidents.

      • Incident Response,
      • Legal Proceedings, and
      • Preventive Measures.

What is the difference between computer forensics and network forensics?

In order to recover and evaluate digital evidence, computer forensics focuses on looking at data saved on specific computer systems and digital storage media, like hard drives and USB devices. On certain devices, it deals with

      1. Files,
      2. Information,
      3. User Activities, and
      4. Artifacts

In order to investigate security breaches and cybercrimes, network forensics focuses on the observation, recording, and analysis of communication patterns and network traffic. To find abnormalities and unauthorized activity throughout a network, it entails studying

      1. Data Packets,
      2. Network Logs, and
      3. Network Devices.

What are the 3 types of tools used by digital forensic examiners?

To conduct investigations and evaluate digital evidence, digital forensic examiners use a variety of hardware and software technologies. These tools can be categorized into three main types:

Acquisition Tools:

      • Disk Imaging Tools,
      • Memory Imaging Tools, and
      • Network Packet Capture Tools.

Analysis Tools:

      • File Analysis Tools,
      • Registry Analysis Tools,
      • Timeline Analysis Tools, and
      • Keyword and String Search Tools.

Reporting and Presentation Tools:

      • Report Generation Tools,
      • Data Visualization Tools, and
      • Presentation Software.

What are the 3 main branches of digital forensics?

The three primary subfields or branches of digital forensics typically consist of

      1. Computer Forensics,
      2. Network Forensics, and
      3. Mobile Device Forensics.

What are the three types of digital forensics?

A wide variety of investigative techniques and strategies are included in digital forensics. Although there are more than just three different kinds of digital forensics, these three are the ones that are most frequently discussed:

    1. Computer Forensics,
    2. Network Forensics, and
    3. Mobile Device Forensics.

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