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Acquisition refers to the process of collecting and preserving digital evidence in a forensically sound manner from various sources such as laptops, mobile devices, hard and solid state drives (HD SSD), and networks. The goal of acquisition is to ensure that the collected evidence is authentic, reliable, and admissible in legal proceedings. The process involves several critical steps and considerations to maintain the integrity of the evidence.

Key Steps in the Acquisition Process:

    • Preparation:
      • Identify the Scope: Determine the type of data needed, the devices to be examined, and the legal authority for the acquisition.
      • Plan the Acquisition: Develop a plan that outlines the methods and tools to be used, taking into account the specific characteristics of the devices and data involved.
    • Collection:
      • Seize Devices: Secure and seize the devices that may contain relevant evidence. This might involve physically removing hard drives, mobile phones, or other storage media.
      • Prevent Data Alteration: Use write-blocking hardware or software to prevent any modifications to the original data during the acquisition process.
    • Imaging:
      • Create Forensic Images: Generate bit-for-bit copies or forensic images of the storage media. This process captures every bit of data from the source device, including hidden, deleted, and residual data.
      • Verify Integrity: Use cryptographic hash functions (e.g., MD5, SHA-1, SHA-256) to create hash values of the original and copied data. These hashes must match to confirm the integrity of the forensic image.
    • Documentation:
      • Record Details: Document every step of the acquisition process, including the tools and methods used, the date and time of the acquisition, and any observations or anomalies.
      • Chain of Custody: Maintain a detailed chain of custody log to track the handling and transfer of the evidence from the moment of acquisition to its presentation in court.

Considerations for Different Sources:

  • Laptops and Desktops: These devices typically contain hard drives or solid-state drives that store vast amounts of user data, operating system files, and application data.
  • Mobile Devices: Mobile phones and tablets store data differently, often using embedded memory chips and proprietary file systems. Special tools and techniques may be required to access and image this data.
  • External Storage Media: Memory cards, USB drives, and other external storage devices are common sources of digital evidence. These should be imaged in a manner similar to internal drives.
  • Network Data: Capturing data from network traffic, cloud services, or remote servers involves additional complexities. Network acquisition may require specialized tools to capture packet data, logs, and other relevant information.

By following these steps and considerations, forensic investigators can ensure that the acquisition process preserves the integrity of the digital evidence, allowing it to be used effectively in legal and investigative contexts.


Analysis is the systematic examination and evaluation of the acquired digital evidence to identify relevant information and draw logical conclusions. The process involves techniques such as searching for specific files, file system analysis, extracting metadata, log analysis, timeline analysis, recovering deleted data, identifying patterns or anomalies, and malware analysis to reconstruct events and uncover potential evidence


Anonymity is the state of being unknown or unrecognized, particularly in relation to one's identity or location. It is often associated with privacy and the protection of personal information.

There are various ways in which anonymity can be achieved, both online and offline. Some examples include:

  1. Using a pseudonym: A pseudonym is a name that is different from one's legal name. By using a pseudonym, individuals can protect their identity and keep their personal information private. For example, an author may use a pseudonym to publish their work without revealing their real name.

  2. Using a virtual private network (VPN): A VPN is a service that encrypts internet traffic and routes it through a remote server, allowing users to access the internet anonymously. This can be useful for individuals who want to protect their online activity from being monitored or tracked.

  3. Using the Tor network: The Tor network is a system designed to allow anonymous communication. It routes traffic through a series of randomly-selected servers, known as "relays", in order to obscure the identity and location of the user. This can be useful for individuals who want to access content or communicate anonymously.

  4. Wearing a mask or disguise: In some cases, anonymity may be achieved by physically concealing one's identity. For example, protestors may wear masks or disguises in order to protect themselves from retribution or identification.

Overall, anonymity is an important aspect of privacy and can be useful for individuals who wish to protect their personal information or exercise their right to free expression without fear of retribution. However, it is important to note that anonymity can also be used for illegal or malicious purposes, and should be used with caution.


Course: CSI Linux Certified OSINT Analyst | CSI Linux Academy
Course: CSI Linux Certified Social Media Investigator | CSI Linux Academy
Course: CSI Linux Certified Dark Web Investigator | CSI Linux Academy
Course: CSI Linux Certified Covert Comms Specialist (CSIL-C3S) | CSI Linux Academy


Advanced persistent threats (APTs) are a type of cyber attack featuring sophisticated malicious actors that target victims for a long period of time, compromising their system and confidential information. Such attackers usually initiate their attack with a phishing email, initial contact, or social engineering, and then use the access that they gain to continuously probe systems and networks for more access. Once a cybercriminal has access to a system, they may remain for months or even years, siphoning data and compromising other networks, applications, and accounts.

Examples of Advanced Persistent Threats:

  1. Stuxnet: Stuxnet is a computer worm that was initially used in 2010 to target Iran's nuclear weapons program. It gathered information, damaged centrifuges, and spread itself. It was thought to be an attack by a state actor against Iran.
  2. Duqu: Duqu is a computer virus developed by a nation state actor in 2011. It's similar to Stuxnet and it was used to surreptitiously gather information with the goal of infiltrating networks and sabotage their operations.
  3. DarkHotel: DarkHotel is a malware campaign that targeted hotel networks in Asia, Europe and North America in 2014. The attackers broke into hotel Wi-Fi networks and used the connections to infiltrate networks of their guests, who were high profile corporate executives. They stole confidential information from their victims and also installed malicious software on victims' computers.
  4. MiniDuke: MiniDuke is a malicious program from 2013 that is believed to have originated from a state-sponsored group. Its goal is to infiltrate into the target organizations and steal confidential information through a series of malicious tactics.
  5. APT28: APT28 is an advanced persistent threat group that is believed to be sponsored by a nation state. It uses tactics such as spear phishing, malicious website infiltration and password harvesting to target government and commercial organizations.
  6. OGNL: OGNL, or Operation GeNIus Network Leverage, is a malware-focused campaign believed to have been conducted by a nation state actor. It is used to break into networks and steal confidential information, such as credit card numbers, financial records, and social security numbers.


In the context of digital forensics, an audit refers to the methodical and systematic review and evaluation to a) assess compliance with security policies, regulations, and industry standards, b) identify potential vulnerabilities or threats, and c) ensure the integrity and accountability of digital systems and data. Activities include examinations of system logs, access records, and configurations.


Black Market

One of the most well-known examples of illegal activity on the dark web is the existence of black markets. Black markets are online platforms where illegal goods and services can be bought and sold, often using cryptocurrency for anonymity.

One of the most famous black markets on the dark web was the Silk Road, which was launched in 2011 and shut down by the FBI in 2013. The Silk Road was a platform for the sale of illegal drugs, as well as other illicit items such as stolen credit card numbers and fake documents. The website was accessed through the Tor network and transactions were made using Bitcoin to maintain anonymity.

The Silk Road gained notoriety due to its size and the variety of illegal items available for purchase. It was estimated to have had over 100,000 users and millions of dollars in annual sales. The operator of the Silk Road, Ross Ulbricht, was eventually arrested and sentenced to life in prison for his role in the website.

While the Silk Road has been shut down, other black markets continue to operate on the dark web. These include the Evolution market, which was shut down in 2015, and the AlphaBay market, which was shut down in 2017. These markets offer a wide range of illegal goods and services, including drugs, weapons, and stolen personal information.

The existence of black markets on the dark web highlights the potential for illegal activity on this hidden part of the internet. While the dark web can be used for legitimate purposes, it is important for law enforcement agencies to monitor and shut down illegal operations such as black markets in order to maintain the rule of law.


Course: CSI Linux Certified Dark Web Investigator | CSI Linux Academy

Blue Team

A blue team is a group of professionals responsible for network defense within an organization. They use various security measures to prevent, detect, and respond to intrusions, malicious activities, and other cyberthreats. The blue team monitors network traffic to detect threats, implements protective measures such as firewalls and intrusion prevention systems, and performs vulnerability scans to detect weaknesses. They also maintain a system of active logs and records that can be used for investigation and forensics when an attack is detected. The blue team also educates users on best security practices and trains staff on security processes and technologies. The goal of the blue team is to keep the network and IT infrastructure safe from attack and compromise, constantly monitor the system for threats, and respond quickly and appropriately if an attack is detected.

Booting Linux

The Linux boot process refers to the sequence of events that occur when a Linux system is started up. There are several steps involved in this process, including the loading of the bootloader, the kernel, and the initial ramdisk.

One common bootloader used in Linux systems is GRUB (GRand Unified Bootloader). GRUB is responsible for loading the Linux kernel and initial ramdisk, as well as providing a menu of boot options for the user to choose from.

When a Linux system is powered on, the BIOS (Basic Input/Output System) or UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) system performs a series of checks and initializes the hardware. The BIOS or UEFI system then looks for a bootable device, such as a hard drive or USB drive, and transfers control to the bootloader on that device.

Once the bootloader is loaded, it displays a menu of boot options to the user. This menu can include options such as "normal boot,""recovery mode," or "safe mode." The user can select an option using their keyboard or the default option will be selected after a certain amount of time has passed.

Once the user has selected an option, the bootloader loads the Linux kernel and initial ramdisk into memory. The kernel is responsible for starting the operating system and initializing the hardware. The initial ramdisk is a small file system that contains necessary files and drivers needed to boot the system.

After the kernel and initial ramdisk are loaded, the boot process is handed over to the init system, which is responsible for starting other processes and services necessary for the system to function.

In summary, the Linux boot process involves the loading of the BIOS or UEFI system, the bootloader, the kernel, and the initial ramdisk, and the initialization of the init system. GRUB2 is a commonly used bootloader in Linux systems, and can provide a menu of boot options for the user to choose from.

Booting Mac

The Mac boot process is the sequence of events that occurs when a Mac computer is turned on or restarted. The process involves the loading and initialization of the operating system, as well as the loading of any necessary drivers and services.

The first step in the Mac boot process is the power-on self-test (POST). This is a diagnostic procedure that checks the basic functionality of the computer's hardware, such as the processor, memory, and disk drives. If any issues are detected during the POST, the computer may display an error message or be unable to boot.

Next, the Mac's firmware, which is the software that controls the hardware, begins to load. The firmware checks the bootable devices, such as the hard drive or USB drive, to determine which one to boot from. If the firmware cannot find a bootable device, it may display a "no bootable device" error message.

Once the bootable device is found, the firmware loads the bootloader, which is a small program that loads the operating system. On a Mac, the bootloader is called "boot.efi" and is located on the hard drive or USB drive.

The bootloader loads the operating system kernel, which is the central part of the operating system that controls the hardware and communicates with the rest of the operating system. The kernel then loads the rest of the operating system and any necessary drivers or services.

Once the operating system is fully loaded, the Mac is ready for use.

In addition to the normal boot process, Macs also have a feature called target mode, which allows the computer to be used as an external hard drive for another computer. To enter target mode, the user must restart the Mac and hold down the "T" key while the boot process is occurring. This will cause the Mac to boot into target mode, which allows the computer to be accessed as an external hard drive by another computer. Target mode is often used for transferring files between the two systems or for performing a clean install of the operating system.

Overall, the Mac boot process involves the loading and initialization of the operating system and necessary drivers and services, and may include the use of target mode to access the computer as an external hard drive.

Booting Windows

The Windows boot process is the series of steps that occur when a computer is powered on and begins to load the operating system. The boot process involves the interaction between hardware components, such as the motherboard and processor, and software components, such as the BIOS or UEFI and the operating system.

There are two main types of BIOS (Basic Input/Output System) that can be used in the Windows boot process: legacy BIOS and UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface). Legacy BIOS is the traditional BIOS system that has been used in computers for many years. UEFI is a newer system that replaces the legacy BIOS and provides additional features such as support for larger hard drives and faster boot times.

The Windows boot process with BIOS typically follows the following steps:

  1. Power on: When the computer is powered on, the BIOS begins to load.

  2. POST (Power On Self Test): The BIOS performs a series of checks to ensure that the hardware components are functioning properly.

  3. Boot sequence: The BIOS looks for bootable devices, such as a hard drive or USB drive, and selects the first one in the boot order.

  4. MBR (Master Boot Record): The BIOS loads the MBR, which is a small piece of code at the beginning of the bootable device. The MBR contains a bootloader, which is a program that loads the operating system.

  5. Operating system: The bootloader loads the operating system and hands control over to it.

The Windows boot process with UEFI follows a similar sequence, but with some additional steps. UEFI has a built-in boot manager that allows users to select the boot device and provides additional options, such as booting into the BIOS or booting from a USB drive. The UEFI boot process also includes a secure boot feature, which verifies that the operating system has not been tampered with before loading it.

Overall, the Windows boot process involves the interaction between hardware and software components in order to load the operating system and begin the boot process. The type of BIOS, either legacy BIOS or UEFI, can affect the specific steps in the boot process.

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