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Authors: David Byers and Nahid Shahmehri
Title: Disk Imaging Evaluation: EnCase 6.8/LinEn 6.1
Language: English
Volume: 13
Issue: 1

Good tools are critical to successful examination of digital evidence, yet the quality of such tools is very often an unknown. Independent testing is currently the only way to assess the performance and quality of the tools available to digital forensic examiners, and independent testing is critical in order to know whether tools deliver what they promise, and to assess the level of trust one can place in them.
   This project has aimed to thoroughly assess the quality of the disk imaging functionality in EnCase 6.8 and LinEn 6.1 under a variety of conditions and with respect to the requirements of Swedish law enforcement. The project has been conducted in four phases: survey, requirements, test planning and testing and analysis.
   Details of the project results are published in separate reports related to each phase. The overall conclusions are as follows:

  • No independent, public evaluations of EnCase version 6 other than this one exist.
  • EnCase 6.8 performs as expected on the Windows platform when using a hardware write blocker. Operation without a write blocker was not assessed, as this was not a requirement. Hidden sectors were, as expected, not acquired.
  • LinEn 6.1 performs as expected only when operating in “BIOS mode”, but fails many tests when operating under “direct ATA mode”. Hidden sectors were, as expected, not acquired in “BIOS mode”.

Based on the test results, we conclude that provided the limitation of not acquiring hidden sectors is acceptable, EnCase 6.8 is an adequate tool for imaging ATA drives when using a hardware write blocker, whereas LinEn 6.1 should be avoided if complete and accurate acquisition is a desired.
   All the work was conducted by experienced staff in test labs belonging to the Security and Networks group within the Division for Database and Information Techniques (ADIT) at the Department of Computer and Information Science (IDA) at Linköping University under the supervision of Professor Nahid Shahmehri.

Linköping, March 5, 2008

David Byers        Professor Nahid Shahmehri
Project manager Head of division
davby@ida.liu.se      nahsh@ida.liu.se
Publisher: Linköping University Electronic Press
Year: 2008
Available: 2009-02-16
No. of pages: 455
Series: Linköping Electronic Articles in Computer and Information Science
ISSN (online): 1401-9841

Responsible for this page: Peter Berkesand
Last updated: 2017-02-21