Computer Hacking Forensic Investigator (CHFI)





Networking & Security
HIPAA Compliance 


Study Resources


San Francisco







Program Info


Program Info



Program Info


Program Info






Ethical Hacking


Computer Forensics





Course Description  

Computer hacking forensic investigation is the process of detecting hacking attacks and properly extracting evidence to report and prosecute the crime and to conduct audits to aid in the prevention future attacks. 

Computer forensics is the application of computer investigation and analysis techniques in the interests of determining potential legal evidence. Evidence might be sought in a wide range of computer crimes or misuse, including but not limited to:

  • Theft of trade secrets

  • Theft or destruction of intellectual property

  • Fraud. 

Computer forensics investigators draw on a wide array of methods for discovering data that resides in a computer system, or recovering deleted, encrypted, or damaged file information.

Securing and analyzing electronic evidence is a central theme in an ever increasing number of conflict situations and criminal cases. Electronic evidence is critical in the following situations:

  • Disloyal employees

  • Computer break-ins

  • Possession of pornography

  • Breach of contract

  • Industrial espionage

  • E-mail Fraud

  • Bankruptcy

  • Disputed dismissals

  • Web page defacements

  • Theft of company documents

Computer forensics enables the systematic and careful identification of evidence in computer related crime and abuse cases. This may range from tracing the tracks of a hacker through a client’s systems, to tracing the originator of defamatory emails, to recovering signs of fraud.

The CHFI course will provide participants the necessary skills to identify an intruder’s footprints and to properly gather the necessary evidence to prosecute in the court of law.

Who Should Attend

The CHFI course will benefit:

•  Police and other law enforcement personnel
•  Defense and Military personnel
•  e-Business Security professionals
•  Systems administrators
•  Legal professionals
•  Banking, Insurance and other professionals
•  Government agencies
•  IT managers


The CHFI certification is awarded after successfully passing the Prometric online EC-Council 312-49 exam.

Course Outline

Module 1 Computer Forensics and Investigations as a Profession 

  • Understanding Computer Forensics
  • Comparing Definitions of Computer Forensics
  • Exploring a Brief History of Computer Forensics
  • Developing Computer Forensics Resources
  • Preparing for Computing Investigations
  • Understanding Enforcement Agency Investigations
  • Understanding Corporate Investigations
  • Maintaining Professional Conduct

 Module 2 Understanding Computer Investigations 

  • Preparing a Computer Investigation
  • Examining a Computer Crime
  • Examining a Company-Policy Violation
  • Taking a Systematic Approach
  • Assessing the Case
  • Planning Your Investigation
  • Securing Your Evidence
  • Understanding Data-Recovery Workstations and Software
  • Setting Up Your Workstation for Computer Forensics
  • Executing an Investigation
  • Gathering the Evidence
  • Copying the Evidence Disk
  • Analyzing Your Digital Evidence
  • Completing the Case
  • Critiquing the Case

 Module 3 Working with Windows and DOS Systems 

  • Understanding File Systems
  • Understanding the Boot Sequence
  • Examining Registry Data
  • Disk Drive Overview
  • Exploring Microsoft File Structures
  • Disk Partition Concerns
  • Boot Partition Concerns
  • Examining FAT Disks
  • Examining NTFS Disks
  • NTFS System Files
  • NTFS Attributes
  • NTFS Data Streams
  • NTFS Compressed Files
  • NTFS Encrypted File Systems (EFS)
  • EFS Recovery Key Agent
  • Deleting NTFS Files
  • Understanding Microsoft Boot Tasks
  • Windows XP, 2000, and NT Startup
  • Windows XP System Files
  • Understanding MS-DOS Startup Tasks
  • Other DOS Operating Systems

 Module 4 Macintosh and Linux Boot Processes and Disk Structures 

  • Understanding the Macintosh File Structure
  • Understanding Volumes
  • Exploring Macintosh Boot Tasks
  • Examining UNIX and Linux Disk Structures
  • UNIX and Linux Overview
  • Understanding modes
  • Understanding UNIX and Linux Boot Processes
  • Understanding Linux Loader
  • UNIX and Linux Drives and Partition Scheme
  • Examining Compact Disc Data Structures
  • Understanding Other Disk Structures
  • Examining SCSI Disks
  • Examining IDE/EIDE Devices

Module 5 The Investigator's Office and Laboratory

  • Understanding Forensic Lab Certification Requirements
  • Identifying Duties of the Lab Manager and Staff
  • Balancing Costs and Needs
  • Acquiring Certification and Training
  • Determining the Physical Layout of a Computer Forensics Lab
  • Identifying Lab Security Needs
  • Conducting High-Risk Investigations
  • Considering Office Ergonomics
  • Environmental Conditions
  • Lighting
  • Structural Design Considerations
  • Electrical Needs
  • Communications
  • Fire-suppression Systems
  • Evidence Lockers
  • Facility Maintenance
  • Physical Security Needs
  • Auditing a Computer Forensics Lab
  • Computer Forensics Lab Floor Plan Ideas
  • Selecting a Basic Forensic Workstation
  • Selecting Workstations for Police Labs
  • Selecting Workstations for Private and Corporate Labs
  • Stocking Hardware Peripherals
  • Maintaining Operating Systems and Application Software Inventories
  • Using a Disaster Recovery Plan
  • Planning for Equipment Upgrades
  • Using Laptop Forensic Workstations
  • Building a Business Case for Developing a Forensics Lab
  • Creating a Forensic Boot Floppy Disk
  • Assembling the Tools for a Forensic Boot Floppy Disk
  • Retrieving Evidence Data Using a Remote Network Connection

Module 6 Current Computer Forensics Tools

  • Evaluating Your Computer Forensics Software Needs
  • Using National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Tools
  • Using National Institute of Justice (NU) Methods
  • Validating Computer Forensics Tools
  • Using Command-Line Forensics Tools
  • Exploring NTI Tools
  • Exploring Ds2dump
  • Reviewing DriveSpy
  • Exploring PDBlock
  • Exploring PDWipe
  • Reviewing Image
  • Exploring Part
  • Exploring SnapBack DatArrest
  • Exploring Byte Back
  • Exploring MaresWare
  • Exploring DIGS Mycroft v3
  • Exploring Graphical User Interface (GUI) Forensics Tools
  • Exploring AccessData Programs
  • Exploring Guidance Software EnCase
  • Exploring Ontrack
  • Using BIAProtect
  • Using LC Technologies Software
  • Exploring WinHex Specialist Edition
  • Exploring DIGS Analyzer Professional Forensic Software
  • Exploring ProDiscover DFT
  • Exploring DataLifter
  • Exploring ASRData
  • Exploring the Internet History Viewer
  • Exploring Other Useful Computer Forensics Tools
  • Exploring LTOOLS
  • Exploring Mtools
  • Exploring R-Tools
  • Using Explore2fs
  • Exploring @stake
  • Exploring TCT and TCTUTILs
  • Exploring ILook
  • Exploring HashKeeper
  • Using Graphic Viewers
  • Exploring Hardware Tools
  • Computing-Investigation Workstations
  • Building Your Own Workstation
  • Using a Write-blocker
  • Using LC Technology International Hardware
  • Forensic Computers
  • DIGS
  • Digital Intelligence
  • Image MASSter Solo
  • FastBloc
  • Acard
  • NoWrite
  • Wiebe Tech Forensic DriveDock
  • Recommendations for a Forensic Workstation

 Module 7 Digital Evidence Controls 

  • Identifying Digital Evidence
  • Understanding Evidence Rules
  • Securing Digital Evidence at an Incident Scene
  • Cataloging Digital Evidence
  • Lab Evidence Considerations
  • Processing and Handling Digital Evidence
  • Storing Digital Evidence
  • Evidence Retention and Media Storage Needs
  • Documenting Evidence
  • Obtaining a Digital Signature

 Module 8 Processing Crime and Incident Scenes 

  • Processing Private-Sector Incident Scenes
  • Processing Law Enforcement Crime Scenes
  • Understanding Concepts and Terms Used in Warrants
  • Preparing for a Search
  • Identifying the Nature of the Case
  • Identifying the Type of Computing System
  • Determining Whether You Can Seize a Computer
  • Obtaining a Detailed Description of the Location
  • Determining Who Is in Charge
  • Using Additional Technical Expertise
  • Determining the Tools You Need
  • Preparing the Investigation Team
  • Securing a Computer Incident or Crime Scene
  • Seizing Digital Evidence at the Scene
  • Processing a Major Incident or Crime Scene
  • Processing Data Centers with an Array of RAIDS
  • Using a Technical Advisor at an Incident or Crime Scene
  • Sample Civil Investigation
  • Sample Criminal Investigation
  • Collecting Digital Evidence

 Module 9 Data Acquisition 

  • Determining the Best Acquisition Method
  • Planning Data Recovery Contingencies
  • Using MS-DOS Acquisition Tools
  • Understanding How DriveSpy Accesses Sector Ranges
  • Data Preservation Commands
  • Using DriveSpy Data Manipulation Commands
  • Using Windows Acquisition Tools
  • AccessData FTK Explorer
  • Acquiring Data on Linux Computers
  • Using Other Forensics Acquisition Tools
  • Exploring SnapBack DatArrest
  • Exploring SafeBack
  • Exploring EnCase

 Module 10 Computer Forensic Analysis 

  • Understanding Computer Forensic Analysis
  • Refining the Investigation Plan
  • Using DriveSpy to Analyze Computer Data
  • DriveSpy Command Switches
  • DriveSpy Keyword Searching
  • DriveSpy Scripts
  • DriveSpy Data-Integrity Tools
  • DriveSpy Residual Data Collection Tools
  • Other Useful DriveSpy Command Tools
  • Using Other Digital Intelligence Computer Forensics Tools
  • Using PDBlock and PDWipe
  • Using AccessData's Forensic Toolkit
  • Performing a Computer Forensic Analysis
  • Setting Up Your Forensic Workstation
  • Performing Forensic Analysis on Microsoft File Systems
  • UNIX and Linux Forensic Analysis
  • Macintosh Investigations
  • Addressing Data Hiding Techniques
  • Hiding Partitions
  • Marking Bad Clusters
  • Bit-Shifting
  • Using Steganography
  • Examining Encrypted Files
  • Recovering Passwords

 Module 11 E-mail Investigations 

  • Understanding Internet Fundamentals
  • Understanding Internet Protocols
  • Exploring the Roles of the Client and Server in E-mail
  • Investigating E-mail Crimes and Violations
  • Identifying E-mail Crimes and Violations
  • Examining E-mail Messages
  • Copying an E-mail Message
  • Printing an E-mail Message
  • Viewing E-mail Headers
  • Examining an E-mail Header
  • Examining Additional E-mail Files
  • Tracing an E-mail Message
  • Using Network Logs Related to E-mail
  • Understanding E-mail Servers
  • Examining UNIX E-mail Server Logs
  • Examining Microsoft E-mail Server Logs
  • Examining Novell GroupWise E-mail Logs
  • Using Specialized E-mail Forensics Tools

Module 12 Recovering Image Files 

  • Recognizing an Image File
  • Understanding Bitmap and Raster Images
  • Understanding Vector Images
  • Metafle Graphics
  • Understanding Image File Formats
  • Understanding Data Compression
  • Reviewing Lossless and Lossy Compression
  • Locating and Recovering Image Files
  • Identifying Image File Fragments
  • Repairing Damaged Headers
  • Reconstructing File Fragments
  • Identifying Unknown File Formats
  • Analyzing Image File Headers
  • Tools for Viewing Images
  • Understanding Steganography in Image Files
  • Using Steganalysis Tools
  • Identifying Copyright Issues with Graphics

Module 13 Writing Investigation Reports 

  • Understanding the Importance of Reports
  • Limiting the Report to Specifics
  • Types of Reports
  • Expressing an Opinion
  • Designing the Layout and Presentation
  • Litigation Support Reports versus Technical Reports
  • Writing Clearly
  • Providing Supporting Material
  • Formatting Consistently
  • Explaining Methods
  • Data Collection
  • Including Calculations
  • Providing for Uncertainty and Error Analysis
  • Explaining Results
  • Discussing Results and Conclusions
  • Providing References
  • Including Appendices
  • Providing Acknowledgments
  • Formal Report Format
  • Writing the Report
  • Using FTK Demo Version

Module 14 Becoming an Expert Witness

  • Comparing Technical and Scientific Testimony
  • Preparing for Testimony
  • Documenting and Preparing Evidence
  • Keeping Consistent Work Habits
  • Processing Evidence
  • Serving as a Consulting Expert or an Expert Witness
  • Creating and Maintaining Your CV
  • Preparing Technical Definitions
  • Testifying in Court
  • Understanding the Trial Process
  • Qualifying Your Testimony and Voir Dire
  • Addressing Potential Problems
  • Testifying in General
  • Presenting Your Evidence
  • Using Graphics in Your Testimony
  • Helping Your Attorney
  • Avoiding Testimony Problems
  • Testifying During Direct Examination
  • Using Graphics During Testimony
  • Testifying During Cross-Examination
  • Exercising Ethics When Testifying
  • Understanding Prosecutorial Misconduct
  • Preparing for a Deposition
  • Guidelines for Testifying at a Deposition
  • Recognizing Deposition Problems
  • Public Release: Dealing with Reporters
  • Forming an Expert Opinion
  • Determining the Origin of a Floppy Disk

 Module 15 Computer Security Incident Response Team

  • Incident Response Team
  • Incident Reporting Process
  • Low-level incidents
  • Mid-level incidents
  • High-level incidents
  • What is a Computer Security Incident Response Team (CSIRT)?
  • Why would an organization need a CSIRT?
  • What types of CSIRTs exist?
  • Other Response Teams Acronyms
  • What does a CSIRT do?
  • What is Incident Handling?
  • Need for CSIRT in Organizations
  • Best Practices for Creating a CSIRT?

 Module 16 Logfile Analysis 

  • Secure Audit Logging
  • Audit Events
  • Syslog
  • Message File
  • Setting Up Remote Logging
  • Linux Process Tracking
  • Windows Logging
  • Remote Logging in Windows
  • ntsyslog
  • Application Logging
  • Extended Logging
  • Monitoring for Intrusion and Security Events
  • Importance of Time Synchronization
  • Passive Detection Methods
  • Dump Event Log Tool (Dumpel.exe)
  • EventCombMT
  • Event Collection
  • Scripting
  • Event Collection Tools
  • Forensic Tool: fwanalog
  • Elements of an End-to-End Forensic Trace 
  • Log Analysis and Correlation
  • TCPDump logs
  • Intrusion Detection Log (RealSecure)
  • Intrusion Detection Log (SNORT)

 Module 17  Recovering Deleted Files 

  • The Windows Recycle Bin
  • Digital evidence
  • Recycle Hidden Folder
  • How do I undelete a file?
  • e2undel
  • O&O UnErase
  • Restorer2000
  • BadCopy Pro
  • File Scavenger
  • Mycroft v3
  • PC ParaChute
  • Search and Recover
  • Stellar Phoenix Ext2,Ext3
  • Zero Assumption Digital Image Recovery
  • FileSaver
  • VirtualLab Data Recovery
  • R-Linux
  • Drive & Data Recovery
  • Active@ UNERASER - DATA Recovery

 Module 18  Application Password Crackers

  • Advanced Office XP Password Recovery
  • Accent Keyword Extractor
  • Advanced PDF Password Recovery
  • Distributed Network Attack
  • Windows XP / 2000 / NT Key
  • Passware Kit
  • How to Bypass BIOS Passwords
  • BIOS Password Crackers
  • Removing the CMOS Battery
  • Default Password Database

 Module 19 Investigating E-Mail Crimes 

  • E-mail Crimes
  • Sending Fakemail
  • Sending E-mail using Telnet
  • Tracing an e-mail
  • Mail Headers
  • Reading Email Headers
  • Tracing Back
  • Tracing Back Web Based E-mail
  • Microsoft Outlook Mail
  • Pst File Location
  • Tool: R-Mail
  • Tool: FinaleMail
  • Searching E-mail Addresses
  • E-mail Search Site
  • Network Abuse Clearing House
  • Handling Spam
  • Protecting your E-mail Address from Spam
  • Tool: Enkoder Form
  • Tool: eMailTrackerPro
  • Tool: SPAM Punisher

 Module 20 Investigating Web Attacks

  • How to Tell an Attack is in Progress
  • What to Do When You Are Under Attack?
  • Conducting the Investigation
  • Attempted Break-in
  • Step 1: Identifing the System(s)
  • Step 2: Traffic between source and destination
  • How to detect attacks on your server?
  • Investigating Log Files
  • IIS Logs
  • Log file Codes
  • Apache Logs
  • Access_log        
  • Log Security
  • Log File Information
  • Simple Request
  • Time/Date Field
  • Mirrored Site Detection
  • Mirrored Site in IIS Logs
  • Vulnerability Scanning Detection
  • Example of Attack in Log file
  • Web Page Defacement
  • Defacement using DNS Compromise
  • Investigating DNS Poisoning
  • Investigating FTP Servers
  • Example of FTP Compromise
  • FTP logs
  • SQL Injection Attacks
  • Investigating SQL Injection Attacks
  • Web Based Password Brute Force Attack
  • Investigating IP Address
  • Tools for locating IP Address
  • Investigating Dynamic IP Address
  • Location of DHCP Server Logfile

 Module 21 Investigating Network Traffic 

  • Network Intrusions and Attacks
  • Direct vs. Distributed Attacks
  • Automated Attacks
  • Accidental “Attacks”
  • Address Spoofing
  • IP Spoofing
  • ARP Spoofing
  • DNS Spoofing
  • Preventing IP Spoofing
  • Preventing ARP Spoofing
  • Preventing DNS Spoofing
  • VisualZone
  • DShield
  • Forensic Tools for Network Investigations
  • TCPDump
  • Ethereal
  • NetAnalyst
  • Ettercap
  • Ethereal

 Module 22 Investigating Router Attacks

  • DoS Attacks
  • Investigating DoS Attacks
  • Investigating Router Attacks

 Module 23 The Computer Forensics Process

  • Evidence Seizure Methodology
  • Before the Investigation
  • Document Everything
  • Confiscation of Computer Equipment

 Module 24 Data Duplication

  • Tool: R-Drive Image
  • Tool: DriveLook
  • Tool: DiskExplorer for NTFS

 Module 25 Windows Forensics

  • Gathering Evidence in Windows
  • Collecting Data from Memory
  • Collecting Evidence
  • Memory Dump
  • Manual Memory Dump (Windows 2000)
  • Manual Memory Dump (Windows XP)
  • PMDump
  • Windows Registry
  • Registry Data
  • Regmon utility
  • Forensic Tool: InCntrl5
  • Backing Up of the entire Registry
  • System State Backup
  • Forensic Tool: Back4Win
  • Forensic Tool: Registry Watch
  • System Processes
  • Process Monitors
  • Default Processes in Windows NT, 2000, and XP
  • Process-Monitoring Programs
  • Process Explorer
  • Look for Hidden Files
  • Viewing Hidden Files in Windows
  • NTFS Streams
  • Detecting NTFS Streams
  • Rootkits
  • Detecting Rootkits
  • Sigverif
  • Detecting Trojans and Backdoors
  • Removing Trojans and Backdoors
  • Port Numbers Used by Trojans
  • Examining the Windows Swap File
  • Swap file as evidence
  • Viewing the Contents of the Swap/Page File
  • Recovering Evidence from the Web Browser
  • Locating Browser History Evidence
  • Forensic Tool: Cache Monitor
  • Print Spooler Files
  • Steganography
  • Forensic Tool: StegDetect

Module 26 Linux Forensics

  • Performing Memory Dump on Unix Systems
  • Viewing Hidden Files
  • Executing Process
  • Create a Linux Forensic Toolkit
  • Collect Volatile Data Prior to Forensic Duplication
  • Executing a Trusted Shell
  • Determining Who is logged on to the System
  • Determining the Running Processes
  • Detecting Loadable Kernel Module Rootkits
  • LKM
  • Open Ports and Listening Applications
  • /proc file system
  • Log Files
  • Configuration Files
  • Low Level Analysis
  • Log Messages
  • Running syslogd
  • Investigating User Accounts
  • Collecting an Evidential Image
  • File Auditing Tools

Module 27  Investigating PDA

  • Paraben's PDA Seizure

Module 28 Enforcement Law and Prosecution

  • Freedom of Information Act
  • Reporting Security Breaches to Law Enforcement
  • National Infrastructure Protection Center
  • Federal Computer Crimes and Laws
  • Federal Laws
  • The USA Patriot Act of 2001
  • Building the Cybercrime Case
  • How the FBI Investigates Computer Crime
  • Cyber Crime Investigations
  • Computer-facilitated crime
  • FBI
  • Federal Statutes
  • Local laws
  • Federal Investigative Guidelines
  • Gather Proprietary Information
  • Contact law enforcement
  • To initiate an investigation

Module 29 Investigating Trademark and Copyright Infringement

  • Trademarks
  • Trademark Eligibility
  • What is a service mark?
  • What is trade dress?
  • Internet domain name
  • Trademark Infringement
  • Conducting a Trademark Search
  • Using Internet to Search for Trademarks
  • Hiring a professional firm to conduct my trademark search
  • Trademark Registrations
  • Benefits of Trademark Registration
  • Copyright
  • How long does a copyright last?
  • Copyright Notice
  • Copyright “Fair Use” Doctrine
  • U.S. Copyright Office
  • How are copyrights enforced?
  • SCO vs IBM
  • What is Plagiarism?
  • Turnitin
  • Plagiarism Detection Tools