Thank you to Tina Wu and Stephen O’Shaughnessy for supporting me with the article: Digital forensic tools: Recent advances and enhancing the status quo. The Article will be available for free download until October 3rd, 2020 through this link.
Publications in the digital forensics domain frequently come with tools – a small piece of functional software. These tools are often released to the public for others to reproduce results or use them for their own purposes. However, there has been no study on the tools to understand better what is available and what is missing. For this paper we analyzed almost 800 articles from pertinent venues from 2014 to 2019 to answer the following three questions (1) what tools (i.e., in which domains of digital forensics): have been released; (2) are they still available, maintained, and documented; and (3) are there possibilities to enhance the status quo? We found 62 different tools which we categorized according to digital forensics subfields. Only 33 of these tools were found to be publicly available, the majority of these were not maintained after development. In order to enhance the status quo, one recommendation is a centralized repository specifically for tested tools. This will require tool researchers (developers) to spend more time on code documentation and preferably develop plugins instead of stand-alone tools.