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Special Notices

This is an NCSC Certified Training Course.

National Cyber Security Centre Certified Training

Please note: an additional monitor is required for this course as participants will be accessing hands-on labs.


Updated for 2019/20, the Certificate in Digital Forensics Fundamentals course (QAIDIGFOR) is designed to help commercial and government organisations collect, preserve and report on digital artefacts in a way which is suitable for use in investigations.

The course covers the broad topics essential to the digital forensics’ disciplines. It sets out a framework for investigations, covering the best practice as described by The National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC) formally ACPO guidelines. Forensic fundamentals will be covered as well as the use of open source forensic tools. The data will be then analysed, and an example report produced.

Participants to this course learn about the methods to identify, preserve, analysis and report on digital artefacts. Using a mixed approach of fundamentals and open source software, delegates will be able to select suitable tools and report on their findings in an evidential way.

The Certificate in Digital Forensic Fundamentals course audience includes all teams across the IT, Security, Internal Audit, Law Enforcement and Government.

About the course author

Mark Martin


I was a senior investigating officer working in law enforcement with over 31 years’ experience of working in the various government agencies including National Crime Agency. I have handled numerous cases involving drug trafficking, money laundering, endangered species, fraud, tackling child abuse online, extortion, hacking, and various other computer crimes. I am advanced mobile and digital Forensics practitioner.  I have utilised my open source intelligence skills to locate and identify individuals and criminal organisations online.  A founding member of the elite team called the National Hi-Tech Crime Unit, set up in 2001 to tackle with online threats.  Mark worked in partnership with Europol and Interpol Mark was instrumental in dismantling a highly sophisticated international online paedophile organisation. I have also delivered training in Europol on child abuse online Open source intelligence.

Specialist Areas/Professional Qualifications

Open Source Intelligence, Digital Forensics (mobile and digital forensics), Legal (Law enforcement) & Cyber Security Fundamentals.

Industry Experience

I have been a senior investigating officer working in law enforcement with over 15 years’ experience of working in the National Crime Agency, National crime Squad, HM Customs and Excise, UK Border Agency, Home Office and HM Revenue and Customs. I have handled numerous cases involving drug trafficking, money laundering, endangered species, fraud, tackling child abuse online, extortion, hacking, and various other computer crimes. I am Mobile and Digital Forensics practitioner for covert and overt use.

LinkedIn Profile

Learning Outcomes

  • Understand the purpose, benefits, and key terms of digital forensics
  • Describe and adhere to the principles of the forensic framework
  • Understand the importance of the chain of custody
  • Demonstrate a basic knowledge of key locations in different operating systems
  • Identify how different file systems represent files and how they deal with deletion etc.
  • Understand where timestamps and other meta data comes from
  • Have knowledge of the legal framework in which they operate, and the expected level of ethical behaviour expected

Course Outline

Module 1: Intro to Digital forensic

  • What digital forensics is
  • What is digital evidence?
  • When and why is digital forensics used?
  • Different Types of Digital Forensics – Standalone and e-discovery
  • What skills should a computer forensic expert have?
  • Introduction to the forensic framework

Module 2: The Legal Framework

  • What legislation applies to investigations?
  • ISO/IEC standards what does it cover?
  • What does the legislation cover?
  • What do authorising officers have to consider
  • What does the legislation mean for investigators?
  • The consequence of failing to adhere to the legislation which applies
  • Computer Misuse Act and how it applies

Module 3: Collecting Digital Evidence

  • The NPCC guidelines and how they apply to the collection of digital evidence
  • The role of a First Responder
  • Triaging – the new digital forensics approach
  • What is ‘chain of custody’ concept and how critical it is to maintain
  • Triaging – Digital Forensics
  • What is the order of volatility

Module 4: Imaging Digital Evidence

  • What imaging is and why we work on imaged data
  • Write blocking hardware and software
  • How do we forensically image a live device?
  • How do we forensically image a switched off device?
  • Physical and Logical Imaging
  • Understand Hashing Algorithms and collisions and how it is used to verify acquisitions
  • Creating Forensic Image using FTK Imager

Module 5: Hardware

  • Why do we need to know about hardware?
  • Live RAM capture and analysis (pagefile.sys and hiberfil.sys)
  • Data storage – magnetic hard disks
  • Understand how solid state drives and flash memory differ
  • What is the BIOS and UEFI and what settings they hold
  • Analysing the boot process
  • Partitioning Disk analysis
  • Volume and Master Boot Record

Module 6: Information Representation and File Systems

  • How number systems work and how data is represented in binary and hexadecimal
  • Difference between Big and Little Endian
  • Character Encoding ASCII and Unicode
  • Different File systems NTFS, FAT
  • Analysis what happens when file is saved, deleted
  • What is Slack Space and the different types of slack
  • Access control lists and permissions
  • What is the Master File Table used for?
  • Recovering Data from Recycle bin
  • Viewing Deleted data
  • Analysis of Prefetch folder
  • Differences between user profiles

Module 7: File Signatures & File Carving

  • File Signatures Analysis
  • Manual File carving
  • File Carving Using Kali Linux

Module 8: Windows Artefacts, Metadata and hash tables

  • What is Metadata?
  • Understand about MAC times
  • How to find meta-data inside documents
  • How to use Fingerprinting Organizations with Collected Archives how to extract Meta-data
  • EXIF Data and analysis
  • Windows User Profile
  • Identifying different Windows Artefacts and what information can be found
  • Analysing Thumbnail Cache
  • Viewing the Windows Registry and locating information
  • Analysing Email Headers
  • Forensic Analysis of HTTP data using Wireshark
  • Analysing of web browser artefacts
  • Understanding the different type of logs and what information they can provide as part of forensic analysis
  • Analysing thumbnail cache databases
  • How to analyse the windows registry and find evidence
  • How to analyse email headers

Module 9: Mobile Phone Forensics

  • Mobile Forensics Require a Different Approach
  • What information a mobile device can provide
  • Different methods for conducting mobile device examinations
  • Mobile phone evidential values

Module 10: Reporting

  • The difference between notes, examination logs and witness statements
  • The issue with printing evidence and court requirements

Module 11: Forensic Tools

  • Commercial Forensic
  • Open Source Forensic Tools

Exam Information

Duration - 90 minutes. Questions - 70 Multiple choice (4 multiple choice answers only 1 of which is correct). Pass Mark - 50%

The GCT exam is a Proctor-U APMG exam for the Certificate in Digital Forensics Fundamentals, which will be taken by delegates in their own time after the course.

Delegates will receive individual emails to access their AMPG GCT candidate portal, typically available two weeks post exam.

If you experience any issues, please contact the APMG GCT technical help desk on 01494 4520450.

Certificate in Digital Forensics Fundamentals

Online exam voucher

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