The Advantages of Open Source Forensic Tools

Open source forensic tools enjoy several advantages from being free and readily available. Open source tools gain benefits from their transparency. For example, since open source developers make their source code available to the user, other developers can peer review the original work, patch known issues, and publish changes. In the case of open source forensic tools, developers collaboratively mend the causes of poor error rates. Outside of simple revision, open source developers also create new modules, packages, and specialized distributions to perform new tasks. Therefore, open source applications have high rates of growth and variety. Furthermore, open source software gains certain advantages in the litigation process. For instance, since working open source code can be transparently demonstrated to accomplish its intended purpose, free tools may satisfy Daubert guidelines after measuring their reliability. Given the fact that open source applications can be verified transparently, doubt cannot be cast upon them by arguing that that they allegedly work like an indecipherable “black box.” Additionally, since open source tools aren’t tethered to the restrictions of proprietary agreements, they benefit from mobility and flexibility. E.g. forensic investigators can theoretically make an indefinite amount of Paladin bootable flash drives to use on an indefinite number of machines. Moreover, open source software is free. Consequently, free forensic tools make investigations more cost effective.

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