Coast Guard Considering Replacing Its Forensics Software

Its current software suite analyzes emails and chats, and scans documents for information relevant to investigations, among other capabilities.

The Coast Guard’s digital investigations team is considering a software upgrade.

In a new Request for Information, the Department of Homeland Security agency said it was doing market research to decide whether to buy a new software suite for the digital forensic processing of documents and other media. The current system churns through chat and internet history, scans documents for relevant information, and detects explicit images in files, among other capabilities. 

The Coast Guard's investigative team has been doing digital forensics for criminal investigations since 2004, the RFI said. The team's responsibilities include “the extraction, processing of information obtained from diverse operating systems and file types, collected from various suspect electronic devices and digital media."

The team currently uses Access Data's Forensic Toolkit, Guidance Software's Encase Forensics, Black Bag Forensics' MacQuitions, and Magnet Forensic's Internet Evidence Finder, according to the RFI.