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Autopsy is a versatile and powerful open-source digital forensics platform that is primarily used for incident response, cyber security investigations, and data recovery. As an investigator, you can utilize Autopsy to quickly and efficiently analyze a compromised system, extract crucial artifacts, and generate comprehensive reports. Integrated with The Sleuth Kit and other plug-ins, Autopsy allows examiners to automate tasks and dig deep into a system’s structure to discover the root cause of an incident.

Features of Autopsy

  • Central Repository: Autopsy features a central repository that allows analysts to store and manage case data, ingest modules, and collaborate with other team members. This functionality streamlines the investigation process with effective communication, data sharing, and collaborative analysis.

  • Intuitive Interface: Autopsy’s graphical user interface (GUI) is user-friendly and well organized. It presents the results in a structured and easy-to-navigate layout, showcasing file systems, metadata, and text strings from binary files.

  • File System Support: Autopsy natively supports multiple file systems like FAT12, FAT16, FAT32, NTFS, ext2, ext3, ext4, UFS1, UFS2, and more, making it an ideal solution for analyzing different storage devices.

  • Timeline Analysis: The Timeline feature in Autopsy allows analysts to visualize and explore the chronological sequence of file system events. This can be essential in understanding the chain of events during an incident and identifying suspicious activities or anomalies.

  • Keyword Search: Autopsy’s keyword search function is an invaluable tool for locating artifacts of interest using keywords or regular expressions. Investigators can identify incriminating documents, emails or other files by searching for specific terms, phrases, or patterns.

  • Integration with Other Tools: Autopsy’s modular design enables seamless integration with various digital forensics tools, facilitating the analysis with specialized features and functions, such as Volatility for memory analysis or PLASO for log parsing.

Installation and Usage

Autopsy is available for download from its official website,, and can be installed on Windows, Linux, and macOS platforms.

Once installed, creating a new case is easy. Follow these basic steps:

  • Launch Autopsy.
  • Click on the “New Case” button.
  • Provide a case name, case number, examiner, and case directory.
  • Add a data source (e.g., a disk image, local folder, or cloud storage) to the case.
  • Configure data ingestion options and select specific modules of interest.
  • Click on “Finish” to begin the data analysis.

As Autopsy completes its analysis, it will generate a comprehensive report that can be utilized for internal reporting, maintaining case records, or presenting evidence in legal proceedings.


In conclusion, Autopsy is a valuable tool for incident response and digital forensics professionals. By mastering its functions and capabilities, you can enhance your capabilities in incident investigations, data recovery, and threat attribution.

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