Skip to main content

Home Memory forensics

Memory forensics

(also memory analysis)

Memory forensics definition

Memory forensics is a process that analyzes and extracts information from a computer's volatile memory, known as RAM. The RAM stores actively used data, making it crucial for understanding active processes, network connections, user activity, and potential malware or intrusions.

Unlike traditional disk-based forensics, memory forensics captures a system's state at a specific time, providing valuable insights.

To conduct memory forensics, specialists capture the RAM contents using the physical acquisition of memory chips or software-based methods. Analysts obtain the memory image and then use specialized tools to analyze its contents. This involves identifying running processes, examining network connections, revealing hidden or encrypted data, recovering deleted information, and detecting malware or malicious activity.

Memory forensics is critical in incident response, malware analysis, and digital investigations. It helps determine the events leading to security incidents, identify compromised systems, and gather evidence for legal proceedings. Moreover, it uncovers advanced threats that may not leave traces on disks, making it an essential part of comprehensive forensic investigations.

See also: computer forensics, DFIR

Memory forensics use cases

  • It helps in the detection of malware infections present on a system.
  • It facilitates the identification of data breaches that might have occurred on a device.
  • It can be used to identify the cause of system crashes.
  • It plays a crucial role in identifying malicious use of the system by insiders.