bulk_extractor is a computer forensics tool that scans a disk image, a file, or a directory of files and extracts useful information without parsing the file system or file system structures. The results can be easily inspected, parsed, or processed with automated tools. bulk_extractor also creates a histograms of features that it finds, as features that are more common tend to be more important. The program can be used for law enforcement, defense, intelligence, and cyber-investigation applications.
bulk_extractor is a C++ program that scans a disk image, a file, or a directory of files and extracts useful information without parsing the file system or file system structures. The results are stored in feature files that can be easily inspected, parsed, or processed with automated tools. bulk_extractor also creates histograms of features that it finds, as features that are more common tend to be more important.
We have made the following tools available for processing feature files generated by bulk_extractor:
* A a small number of python programs that perform automated processing on feature files.
* A Bulk Extractor Viewer User Interface (BEViewer) for browsing features stored in feature files and for launching bulk_extractor scans. Please see page BEViewer.
bulk_extractor is distinguished from other forensic tools by its speed and thoroughness. Because it ignores file system structure, bulk_extractor can process different parts of the disk in parallel. In practice, the program splits the disk up into 16MiByte pages and processes one page on each available core. This means that 24-core machines process a disk roughly 24 times faster than a 1-core machine. bulk_extractor is also thorough. That’s because bulk_extractor automatically detects, decompresses, and recursively re-processes compressed data that is compressed with a variety of algorithms. Our testing has shown that there is a significant amount of compressed data in the unallocated regions of file systems that is missed by most forensic tools that are commonly in use today.
Another advantage of ignoring file systems is that bulk_extractor can be used to process any digital media. We have used the program to process hard drives, SSDs, optical media, camera cards, cell phones, network packet dumps, and other kinds of digital information.
Please visit installation wiki page.
Latest releases on Github.
Download from Github.
git clone https://github.com/simsong/bulk_extractor