Forensic Certification: GCFE

Forensic Certification:

GIAC Certified Forensic Examiner (GCFE)


The GCFE certification is for professionals working or interested in the information security, legal and law enforcement industries with a need to understand computer forensic analysis. The certification focuses on core skills required to collect and analyze data from Windows computer systems.

The GCFE certifies that candidates have the knowledge, skills, and ability to conduct typical incident investigations including e-Discovery, forensic analysis and reporting, evidence acquisition, browser forensics and tracing user and application activities on Windows systems.

*No Specific training is required for any GIAC certification. There are many sources of information available regarding the certification objectives' knowledge areas. Practical experience is an option; there are also numerous books on the market covering Computer Information Security. Another option is any relevant courses from training providers, including SANS.*


  • 1 proctored exam
  • 115 questions
  • Time limit of 3 hours
  • Minimum Passing Score of 71%


GIAC reserves the right to change the specifications for each certification without notice. Based on a scientific passing point study, the passing point for the GCFE exam has been determined to be 71% for all candidates receiving access to their certification attempts on or after August 2nd, 2012. To verify the format of your current certification attempt, please read the Certification Information found in your portal account at


Certifications must be renewed every 4 years. Click here for details.


NOTE: All GIAC exams are delivered through proctored test centers and must be scheduled in advance.
GIAC certification attempts will be activated in your GIAC account after your application has been approved and according to the terms of your purchase. Details on delivery will be provided along with your registration confirmation upon payment. You will receive an email notification when your certification attempt has been activated in your account. You will have 120 days from the date of activation to complete your certification attempt. GIAC exams must be proctored through Pearson VUE. Please click the following link for instructions on How to Schedule Your GIAC Proctored Exam GIAC exams are delivered online through a standard web browser.


Bulletin (Part 2 of Candidate Handbook)

Exam Certification Objectives & Outcome Statements

The topic areas for each exam part follow:

Browser Forensics
The individual will demonstrate a solid understanding of Browser Forensics
Digital Forensics Fundamentals
The candidate will demonstrate an understanding of forensic methodology, key forensics concepts, and identifying types of evidence on current Windows operating systems.
Evidence Acquisition, Preparation and Preservation
The candidate will demonstrate understanding of evidence chain-of-custody and integrity, E-discovery concepts, evidence acquisition and preservation, and the tools and techniques used by computer forensic examiners.
File and Program Activity Analysis
The candidate will demonstrate an understanding of how the Windows registry, file metadata, memory, and filesystem artifacts can be used to trace user activities on suspect systems.
Log Analysis
The candidate will demonstrate an understanding of the purpose of the various types of Windows event, service and application logs, and the types of information they can provide.
System and Device Profiling and Analysis
The candidate will demonstrate an understanding of the Windows registry structure, and how to profile Windows systems and removable devices.
User Communications Analysis
The candidate will demonstrate an understanding of forensic examination of user communication applications and methods, including host-based and mobile email applications, Instant Messaging, and other software and Internet-based user communication applications.

Where to Get Help

Training is available from a variety of resources including on line, course attendance at a live conference, and self study.

Practical experience is another way to ensure that you have mastered the skills necessary for certification. Many professionals have the experience to meet the certification objectives identified.

Finally, college level courses or study through another program may meet the needs for mastery.

The procedure to contest exam results can be found at