GIAC Certified Forensic Examiner (GCFE) icon

GIAC Certified Forensic Examiner (GCFE)

The GIAC Certified Forensic Examiner (GCFE) certification validates a practitioner’s knowledge of computer forensic analysis, with an emphasis on core skills required to collect and analyze data from Windows computer systems. GCFE certification holders 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.

Areas Covered

  • Windows Forensics and Data Triage
  • Windows Registry Forensics, USB Devices, Shell Items, Email Forensics and Log Analysis
  • Advanced Web Browser Forensics (Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Internet Explorer)

Who is GCFE for?

  • Anyone interested in a deep understanding of Windows forensics who has a background in information systems, information security, and computers
  • Information security professionals
  • Incident response team members
  • Law enforcement officers, federal agents, and detectives
  • Media exploitation analysts

Exam Format

  • 1 proctored exam
  • 115 questions
  • 3 hours
  • Minimum passing score of 71%

Note: 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 April 4th, 2020. To verify the format and passing point of your specific certification attempt, read the Certification Information found in your account at https://exams.giac.org/pages/attempts.

Delivery

NOTE: All GIAC Certification exams are web-based and required to be proctored. There are two proctoring options: remote proctoring through ProctorU, and onsite proctoring through PearsonVUE. Click here for more information.

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.

Exam Certification Objectives & Outcome Statements

  • Analysis and Profiling of Systems and Devices
    The candidate will demonstrate an understanding of the artifacts created by the Windows operating system during the execution of programs, system start up and use of removable devices.
  • Analysis of File and Program Activity
    The candidate will demonstrate an understanding of file access artifacts created by the Windows operating system.
  • Analysis of User Communications
    The candidate will demonstrate an understanding of the 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.
  • Analysis of Windows System User Artifacts
    The candidate will demonstrate an understanding of the artifacts created by user activity on current Windows operating systems.
  • Cloud Storage Fundamentals
    The candidate will demonstrate an understanding of the artifacts created by the installation and use of cloud storage solutions and how they can be used during forensic examinations.
  • Foundations of Digital Forensics Acquisition
    The candidate will demonstrate an understanding of the methodologies and tools used to collect and process digital forensic evidence.
  • Fundamental Digital Forensics
    The candidate will demonstrate an understanding of forensic methodology, key forensic concepts, identifying types of evidence on current Windows operating systems and be familiar with the structure and composition of modern Windows file systems.
  • Host and Application Event Log Analysis
    The candidate will demonstrate an understanding of the purpose of the various types of Windows event, service and application logs, and the forensic value that they can provide.
  • Microsoft Browser Forensics
    The candidate will demonstrate an understanding of the artifacts created by Microsoft browsers during user activity.
  • Third Party Browser Forensics and Browser Artifact Analysis
    The candidate will demonstrate an understanding of the artifacts created by third party browsers and when privacy settings are applied during user activity.
  • Windows Registry Artifact Analysis
    The candidate will demonstrate an understanding of the registry artifacts created by system and user activity.
  • Windows Registry Fundamentals
    The candidate will demonstrate an understanding of the structure and purpose of the Windows registry and the types of tools used to analyze and parse the data.

Other Resources

  • Training is available in a variety of modalities including live training and OnDemand.
  • Practical work experience can help ensure that you have mastered the skills necessary for certification
  • College level courses or self paced study through another program or materials may meet the needs for mastery.
  • Get information about the procedure to contest exam results.
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