GIAC Experienced Forensics Analyst (GX-FA) icon

GIAC Experienced Forensics Analyst (GX-FA)

Applied Knowledge Certification

The GIAC Experienced Forensics Analyst (GX-FA) Certification further demonstrates that a candidate is qualified for hands-on digital forensic and threat hunting roles. Certification holders will validate their ability to process, analyze and interpret enterprise host-based forensics artifacts as well as mastery of threat and malicious activity detection.

Areas Covered

  • Windows host file system artifacts
  • Windows system triage analysis
  • Windows volatile evidence
  • Windows system and activity event analysis
  • Enterprise threat hunting identification and detection
  • Malicious threat actor activity in an enterprise environment

Who is GX-FA for?

  • Forensic analyst and digital examiner
  • Threat hunting specialist
  • Strong desire to demonstrate superior hands-on capabilities compared to one's peers
  • Expand your portfolio
  • Demonstrate your next level skills
  • GCFA certification holders who have gained additional experience
  • Continue your journey to becoming an expert

Exam Format

  • 1 proctored exam
  • Open book, open notes
  • Time limit 4 hour
  • 25 CyberLive - hands-on, real-world practical testing. CyberLive testing creates a lab environment where cyber practitioners prove their knowledge, understanding, and skill using:
    • Actual programs
    • Actual code
    • Virtual machines

    Find out more about CyberLive here.

    NOTE: GIAC reserves the right to change the specifications for each certification without notice. To verify the format read the Certification Information found in your account at


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

  • Analyzing Artifacts of Lateral Movement
    The candidate will be able to recognize and analyze events created by malicious lateral movement.
  • Examining Evidence of Execution
    The candidate will be able to recognize and analyze evidence of programs, scripts and other files being launched from the review of Windows host artifacts.
  • Examining Volatile Evidence
    The candidate will be able to analyze memory resident artifacts to identify both normal and malicious events.
  • Examining Windows Event Log Data
    The candidate will be able to use Windows event log data to provide analysis and identification of both normal and malicious events.
  • Examining Windows File System Artifacts
    The candidate will be able to review Windows host artifacts to provide analysis of both normal and malicious activity.
  • Identifying Evasion Techniques
    The candidate will be able to perform the tasks required to identify the use of commands or applications to remove or disguise evidence of malicious activity.
  • Investigating Credential Theft
    The candidate will demonstrate the ability to recognize and analyse artifacts created during the collection and compromise of host credentials.
  • Investigating Persistence Mechanisms
    The candidate will be able to recognize and analyze configuration changes, script creation and use and progr am execution designed to allow malicious activity to survive, launch or restart based on the analysis of host based logs, system configurations and volatile data.
  • Temporal Event Analysis
    The candidate will be able to review Windows host event data to provide analysis of both normal and malicious activity.

Other Resources

  • Affiliate Training - FOR508 (Primary fit course*), FOR500, FOR509, FOR498, FOR572, FOR608, FOR610, SEC503, SEC504, SEC501
  • Practical work experience can help ensure that you have mastered the skills necessary for certification.
  • Get information about the procedure to contest exam results.

*Courses that include a "primary fit course" designation have the most closely aligned content but do not include all of the content, tools, and platforms that could be included in testing on the Applied Knowledge exam.

Demo Questions

  • These questions allow a candidate to experience the exam style and complexity in the environment used during the certification exam.
  • Demo questions are never included in the actual certification exam.
  • The demo question set includes 3 questions, and the student has 45 minutes to complete. Note that the average time per question is not as fast paced as the actual exam attempt.
  • Limited demo questions per exam are available so you will receive repetitive questions if multiple Demo Questions are purchased.
  • Demo questions are nontransferable.
  • Purchase GX-FA demo questions here.
  • GIAC recommends leveraging additional study methods for test preparation.

Find Affiliate Training

Explore affiliate training options to prepare for your GIAC certification exam.