1. Workforce Development
  2. Workforce Framework for Cybersecurity (NICE Framework)
  3. Work Roles
  4. Law Enforcement/Counterintelligence Forensics Analyst
  • Law Enforcement/Counterintelligence Forensics Analyst

    Work Role ID: IN-FOR-001
    Conducts detailed investigations on computer-based crimes establishing documentary or physical evidence, to include digital media and logs associated with cyber intrusion incidents.
    Category: Investigate
    Specialty Area: Digital Forensics


  • A0005: Ability to decrypt digital data collections.
  • A0175: Ability to examine digital media on multiple operating system platforms. 


  • K0001: Knowledge of computer networking concepts and protocols, and network security methodologies. 
  • K0002: Knowledge of risk management processes (e.g., methods for assessing and mitigating risk). 
  • K0003: Knowledge of laws, regulations, policies, and ethics as they relate to cybersecurity and privacy. 
  • K0004: Knowledge of cybersecurity and privacy principles. 
  • K0005: Knowledge of cyber threats and vulnerabilities. 
  • K0006: Knowledge of specific operational impacts of cybersecurity lapses. 
  • K0017: Knowledge of concepts and practices of processing digital forensic data. 
  • K0021: Knowledge of data backup and recovery. 
  • K0042: Knowledge of incident response and handling methodologies. 
  • K0060: Knowledge of operating systems.
  • K0070: Knowledge of system and application security threats and vulnerabilities (e.g., buffer overflow, mobile code, cross-site scripting, Procedural Language/Structured Query Language [PL/SQL] and injections, race conditions, covert channel, replay, return-oriented attacks, malicious code).
  • K0077: Knowledge of server and client operating systems.
  • K0078: Knowledge of server diagnostic tools and fault identification techniques.
  • K0107: Knowledge of Insider Threat investigations, reporting, investigative tools and laws/regulations. 
  • K0109: Knowledge of physical computer components and architectures, including the functions of various components and peripherals (e.g., CPUs, Network Interface Cards, data storage). 
  • K0117: Knowledge of file system implementations (e.g., New Technology File System [NTFS], File Allocation Table [FAT], File Extension [EXT]).
  • K0118: Knowledge of processes for seizing and preserving digital evidence. 
  • K0119: Knowledge of hacking methodologies. 
  • K0122: Knowledge of investigative implications of hardware, Operating Systems, and network technologies.
  • K0123: Knowledge of legal governance related to admissibility (e.g. Rules of Evidence). 
  • K0125: Knowledge of processes for collecting, packaging, transporting, and storing electronic evidence while maintaining chain of custody. 
  • K0128: Knowledge of types and collection of persistent data.
  • K0131: Knowledge of web mail collection, searching/analyzing techniques, tools, and cookies.
  • K0132: Knowledge of which system files (e.g., log files, registry files, configuration files) contain relevant information and where to find those system files.
  • K0133: Knowledge of types of digital forensics data and how to recognize them.
  • K0134: Knowledge of deployable forensics.
  • K0145: Knowledge of security event correlation tools.
  • K0155: Knowledge of electronic evidence law.
  • K0156: Knowledge of legal rules of evidence and court procedure.
  • K0167: Knowledge of system administration, network, and operating system hardening techniques.
  • K0168: Knowledge of applicable laws, statutes (e.g., in Titles 10, 18, 32, 50 in U.S. Code), Presidential Directives, executive branch guidelines, and/or administrative/criminal legal guidelines and procedures.
  • K0179: Knowledge of network security architecture concepts including topology, protocols, components, and principles (e.g., application of defense-in-depth). 
  • K0182: Knowledge of data carving tools and techniques (e.g., Foremost). 
  • K0183: Knowledge of reverse engineering concepts. 
  • K0184: Knowledge of anti-forensics tactics, techniques, and procedures. 
  • K0185: Knowledge of forensics lab design configuration and support applications (e.g., VMWare, Wireshark). 
  • K0186: Knowledge of debugging procedures and tools. 
  • K0187: Knowledge of file type abuse by adversaries for anomalous behavior. 
  • K0188: Knowledge of malware analysis tools (e.g., Oily Debug, Ida Pro). 
  • K0189: Knowledge of malware with virtual machine detection (e.g. virtual aware malware, debugger aware malware, and unpacked malware that looks for VM-related strings in your computer’s display device). 
  • K0305: Knowledge of encryption algorithms, stenography, and other forms of data concealment.
  • K0624: Knowledge of Application Security Risks (e.g. Open Web Application Security Project Top 10 list) 


  • S0032: Skill in developing, testing, and implementing network infrastructure contingency and recovery plans.
  • S0046: Skill in performing packet-level analysis using appropriate tools (e.g., Wireshark, tcpdump).
  • S0047: Skill in preserving evidence integrity according to standard operating procedures or national standards.
  • S0062: Skill in analyzing memory dumps to extract information.
  • S0065: Skill in identifying and extracting data of forensic interest in diverse media (i.e., media forensics).
  • S0067: Skill in identifying, modifying, and manipulating applicable system components within Windows, Unix, or Linux (e.g., passwords, user accounts, files).
  • S0068: Skill in collecting, processing, packaging, transporting, and storing electronic evidence to avoid alteration, loss, physical damage, or destruction of data.
  • S0069: Skill in setting up a forensic workstation.
  • S0071: Skill in using forensic tool suites (e.g., EnCase, Sleuthkit, FTK).
  • S0073: Skill in using virtual machines. (e.g., Microsoft Hyper-V, VMWare vSphere, Citrix XenDesktop/Server, Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud, etc.). 
  • S0074: Skill in physically disassembling PCs.
  • S0075: Skill in conducting forensic analyses in multiple operating system environments (e.g., mobile device systems).
  • S0087: Skill in deep analysis of captured malicious code (e.g., malware forensics).
  • S0088: Skill in using binary analysis tools (e.g., Hexedit, command code xxd, hexdump).
  • S0089: Skill in one-way hash functions (e.g., Secure Hash Algorithm [SHA], Message Digest Algorithm [MD5]).
  • S0090: Skill in analyzing anomalous code as malicious or benign.
  • S0091: Skill in analyzing volatile data.
  • S0092: Skill in identifying obfuscation techniques.
  • S0093: Skill in interpreting results of debugger to ascertain tactics, techniques, and procedures.


  • T0027: Conduct analysis of log files, evidence, and other information to determine best methods for identifying the perpetrator(s) of a network intrusion.
  • T0036: Confirm what is known about an intrusion and discover new information, if possible, after identifying intrusion via dynamic analysis.
  • T0048: Create a forensically sound duplicate of the evidence (i.e., forensic image) that ensures the original evidence is not unintentionally modified, to use for data recovery and analysis processes. This includes, but is not limited to, hard drives, floppy diskettes, CDs, PDAs, mobile phones, GPS, and all tape formats.
  • T0075: Provide technical summary of findings in accordance with established reporting procedures.
  • T0087: Ensure that chain of custody is followed for all digital media acquired in accordance with the Federal Rules of Evidence.
  • T0103: Examine recovered data for information of relevance to the issue at hand.
  • T0113: Identify digital evidence for examination and analysis in such a way as to avoid unintentional alteration.
  • T0120: Identify, collect, and seize documentary or physical evidence, to include digital media and logs associated with cyber intrusion incidents, investigations, and operations.
  • T0165: Perform dynamic analysis to boot an "image" of a drive (without necessarily having the original drive) to see the intrusion as the user may have seen it, in a native environment.
  • T0167: Perform file signature analysis.
  • T0168: Perform hash comparison against established database.
  • T0172: Perform real-time forensic analysis (e.g., using Helix in conjunction with LiveView).
  • T0173: Perform timeline analysis.
  • T0179: Perform static media analysis.
  • T0182: Perform tier 1, 2, and 3 malware analysis.
  • T0190: Prepare digital media for imaging by ensuring data integrity (e.g., write blockers in accordance with standard operating procedures).
  • T0193: Process crime scenes.
  • T0212: Provide technical assistance on digital evidence matters to appropriate personnel.
  • T0216: Recognize and accurately report forensic artifacts indicative of a particular operating system.
  • T0238: Extract data using data carving techniques (e.g., Forensic Tool Kit [FTK], Foremost).
  • T0240: Capture and analyze network traffic associated with malicious activities using network monitoring tools.
  • T0241: Use specialized equipment and techniques to catalog, document, extract, collect, package, and preserve digital evidence.
  • T0246: Write and publish cyber defense techniques, guidance, and reports on incident findings to appropriate constituencies.
  • T0253: Conduct cursory binary analysis.
  • T0285: Perform virus scanning on digital media.
  • T0286: Perform file system forensic analysis.
  • T0287: Perform static analysis to mount an "image" of a drive (without necessarily having the original drive).
  • T0288: Perform static malware analysis.
  • T0289: Utilize deployable forensics toolkit to support operations as necessary.
  • T0432: Collect and analyze intrusion artifacts (e.g., source code, malware, and system configuration) and use discovered data to enable mitigation of potential cyber defense incidents within the enterprise.
  • T0439: Detect and analyze encrypted data, stenography, alternate data streams and other forms of concealed data.
  • T0471: Document original condition of digital and/or associated evidence (e.g., via digital photographs, written reports, hash function checking).
  • T0532: Review forensic images and other data sources (e.g., volatile data) for recovery of potentially relevant information.

Capability Indicators

Capability Indicators for Law Enforcement/Counterintelligence Forensics Analyst
Category Entry Intermediate Advanced
  • Recommended: Yes
  • Example Types: N/A
  • Example Topics: Certifications addressing system security, network infrastructure, access control, cryptography, assessments and audits, organizational security, new attack vectors (emphasis on cloud computing technology, mobile platforms and tablet computers), new vulnerabilities, existing threats to operating environments, incident handling (identification, overview and preparation) buffer overflow, client attacks, denial of service attacks, incident handing (containment, eradication, recovery, and lessons learned), network attacks, password attacks, reconnaissance, scanning (discovery and mapping techniques and defense), session hijacking and cache poisoning, techniques for maintaining access, web applications attacks, worms, and bots
  • Recommended: Yes
  • Example Types: N/A
  • Example Topics: Certifications addressing identification of malicious system and user activity, incident response in an enterprise environment, incident response process and framework, timeline artifact analysis, timeline collection, timeline processing, volatile data collection, analysis of file and program activity, acquisition, preparation and preservation of digital evidence, analysis of user communications, fundamental digital forensics, hose and application event log analysis, browser forensics, browser artifacts analysis, advanced IDS concepts, applications protocols, concepts of TCP/IP and the link layer, DNS, fragmentation, IDS fundamentals and initial deployment (e.g., snort, bro), IDS rules (e.g., snort, bro), IPv6, network architecture and event correlation, network traffic analysis and forensics, packet engineering, silk and other traffic analysis tools, TCP, Tcpdump filters, UDP and ICMP, wireshark fundamentals
  • Recommended: Yes
  • Example Topics: Certification addressing analysis of malicious document files, analysis of protected executables, analysis of web-based malware, common Windows malware characteristics in assembly, in-depth analysis of malicious browser scripts, in-depth analysis of malicious executables, malware analysis using memory forensics, malware code and behavioral analysis fundamentals
Continuous Learning
  • Recommended: Not essential but may be beneficial
  • Examples: 40 hours annually (may include mentoring, shadowing, conferences, webinars, or rotations)
  • Recommended: Not essential but may be beneficial
  • Examples: 40 hours annually (may include mentoring, shadowing, conferences, webinars, or rotations)
  • Recommended: Not essential but may be beneficial
  • Examples: 40 hours annually (may include mentoring, shadowing, conferences, webinars, or rotations)
  • Recommended: Yes
  • Example Types: Associate's
  • Example Topics: N/A
  • Recommended: Yes
  • Example Types: Bachelor's
  • Example Topics: N/A
  • Recommended: Yes
  • Example Types: Master's, Ph.D.
  • Example Topics: N/A
Experiential Learning
  • Recommended: Yes
  • Examples: Learning addressing sensor operations, information assurance, networks, intelligence analysis
  • Recommended: Yes
  • Examples: Learning addressing information assurance, networks, threats
  • Recommended: Yes
  • Examples: Learning addressing information assurance, malware
  • Recommended: Yes
  • Example Types: N/A
  • Example Topics: Basic cybersecurity analysis/operations, systems administration
  • Recommended: Yes
  • Example Types: N/A
  • Example Topics: Basic cybersecurity analysis/operations, network security vulnerability technical skills
  • Recommended: Yes
  • Example Types: N/A
  • Example Topics: Basic cybersecurity analysis/operations, network security vulnerability technical skills