Meet CSI Linux: A Linux Distribution For Cyber Investigation And OSINT


With the steady rise of cybercrimes, companies and government agencies are involving themselves more in setting up cyber investigation labs to tackle the crime happening over the Internet.

Software tools are like arms that play a significant role in the investigation process. Hence, Computer Forensics, Incident Response, and Competitive Intelligence professionals have developed a Cyber forensics focussed operating system called CSI Linux.

The collection and installation of various applications for inspection and analysis of crime is a tedious task. Therefore, there is a requirement for an all-inclusive system that ships only with the desired tools.

CSI Linux: Linux-Based Operating System

CSI Linux is a multi-purpose operating system designed especially for cyber investigators. Removing the hassle involved with installation and configuration of software packages, CSI Linux offers tons of pre-installed tools for online investigation, malware analysis, and security prevention.

Here are the highlighted challenges that CSI Linux aims to resolve:

  • Online Investigation: Social Media Accounts, Website Information, OSINT
  • Incident Response: Intrusion Detection/Prevention
  • Malware Analysis

Some key open source tools included in CSI Linux:

  • Autopsy GUI
  • Catfish Search
  • Recon-ng
  • FBI (Facebook Information)
  • KeePassXC
  • Nmap
  • OSINTFramework
  • OSINT-Search
  • Maltego
  • Twitter feed pull
  • Wireshark
  • theHarvester
  • Sherlock

For all other available tools, you can check from here.

If we talk about the minimum requirement for installing CSI Linux, you may dislike it as CSI Linux requires more than 50GB free space for running virtual machine images and 20GB for downloading the installer. Moreover, you must have at least 8GB RAM.

For providing individuality and modularity of tasks, CSI Linux Investigator comes with three separate platforms: Analyst, Gateway, and SIEM.

CSI Linux Analyst

Analyst edition contains tools for investigation, analysis, and cyber reports generation.

You can generate a complete report of the suspects by gathering all social footprints using programs such as Social Media Search, Maltego, and RecordMyDesktop.

CSI Linux Gateway

As the name suggests, Gateway links all Analyst traffic through the Tor network to provide safety and anonymity over the Internet. Most of the web tools help to interact with the Tor Dark web.

If the suspect belongs to the hacking or piracy group, you can use Gateway Linux to hide your location and adds a layer of security.


SIEM edition is mainly used for Incident Response and Intrusion detection. It can be used as a standalone for an in-depth analysis of a threat to the system.

If your system gets compromised, you can use SIEM tools such as Autopsy, Kibana, and Elasticsearch for inspecting the whole system vulnerabilities.

How To Install CSI Linux?

You may find it odd that you can’t download the CSI Linux OS for standalone installation as it is only available for VirtualBox. Hence, you first need to install VirtualBox and Virtual Box Extensions.

CSI Linux Investigator is an individual OVA file that comprises the other three editions for the virtual machine, CSI Linux Analyst, Gateway, and SIEM.

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Sarvottam Kumar

Sarvottam Kumar

Sarvottam Kumar is a software engineer by profession with interest and experience in Blockchain, Angular, React and Flutter. He loves to explore the nuts and bolts of Linux and share his experience and insights of Linux and open source on the web/various prestigious portals.
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