In 1992, ASR Data created Expert Witness - a fully integrated, GUI driven tool designed to support practitioners conducting forensic examinations and investigations of computers, storage media and data processing units. Expert Witness was singularly unique in that it allowed the user to not only non-invasively acquire digital evidence, it also provided the user with a powerful and flexible environment for searching, reporting, reviewing, interpreting, abstracting and presenting the results of these examinations and investigations.
When released to the Law Enforcement community, Expert Witness revolutionized the way in which Data Forensic Investigations were conducted. What used to take days or weeks could now be accomplished in hours. For the first time, Investigators and practitioners had a powerful, easy to use, integrated tool that supported the vast majority (if not all) of their unique requirements. Expert Witness for Windows95 (now sold under the name EnCase®) became the defacto standard for conducting digital forensic examinations and investigations.
Advances in Operating Systems, File Systems and computer architecture have necessitated more than just the addition of a few new features. Larger hard disks, more complex cases, Logical Volumes, RAID systems, USB, Firewire, PDAs and a host of other factors have changed the landscape of data forensics in the past decade, creating new challenges for investigators and tool developers alike.
SMART represents the next step in the evolution of data forensic tools and methodologies and effectively avoids many of the problems and pitfalls newer technologies present to older tools and procedures. Many of the advanced features of SMART have been forged and refined in the crucible of actual cases, including the Enron / Arthur Andersen investigation, one of the largest data forensic investigations ever undertaken.