Forensic Investigation Process Following a Ransomware Attack

Initial Response

The forensics investigation after a ransomware attack is a critical component of the response effort, involving specialized techniques and methodologies. 

As soon as a ransomware attack is detected, the initial response should focus on containing the threat to prevent further spread and preserving evidence for forensic analysis. This step is critical and should be initiated immediately.

NOTE: In an ideal scenario, the forensic investigation and recovery processes following a ransomware attack should be conducted concurrently, rather than sequentially (see **CONCURRENT ACTIVITIES** below). 

Identification and Preservation of Evidence


Attack Vector


Log Analysis and Network Traffic Review



Law Enforcement

Incident Review


In a typical scenario, a preliminary assessment might be completed within days to a week, providing initial insights and guiding immediate response efforts. However, a comprehensive investigation that includes full analysis, reporting, and recommendations for future prevention can extend much longer. It's important for organizations to balance the need for a thorough investigation with the urgency of resuming normal operations, always keeping in mind the potential long-term implications of the attack.


The key challenge is to balance the urgency of restoring operations with the thoroughness needed in the forensic investigation. Cutting corners in either process can lead to inadequate recovery or insufficient understanding of the attack could expose you to additional risk.

Throughout the forensic investigation, maintaining the integrity of the evidence and following a methodology that is acceptable in a court of law is essential, especially if legal actions against the perpetrators are considered. The findings from a forensic investigation not only aid in recovering from the current attack but are also instrumental in bolstering defenses against future threats