5 Free FBI & CSI Digital Photo Forensic Tools To Analyze Fake Photos

Updated: January 27, 2018 / Home » Computer and Internet Security

With the rising popularity of social media such as Facebook and twitter, fake news with fake pictures that look real has become a big problem. Digital Photos are more integral to communication than ever before, but the wide availability of easy image editing and manipulation tools at the disposable of anyone with a computer, or a smartphone, it makes them a risky proposition when trust is important.

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Whether you’re accepting citizen journalism photos for a news site, profile photos for a dating service, insurance claim photos, or even photos of identity documents like licenses and passports, it’s important to know what’s real and what’s manipulated. Before you share the news, always verify the source, if the image appears to be too good to be true, analyze it.

↓ 01 – FotoForensics [ The Best ] | Free | Paid | Web


FotoForensics uses an advanced algorithm to decode any possible photoshopped pictures and manipulation; it uses the Error Level Analysis (ELA) to identify areas within an image that are at different compression levels. With JPEG images, the entire picture should be at roughly the same error level. If a section of the image is at a significantly different error level, then it likely indicates a digital modification.

FotoForensics aims to simplify the evaluation process. It works like a microscope — by highlighting artifacts and details that the human eye may not be able to identify. Between having the right tools and training, most people can quickly learn how to evaluate picture. FotoForensics provides the algorithms, online tutorials for self-pased learning, challenges to test your knowledge, and other resources to help you get started.

  • Error Level Analysis
  • Metadata Analysis
  • Last-Save Quality
  • Color Adjustments
  • Parasite Detection

↓ 02 – JPEGsnoop | Open Source | Windows


JPEGsnoop is a free Windows application that examines and decodes the inner details of JPEG, MotionJPEG AVI and Photoshop files. It can also be used to analyze the source of an image to test its authenticity. Every digital photo contains a wealth of hidden information — JPEGsnoop was written to expose these details to those who are curious.

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Not only can one determine the various settings that were used in the digital camera in taking the photo (EXIF metadata, IPTC), but one can also extract information that indicates the quality and nature of the JPEG image compression used by the camera in saving the file. Each digical cameras specifies a compression quality levels, many of them wildly different, leading to the fact that some cameras produce far better JPEG images than others.

JPEGsnoop reports a huge amount of information, including: quantization table matrix (chrominance and luminance), chroma subsampling, estimates JPEG Quality setting, JPEG resolution settings, Huffman tables, EXIF metadata, Makernotes, RGB histograms, etc. Most of the JPEG JFIF markers are reported. In addition, you can enable a full huffman VLC decode, which will help those who are learning about JPEG compression and those who are writing a JPEG decoder.

  • Decode JPEG, AVI (MJPG), PSD images
  • MCU analysis with detailed decode
  • Extract embedded JPEG images
  • Detect edited images through compression signature analysis
  • Report all image metadata (EXIF)
  • Batch file processing
  • No installation required

↓ 03 – izitru | Free | Paid | Web


izitru uses automated forensic analysis techniques to certify unmodified digital camera images, so that you can share them in a more trusted manner. Unlike the other 2, it is a very basic photo forensic software that only gives out a ‘true’ or ‘false’ answer.

You only have access to the basic features. When an image is uploaded to izitru, our standard tests only determine whether it is an unmodified original from a digital camera. They do have tests that can identify specific types of editing, such as cloning or compositing, but these tests cannot currently be applied automatically to every image.

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↓ 04 – Ghiro | Open Source | Linux

ghiro photo forensic

Ghiro is an Open Source software for digital photo and digital image forensics. The forensic analysis is fully automated, report data can be searched or aggregated in different perspectives. Ghiro is designed to assist you and your team in the process of analyzing a massive amount of images, it could become an essential tool in your forensic lab.

  • Error Level Analysis (ELA) is a technique aimed to detect if an image is edited or not. It can be applied to compressed images, i.e. JPEG or PNG. The main idea is that an image in his original form has unique levels of compression. The analyzed image is resaved and differences in compression levels are calculated, if differences are detected a probability of edits is high. Ghiro calculates error levels and detects differences between them.
  • Hash digest generation – Most common hash are calculated for the image, to create an unique identifier of it. The calculated hashes are: CRC32, MD5, SHA1, SHA224, SHA256, SHA384, and SHA512
  • Hash list matching – Suppose you are searching for an image and you have only the hash. You can provide a list of hashes and all images matching are reported.
  • Strings extraction – All text strings contained in the analyzed image are extracted, like in the unix strings tool. The more interesting (i.e. URLs) are highlighted.
  • Signature engine – Signature provides evidence about most critical data to highlight focal points and common exposures. Signature engine to highlight common exposure on over 120 signatures
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↓ 05 – Forensically | Free | Web


Forensically is a set of free tools for digital image forensics. It includes clone detection, error level analysis, meta data extraction and more. You should think of forensically as a kind of magnifying glass. It helps you to see details that would otherwise be hidden. Just like a magnifying glass it can’t tell true from false or good from evil, but it might help you to uncover the truth.

  • Clone Detection – The clone detector highlights copied regions within an image. These can be a good indicator that a picture has been manipulated.
  • Error Level Analysis – This tool compares the original image to a recompressed version. This can make manipulated regions stand out in various ways. For example they can be darker or brighter than similar regions which have not been manipulated.
  • Noise Analysis – This is tool is basically a reverse denoising algorithm. Rather than removing the noise it removes the rest of the image. It is using a super simple separable median filter to isolate the noise. It can be useful for identifying manipulations to the image like airbrushing, deformations, warping and perspective corrected cloning. It works best on high quality images.
  • PCA – This tool performs principal component analysis on the image. This provides a different angle to view the image data which makes discovering certain manipulations & details easier. This tool is currently single threaded and quite slow when running on big images.

12 comments on “5 Free FBI & CSI Digital Photo Forensic Tools To Analyze Fake Photos

  1. Gravatar
    microsoft [ Reply ]

    Learn more about fotoforensics.com AND fotoforensics

  2. Gravatar
    Whitson Gordon [ Reply ]

    you can use error level analysis (ELA). its free, easy,

  3. Gravatar
    gameboy [ Reply ]

    Free online image forensic analysis at Fotoforensics

  4. Gravatar

    where to download FBI, CSI and CIA photo enhancing software? open source?

  5. Gravatar

    how to know If Photos Have Been Digitally Modified or edited with a photo editing software such as photoshop or gimp or etc? mac os?

  6. Gravatar
    Bradley Mitchell [ Reply ]

    guys, there is a simple digital photo forensic photography online tool / version, check them out:


  7. Gravatar
    Dr. Neal Krawetz [ Reply ]

    “FBI, CSI and CIA”? Really? I’m the guy who developed ELA and runs the FotoForensics web site. (And that’s my bookshelf in those pictures.) I’m not aware of anyone from the FBI, CSI, or CIA who use my web site. I did train some police officers on how to use the site, but none of them were CSI as far as I know. I think the same can be said for JPEGsnoop by Calvin Hass. (Calvin’s a really nice guy.)

    Outside of your alarmist headline, this is a nice article and I grant you permission to use my pictures for this review. (Next time, please ask first.)

    • Gravatar
      Ngan Tengyuen [ Reply ]

      Hi Dr.Neal, thanks for the amazing software. I simply love it, and use it often to see if any politician in my home country is faking any photos. I guess to us the common people, this is CIA FBI grade software. The best of the best.

  8. Gravatar
    bob melner [ Reply ]

    According to this software, this image located here is fake
    I find that very interesting.

    • Gravatar
      Ngan Tengyuen [ Reply ]

      the moon is not far, a handful of nation have powerful telescope, this includes China, Russia, Germany, UK, France, Australia and more. If the USA faked the moon landing, don’t you think these countries know the truth? I wont be surprised if they have their telescope pointed at where the USA astronaut will be landing.

  9. Gravatar
    Terost [ Reply ]

    The moon landing was real. Even with the powerful telescopes, you will not be able to see the astronaut or the lunar craft on the moon surface.
    Knowing that the most powerful telescope, the LBT, has an equivalent resolution of a main mirror 22,8 meters (two mirrors 8,4 meters in diameter operating in interferometry), it is obvious that it is impossible to see the flag from the Earth, and, moreover, the atmosphere affects the performance of telescopes.

    • Gravatar

      Yet we should believe they can see distant artifacts on Saturn…? Space is fake. Earth is Flat. NASA lies.

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