Firefox Tool: Screen Capture

Posted on July 29th, 2018

During my Live and Online OSINT Training Courses, I stress the importance of documentation during an online investigation. Over the years, I have demonstrated free screen capture tools such as Fireshot and Nimbus, and premium (much better) options such as Hunchly. While Hunchly is my preferred overall evidence capture tool, it currently only works in Chrome, which I try to avoid for privacy reasons. I prefer Firefox for all investigations and personal use due to the better privacy control and availability of their Containers Extension. Recent updates to Firefox introduced a native screen capture tool, which has been flawless for my investigations.

Directly to the right of the address bar in Firefox is three horizontal dots. Clicking this reveals a menu with an option to “Take a Screenshot”. Selecting this option activates the screen capture utility allowing you to select a single portion of the page, the entire page, or the visible portion of the page. In the image below, I have hovered over the title portion of this blog post with the full options visible to the right.

In almost every investigation, I simply choose the “Save Full Page” option and archive the result. The quality is good, but not superb. The result is a png graphic file, and I would prefer a pdf. However, the free tool gets the job done without installing additional extensions. Since I try to keep my Firefox add-ons to a minimum, I am using the feature much more heavily than Fireshot. However, I do not receive some of the Fireshot benefits such as custom file naming and archive type (pdf). Fireshot has had its own limitations, especially when capturing large Facebook and Twitter pages. The built-in Firefox screen capture has handled large social media pages with ease. I have yet to find a dynamic page that it could not capture.

The Firefox screen caprture tool is embedded into every updated Firefox install. I encourage readers to test and be antiquated with the options. My rule for online investigations is “If you do not document your findings, they never existed”.

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