Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Looks like I need more copies Registry Recon

Hello Reader,
            If you've read this blog you know that I am always looking for new tools and new uses for existing tools to solve all the cases put in front of me. One of the tools I've used for awhile now is Arsenal's Registry Recon to recover deleted registry data and temporary registry data but recently I've been relying a lot of volume shadow copies to get old registries.

Now I know there is way more there and way more ways to use the recovered registry data that I knew before. So here is the scenario, suspect has re-installed Windows on their computer before turning in the computer.    Now I did what you would normally expect, I carved for lnks, ran IEF, recovered USN data but none of that provided me what I really needed to know. Did my suspect take any data with them prior to re-installing. To figure that out, beyond LNK files and jumplists, I usually rely on registry data to determine USB devices connected and shell bags for directory accesses.

I ran registry recon against this image knowing it had support to auto-magically go through all the recovered registry keys and produce a report of previously connected USB devices from recovered registries. I will tell you that it did an amazing job, even after reinstall and slight use i was able to recover over a years worth of USB device connections. So now I knew my suspect had used USB devices... but what did they do with them?

Registry Recon does not allow you to generate a report of the recovered MRU's or Shell bags across all the hives they've recovered, I've talked to them and this is coming in the next release, but I had a directory full of carved registry files.I have other tools I use when I want to go through registry data and some of the recovered hives were quite large and looked like standard registry data, maybe I thought I could just use my normal tools across the recovered hives.

I used the -pipe feature of the TZWorks tools cafae and sbags and passed in the entire set of carved registries and what came back amazed me. Low and behold the recovered registry hives contained a subset that included almost full NTUser hives, system hives and software hives! Using sbags I was able to iterate through all of them and pull out a ton of shell bags data. Using cafae I was able to pull out a ton of MRU and other data! I'm documenting this now so I won't forget later but I do plan to do a step by step to walk through what I did here.

In short, I managed to recover almost all the registry activity I needed from a re-installed system to prove some findings thanks to registry recon. If you have registry recon, and I really do recommend that you do, you can use any third party tool to access the registry data it recovers. In the near future they are updating it again to include even more reports but let's face it just having the data is worth getting a copy today. It's also important to remember that this just doesn't work for re-installed systems. All systems have recoverable temporary registries that may expose data in MRU keys that have rolled over and many other keys.

TLDR; I'm going to get more copies of registry recon and its getting moved up on my tool priority list.