Monday, March 31, 2014

Daily Blog #281: Sunday Funday Winner 3/30/14

Hello Reader,
          This week's sunday funday challenge was an interesting experiment for me. I think most of us are using at least one if not all three of these tools so I thought the common knowledge would be there to allow most of you a shot at this. What I didn't expect was the level of depth the answers went to in responding!


The Challenge:
Compare the following registry forensic tools; Registry Decoder, RegRipper and Yaru and document the following:
1. What do they do differently
2. What approach do they take to registry analysis

The Winning Answer:
 Harlan Carvey
None of the tools perform analysis, per se.  While each tool provides some means for allowing data to be accessed and searched, it is still up to the analyst to actually interpret the data within the context of their examination goals.

-- Yaru --
Yaru is a GUI-based Registry browsing tool from TZWorks.net, and runs on 32- and 64-bit Windows and Linux, and on 64-bit MacOSX.   On Windows, Yaru can snapshot the hives on a running system and allow the analyst to examine them.

Yaru will index a hive, allowing the analyst to see deleted keys and values, as well as unallocated space within the hive file itself.  It will also show cell slack space, as well.  Yaru also allows the analyst to run a "cmd" file (which is apparently a "user defined template"), generate some simple reports, extract password hashes (with the proper
hives loaded, of course).

For analysts used to using tools such as the native RegEdit, and MiTeC's WRR, the interface can take some getting used to.  When a key is clicked on, the content view visible in the right-hand pane is different from what one may be used to.  The key LastWrite time, for example, is referred to as "Timestamp", and is displayed along
with the owner and group SIDs, the key DACL, and the values along with their type and data.

Via the Options menu option, an analyst can search either the allocated or unallocated space, for strings, patterns,etc.

Unlike MiTeC's WRR, Yaru is capable of parsing "big data", that is, value data that is larger than 2K - 3K in size.  A different data structure is used for this type of value data.  However, at the moment, it appears that the only value that uses this data type is the AppCompatCache value.

-- Registry Decoder --
I had not used Registry Decoder until today, and I started with the Google Code site.  I found that most of the links to information about the tool at the digitalforensicssolutions.com site are broken; that is, most of the pages no longer exist.

According to the FAQ at the Google Code site, Registry Decoder appears to have a number of capabilities. The tool consists of two components, one for accessing a live or "online" system, and another for accessing acquired images (physical or logical/partition), including split and .E0x format images.

Registry Decoder provides the analyst with the ability to browse and search loaded hives, perform hive 'diffs',  timelining, and it can generate reports, in PDF, HTML, CSV, and XLS formats.

Registry Decoder also includes case management capabilities, in that when launched, it asks the analyst if they want to create a new case, or open an existing case.  Once the case is loaded and "evidence" can be accessed, the analyst can run a number of plugins (most seem to apparently be replicated from RegRipper plugins).  The plugins
do not appear to be open source, but instead appear to be contained in the executable file itself.  When a plugin is run, the results are presented in a tab in the GUI, and reports can be generated from there.

Registry Decoder appears to have last been updated on 25 Sept 2012.

-- RegRipper --
RegRipper is completely open source; downloading the .zip archive includes not only the Windows EXE and DLL files necessary to run the RegRipper GUI, as well as the companion rip.pl/.exe command line tool, but the source .pl files for both, as well.  The command line component of RegRipper can be run on Linux and MacOSX systems,
albeit with minor modifications to the code that is currently publicly available to address path issues (fix will be included in the next release).  In fact, RegRipper has been incorporated into several Linux-based DFIR CDs, to include SANS SIFT.

RegRipper is not a viewer tool, nor was it intended to be.  It is a tool for running specific plugins against hive files in order to extract and if necessary, decode, information from specific keys and values within the hive.  RegRipper was designed to work against individual hive files, which can be selected through the RegRipper GUI.  Users will
also select a 'profile' (group of plugins) to run against a hive file, and the report (as well as a log of activity) is generated in text format, so that it can be easily searched.  Hives can be accessed on remote systems via the use of tools such as F-Response, and hives within VSCs can be accessed once the VSC itself has been exposed
via some other means.  RegRipper ships with a number of default 'profiles', one for each hive type; however, the profiles themselves are open source, and analysts can create their own, specific profiles.  The CLI RegRipper component, rip, allows the analyst to run either profiles or individual plugins against hive files, and can be incorporated
into batch files for more automated processing (i.e., Corey Harrell's auto_rip tool).

As RegRipper plugins are open source, they can be created or modified as the analyst deems necessary.  Plugins can extract and parse/decode specific keys and values, and can even correlate data from multiple locations within the same hive file.  Several plugins have been modified to return TLN format output, and anyone can modify
plugins to output in any format that they wish.

Something that has been incorporated into several of the RegRipper plugins is the ability to generate alerts based on defined variances in data.  For example, if a path listed in the data for a value beneath the Run key contains "temp", such as "..\Windows\Temp\.." or "Temporary Internet Files", an alert can be generated.  This capability allows the analyst to set conditions within the plugins to highlight anomalies so that items that may be of particular interest are separated in some way from the rest of the available data.

RegRipper's plugins obviate the need for analysts to memorize key and value paths, retaining intelligence from  previous examinations, and even from other analysts. Viewing tools require the analyst to memorize and navigate through paths, and do not alert the analyst when a system has redirected paths (i.e., Wow6432Node).

RegRipper plugins can be grouped in any way the analyst deems fit, such as specific subsets of plugins for parsing USB device information, as well as using artifact categories (i.e., program execution, auto-start, user activity, file access, networking, system config, etc.).

RegRipper does not do anything to access unallocated space within the hive files, so it does not locate deleted keys and values, nor does it allow an analyst to search unallocated space within the hive file.

While RegRipper functionality does not include a 'diff' capability, any diff utility can be used to compare plugin output between successive runs.

RegRipper, and in particular rip.pl, is a great tool when used by researchers, as it not only exposes the code used to perform various functions, such as decoding shell items, etc., but it also exposes the code used in translating time stamps from within the Registry value data.  It also includes code for dumping arbitrary binary data in hex dump format, making it easier for researchers to develop new plugins and new ways of parsing or presenting data.

RegRipper is unique amongst the presented tools, in that it makes no attempt to present the Registry in its entirety to the analyst.  Rather, RegRipper is intended to provide a facility for sharing IOCs and other previous findings, not only between cases for analyst, but also between analysts.  RegRipper's open source plugin architecture allows analysts
to create and modify plugins to meet their specific needs, as well as to share plugins with other analysts.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Daily Blog #280: Sunday Funday 3/30/14

Hello Reader,
          It's Sunday Funday time! Let's see if you are up for this weeks challenge. If you watched the forensic lunch on Friday you would have heard Vico Marziale talk about registry decoder. Let's see how well you know your registry forensic tools in this weeks challenge.

The Prize:
A $200 Amazon Gift Card



The Rules:
  1. You must post your answer before Monday 3/31/14 8AM CST (GMT -5)
  2. The most complete answer wins
  3. You are allowed to edit your answer after posting
  4. If two answers are too similar for one to win, the one with the earlier posting time wins
  5. Be specific and be thoughtful 
  6. Anonymous entries are allowed, please email them to dcowen@g-cpartners.com. Please state in your email if you would like to be anonymous or not if you win.
  7. In order for an anonymous winner to receive a prize they must give their name to me, but i will not release it in a blog post

The Challenge:
Compare the following registry forensic tools; Registry Decoder, RegRipper and Yaru and document the following:
1. What do they do differently
2. What approach do they take to registry analysis

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Daily Blog #279: Saturday Reading 3/29/14

Hello Reader,
        Another week has come and gone. I hope it was filled with factual revelations and case breaking moments. It's time to get ready for next week and all the new artifacts and DFIR knowledge that awaits you in this weeks Saturday Reading.

1. We had an unusual Forensic Lunch this week but still chock full of great DFIR information. This week we had:

Vico Marziale, @vicomarziale, from 504ensics, discussing their memory differencing project amongst other topics

Lee Whitfield, @lee_whitfield, discussing the upcoming deadline for Forensic 4cast award nominations and the trouble with time machines

You can watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fyDPxUXS1FQ&list=UUZ7mQV3j4GNX-LU1IKPVQZg

2.  Harlan has a new blog post up this week on why he writes DFIR books, I have similar reasons to Harlan and found it a great read, http://windowsir.blogspot.com/2014/03/writing-dfir-books_28.html

3. Harlan put up a second post this week advocating for why you should learn how to program if you plan to excel in DFIR something I absolutely agree with, http://windowsir.blogspot.com/2014/03/coding-for-digital-forensic-analysis.html

4. Corey Harrell has a new post up this week talking about yet another program execution artifact. This one covers a new event log that also tracks program execution related to the application compatibility artifacts he's been blogging about, http://journeyintoir.blogspot.com/2014/03/exploring-program-inventory-event-log.html

5. SANS has a new post up on their computer forensics blog with a link to download their know DFIR poster, http://digital-forensics.sans.org/blog/2014/03/26/finding-evil-on-windows-systems-sans-dfir-poster-release. The poster gives a great set of reference knowledge on 'knowing normal' to find evil.

6. Lenny Zelster has put up a series of introductory videos to malware analysis, great watching http://blog.zeltser.com/post/80874760857/introductory-malware-analysis-webcasts

7. Brian Moran has been updating and working on his live response scripts that he's been giving away. In this post Brian goes into how to detect the JackPOS malware using the data collected by his response script http://brimorlabs.blogspot.com/2014/03/windows-live-response-collection-vs.html

That's all for this week, make sure to come back tomorrow for another Sunday Funday challenge!


Friday, March 28, 2014

Daily Blog #278: Forensic Lunch 3/28/14

Hello Reader,
      Another Forensic Lunch has been enjoyed by those who watched live. This week's show was a bit different than planned but still chock full of great DFIR information. This week we had:

Vico Marziale, @vicomarziale, from 504ensics, discussing their memory differencing project amongst other topics

Lee Whitfield, @lee_whitfield, discussing the upcoming deadline for Forensic 4cast award nominations and the trouble with time machines


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Daily Blog #277: Sample Forensic Images

Hello Reader,
              One of things we built for the book 'infosec pro guide to computer forensics' was a set of images to practice each of the investigative how-to chapters. I used one as a Sunday Funday contest but at the time I was having problems putting them someplace where they wouldn't get taken down due to large bandwidth usage. Luckily this is no longer a problem thanks to mega and their very cheap and generous file sharing/hosting plans. So here are the forensic images we made for the book for you to download and try on your own. Having the book will help you understand the scenario/what to expect to find but you should be able to solve these images without any other information.

Chapter 11 Image - HR Cases (Porn)

Chapter 12 Image Scenario 1 - Administrator Abuse of privileges

Chapter 12 Image Scenario 2 - Administrator Abuse of privileges

Chapter 13 Image - Stealing Information

Chapter 14 Image - Internal Leaks

Chapter 15 Image- Keyloggers and Malware

Have fun, we will be posting up video walk through of these images and reports of results in the near future so you can learn how to solve them as well.




Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Daily Blog #276: Ever wanted to write a DFIR book?

Hello Reader,
         It's time to continue my posts about the talks I'll be giving at conferences this year. This time I want to talk about the DFIR author panel that Suzanne Widup from Verizon has setup at CEIC and the SANS DFIR Summit. The panel at CIEC this year will have in alphabetical order:

  • Warren Kruse, author of Computer Forensics: Incident Response Essentials
  • Joseph Shaw, author of Unified Communications Forensics: Anatomy of Common UC Attacks
  • Suzanne Widdup, author of Computer Forensics and Digital Investigation with EnCase Forensic v7
  • and myself
We will be doing the panel twice  once Tuesday, May 20th from 5:00pm – 6:00pm (Exhibit Hall Happy Hour) and again Wednesday, May 21st from 12:15pm – 1:15pm (Lunch in the Exhibit Hall). So you'll have two chances to come talk to us and ask questions!

Ask questions about what you ask? Well topics like:
  • How we decided to write a book
  • How we found a publisher
  • What it takes to write a book
  • What to expect from writing a book
  • Was it worth it?
  • How you can get a book deal 
It should be a good panel with a variety of publishers and experiences represented and available to answer your questions. I hope to see you there!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Daily Blog #275: IP Theft Panel at ADUC

Hello Reader,
           Last week I talked about the talk I am giving at SANS DFIR Summit. Today I want to talk about the panel I'll be on at the AccessData Users Conference on IP Theft. I think this will be a great panel that will expose those attendee's to the whole life cycle of an IP Theft case to trial. The panel will have Pierre Lidome fron Schlumberger providing the perspective of the inside forensics investigator, Sheryl Falk from Winston & Strawn providing the perspective of outside counsel and myself talking about being the outside expert.

We are going to walk through:
  • How a case starts and ends, from detection to testimony
  • The different roles each of us plays in the process
  • The triggering events that causes each of us to get engaged
  • How we work together
  • Cases we've worked
I think this is going to be a great panel and I'm excited that this is the first year AccessData has opened their conference up to a public CFP. If you are going to be there I hope you attend and ask lots of questions!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Daily Blog #274: Sunday Funday 3/23/14 Winner!

Hello Reader,
            This was an interesting Sunday Funday. I got two good responses that I liked but one seemed to have more information while the other described the details of less artifacts locations in more detail. In the end since it was a general question I went with the one that I thought gave the largest list of forensically relevant artifacts new to Windows 8.

The Challenge:
What changes have occurred between Windows 7 and Windows 8 that have created new forensic artifacts for examiners to recover and analysis. List as many as you can find with a short description of what they are/mean/do.
The Winning Answer:
Jacob Blend

Refresh points (similar to SRPs in XP, but more like an image to revert to)
-these can have wireless network info, bitlocker settings, personalization, metro style)

System recovery (refresh to factory state, but personal files can be handled here, in windows.old for instance)

Recover or refresh leaves different types of artifacts


Registry values for device insertion, removed and firmware fields (timestamps), CurrentControlSet\Enum\DeviceType\DeviceID\InstanceID\{GUID}\Properties\xxxx 

File history services (replacement of VSS) (saving differential changes)

Local folder, contains virtualstore

-%Root%\Users\%User%\AppData\Local

immersive apps have their own reg files

metro apps have their own internet artifacts- cache, cookies, and history
installed system apps in registry
installed user account apps

IE 10 should count as it is standard, an a supposed upgrade from Win 7 offerings-

-user pinned tiles
-immersive websites visited

Communication App includes a ton of social networking information
-web cache
-cookies
-user contacts

NEW registry info!
ELAM- Early Launch Anti Malware
BBI (Browser-Based Interface)
Settings.dat (User Profile)
NTUSER.DAT artifact TypedURLsTime

SAM artifacts
internet user name
user's tile
ISO automount

2 Swapfiles (pagefile.sys, swapfile.sys)
Storage Pools (resilient storage areas)



Sunday, March 23, 2014

Daily Blog #273: Sunday Funday 3/23/14

Hello Reader,
             This Sunday Funday is going up later in the day than normal so I will shift the deadline to be later in the day as well. If you watched the Forensic Lunch this Friday you heard Nasa & Khizra talk about a new feature in Windows 8 called File History. For this Sunday Funday let's see how well you've been keeping up with an operating system that has been out for over a year for a prize worth fighting for.

The Prize:
A free ticket to the SANS DFIR Summit! (A $499 value if you were to register in the next week with the discount code 'SUMMIT')



The Rules:
  1. You must post your answer before Monday 3/23/14 2PM CST (GMT -5)
  2. The most complete answer wins
  3. You are allowed to edit your answer after posting
  4. If two answers are too similar for one to win, the one with the earlier posting time wins
  5. Be specific and be thoughtful 
  6. Anonymous entries are allowed, please email them to dcowen@g-cpartners.com
  7. In order for an anonymous winner to receive a prize they must give their name to me, but i will not release it in a blog post

The Challenge:
What changes have occurred between Windows 7 and Windows 8 that have created new forensic artifacts for examiners to recover and analysis. List as many as you can find with a short description of what they are/mean/do.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Daily Blog #272: Saturday Reading 3/22/14

Hello Reader,
          It's Saturday! Put the kids outside (if its above freezing where you are) and brew your favorite beverage because it's time to get ready for the week ahead! It's for more links to make you think in this week's Saturday reading.

1. We had another great forensic lunch this week, this week we had:
Vico Marziale, @vicomarziale Talking about the research being done at 504ENSICS Labs and specifically into the OSX Spotlight index.

You can get a copy of spotlight inspector here:
http://www.504ensics.com/tools/digital-forensics-tool-spotlight-inspector/

You can read the 504ensiecs blog here
http://www.504ensics.com/blog/

You can see the rest of their website and tools here:
http://www.504ensics.com/

Nasa Quba & Kausar Khizra   - Talking about their research on Windows 8 File History!
You can see Nasa & Khizra at the SANS DFIR Summit this june go into depth into this research during an hour presentation on the topic!
Go here to learn more

To contact Nasa  & Khizra their linkedin page is here:
http://www.linkedin.com/in/kausarkhizra/
www.linkedin.com/pub/nasa-quba/39/715/382/

2. Didier Stevens has a new blog up talking about how to find embedded executables with his tool Xorsearch. Very cool stuff read it here: http://blog.didierstevens.com/2014/03/20/xorsearch-finding-embedded-executables/

3.  On the SP Security Blog there is a great writeup on the examination of a rootkit using Volatility, http://spresec.blogspot.com/2014/03/uroburos-rootkit-hook-analysis-and.html Always nice to see how someone else solves these kinds puzzles.

4.  Brian Moran has a new blog post up with his OSX live response scripts, http://brimorlabs.blogspot.com/2014/03/announcing-osx-live-response-bash.html If you are doing live response Brian's scripts are very helpful.

5. Darren Windham has a new blog up this week talking about the side effects of having McAfee installed when you are trying to do memory analysis, http://dfirtx.blogspot.com/2014/03/update-from-this-week-mcafee-and-memory.html

6. Version 3 of the SANS SIFT virtual machine is out,http://digital-forensics.sans.org/community/downloads

7. The Rekall memory forensics blog has a post up on how simple it can be to stop memory acquisitions, very interesting http://rekall-forensic.blogspot.fr/2014/03/how-to-stop-memory-acquisition-by.html

8. Frank McClain has a new blog up talking about his planned talk at this years SANS DFIR Summit, http://forensicaliente.blogspot.com/2014/03/presenting-dfir-shakespeare-style-dfir.html

Did I miss something? Let me know in the comments below!

Daily Blog #271: Forensic Lunch 3/21/14

Hello Reader,
       We had another great forensic lunch this week, this week we had:
Vico Marziale, @vicomarziale Talking about the research being done at 504ENSICS Labs and specifically into the OSX Spotlight index.

You can get a copy of spotlight inspector here:
http://www.504ensics.com/tools/digital-forensics-tool-spotlight-inspector/

You can read the 504ensiecs blog here
http://www.504ensics.com/blog/

You can see the rest of their website and tools here:
http://www.504ensics.com/

Nasa Quba & Kausar Khizra   - Talking about their research on Windows 8 File History!
You can see Nasa & Khizra at the SANS DFIR Summit this june go into depth into this research during an hour presentation on the topic!
Go here to learn more

To contact Nasa  & Khizra their linkedin page is here:






Thursday, March 20, 2014

Daily Blog #270: Bsides Austin 2014

Hello Reader,
           I had a great time today at Bsides Austin. When I come to conferences that are primarily information security focused I feel like an ambassador to the world of DFIR. I always try to explain to them what lead me out of the infosec world and into DFIR and why I feel its a better place long term. I gave the same talk here that I did at Bsides DFW but to tell the truth, I didn't stick to the slides very much. I took the time to explain whats possible with filesystem journal forensics and then extend that with other operating system artifacts for NTFS/HFS+ and EXT3 so they could understand what possible now.

I was very encouraged the majority of the audience identified themselves as doing some kind of incident response and got the concepts I was going over. I also didn't get the 'how would you defeat truecrypt if someone says they forgot their password' question until the last 5 minutes, you know you are 'that guy'! So with all of that being said I hope that some people are interested into joining the ranks of DFIR professionals as we all know we need more of us! Here is a link to download today's slides for those of you who wanted to focus more on the data structures I didn't cover.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_mjsPB8uKOAdlJKd19Zc1MybVE/edit?usp=sharing

And here is the signup form for the last month of the Triforce beta:
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1GzOMe-QHtB12ZnI4ZTjLA06DJP6ZScXngO42ZDGIpR0/viewform

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Daily Blog #269: Cool! When did FTK start doing that? #1 Create/mod dates of Carved PDFs from PDF metadata

Hello Reader,
          Occasionally in our work we stumble across new features from our tools that suddenly makes our lives easier. A long time ago I blogged about when FTK made the 'export lnk metadata' option available which made our lives so much easier. Today I want to talk about something else they just kinda put in and don't know when.

FTK is now correctly parsing out the creation and modification dates (if they exist) from carved pdf files and placing them in the correct fields within the interface. This may sound simple and apparent but for a very long time any carved file within FTK would have no time entries as well, they had no file timestamps... they were carved. What we saw this week was for those files that have timestamps within their metadata FTK is starting to pull this out in the processing of the carved file and sticking them into their relevant timestamp location.

Does this sound simple? It is, but it can be a huge time saver! Here is an example. I have a pdf file that I'm looking for an image that has been deleted and is no longer recoverable from all the usual locations (recycle bin, mft deleted file record, shadow copy, etc..) so I have to carve to find it. I know the date the file was created on the system as I still have a shellbag from the desktop access of the file, but I believe that it is a scanned image stored in a pdf. This presents a problem as I can't just do a keyword search for what I think the file contains as its an image.

You could try to OCR all of the carved pdf's and then search for keywords, but calling the OCRing of carved data (which may be incomplete and curropted) failure prone is being kind. So instead I was able to filter my file list for carved pdf's and then sort by create date. Boom there was one carved pdf created on the same day as the shellbag entry pointing to it. A quick preview of the file within Adobe Reader and I had what I was looking for.

So the next time you are what appears to be a huge lake of carved data trying to find a file interest, check to see if the tool you are using is exposing the dates stored within the document metadata it could be your ticket to a quick resolution.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Daily Blog #268: SANS DFIR Summit details

Hello Reader,
            You may have seen on Sunday's post some information about my upcoming talk at the SANS DFIR Summit. I thought I would spend some time this week talking about each of the events I'll be talking about in detail so you can set your expectations on which event you'd like to see me at the most (or all of them!). I try to always talk about something different at the major events to keep things interesting for both of us. I also always put my slides up from the event here on the blog, maybe one day they'll let me put up recordings of the talks as well!

Click here to learn more about the event and see the schedule.

Today I wanted to focus on the SANS DFIR Summit as they choose a topic I submitted and was hoping they would like called 'Best Finds of 2014'. I'll be speaking on the first day at 1:45pm in Track 2. I'm excited about this talk because of the huge amount of space SANS has granted me to operate within the topic. Typically when I submit a topic to a CFP I have to choose one particular aspect of our research and focus on it for an hour, which you'll see me doing at other conferences this year. This topic though let's me really show you a wider survey of whats really cool and more importantly forensically useful from a whole years worth of research. I'll be hitting the highlights through all of the best artifacts we've covered here in the blog and those that we've only talked about during the Forensic Lunch.

I've found continued success in our own cases this year with the artifacts and analysis techniques I'll be showing this year and I'll give case citations to those of you who need to support using new artifacts by proving their use in past cases. My citations will be for US Civil courts (state and federal) so for those of you on the criminal side you'll likely have to do more validation. So I'm very confident in the utility of these artifacts having used them and defended them in court and achieving great results for our clients.

Here is the list of topics I proposed back in January:
 
  • Detecting writes to NTFS disks with the ntfs-3g driver
  • Recovering MTP access
  • Outlook attachment access through USN Journals
  • Artifacts from renaming accounts in Windows 7
  • Using task scheduler logs to recover past login
I'll be adding more to that list as we just keep finding more cool stuff! I love forensics, if you couldn't tell, and there is still so much we don't know that can lead to conclusive results and findings.

In addition to all of that SANS has made buying a ticket to the event much more affordable. If you use the discount code 'SUMMIT' now through March 31, 2014 the cost of a ticket will drop by $1,000. So the two day SANS DFIR Summit would just be $495 which includes great technical presentations (no sales pitches here) and lots of fun and socializing with your fellow forensic friends.

If that is still too much for your training budget you can still win a free pass to the event in upcoming Sunday Fundays so you have lots of opportunities to come down to Austin this June!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Daily Blog #267: Sunday Funday 3/16/14 Winner!

Hello Reader,
        Another Sunday come and gone with another individual added to the list of winners, only three months left of my year of blogging so make sure you get your shot in the coming weeks! This weeks' iCloud challenge got a lot of responses with varying degrees of information. This weeks' winning answer took me a few reads to really 'get' but the information provided is the most complete so its worth reading a couple times to get it right. So Congratulations Thomas Pullen you won this week's challenge!


The Challenge:
Cloud backups of mobile devices are now built into almost every major operating system. For iOS devices please answer the following questions.

1. How many backups per device would you expect to find?
2. What triggers a backup to the cloud to occur?
3. What tools currently exist to access icloud backups?

The Winning Answer:
Thomas Pullen
Apple gives 5gb free storage per device unless you buy more, so you'd only expect to find 1 backup per device. backup is incremental. devices CAN have multiple backups if there is enough storage (50gb is the current maximum). i don't think there is a limit to the number of backups made other than account storage, but when restoring the IOS device it may limit to the most 3 recent backups made.

iCloud doesn't backup everything, just the following:

-Photos and videos in your Camera Roll
-Device settings
-App data
-Home screen and app organization (not the apps themselves)
-iMessage, text (SMS), and MMS messages
-Ringtones
-Visual Voicemail
-the first 1,000 photos of photo stream, if enabled (photos don't count towards storage limit)
-icloud keychain was introduced with IOS7. this is a dubious thing to store in the cloud, and a perfect reason to use elcomsoft phone password breaker.

note that you can have up to 10 iCloud accounts per device, but only one iCloud account can be the primary account (associated with your Photo Stream, Find My iPhone, Backups, and document sync). Secondary (and tertiary) accounts can only sync mail, contacts, calendars, reminders, bookmarks, and notes.

so technically, if the IOS device has 10 iCloud accounts, you can actually have 20, 30, 40 "iCloud backups" per device, although only 1 is the primary one. to be more precise, the secondary accounts would probably live inside the backup of the main account, but it's still the backup of separate iCloud email, notes, etc.
i think...but i'm not sure...that these other iCloud account info would still be backed up in the phone's primary iCloud account. see http://support.apple.com/kb/ts4020.
however it's rare that users buy more storage space so most people have just the 5gb.

Backups occur when the user has an iCloud account added to the phone, and the phone is plugged in to a charger, locked, and connected to a wi-fi network.
Also, backup can be forced...settings, iCloud, storage and backup, backup now.

iCloud data is stored in public cloud storage, usually Amazon or Microsoft servers.(!) Apple encrypts the data and holds the encryption keys.

elcomsoft phone password breaker can access some of the iCloud data stored online without alerting the user that it's been used. even if two-step verification is used. however, and this is important, you need the apple ID and password. see http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/05/17/elcomsoft_data_retrieval_tool/ and http://www.elcomsoft.com/eppb.html

also, a court order could force apple to turn over the data to LEOs or agencies. it goes without saying that access to a computer with iTunes backups is often helpful.
also, there is social engineering...ask the user, get their apple ID and password however you can.

tools that just retrieve email, or adding the iCloud account to a windows or mac, or just logging into iCloud.com aren't strictly speaking "accessing the iCloud backup" so aren't worth mentioning here. right now, the only ways i know to access the actual iCloud backup are to use Elcomsoft or get Apple to deliver it to you via court order.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Daily Blog #266: Sunday Funday 3/16/14

Hello Reader,
           It's Sunday and time for another challenge as today's post crosses into the final 100 blogs of my year of blogging. I've thoroughly enjoyed this challenge as it has forced me to keep publishing research, findings, interesting things and other excuses to write a blog.I hope you've enjoyed it as well and I hope to see you at one of the conferences I'll be speaking at this year. One of the one's I'm most excited about is the SANS DFIR Summit, you can read more about it here, where I'll be on a panel of DFIR authors as well as presenting my favorite forensic finds that I've found in the year of blogging. For today's challenge let's talk about mobile phone forensics as discussed by Vladimir Katalov of Elcomsoft on this week's Forensic Lunch.

The Prize:
A $200 Amazon Gift Card, delivered by email




The Rules:
  1. You must post your answer before Monday 3/17/14 2AM CST (GMT -5)
  2. The most complete answer wins
  3. You are allowed to edit your answer after posting
  4. If two answers are too similar for one to win, the one with the earlier posting time wins
  5. Be specific and be thoughtful 
  6. Anonymous entries are allowed, please email them to dcowen@g-cpartners.com
  7. In order for an anonymous winner to receive a prize they must give their name to me, but i will not release it in a blog post

The Challenge:
Cloud backups of mobile devices are now built into almost every major operating system. For iOS devices please answer the following questions.

1. How many backups per device would you expect to find?
2. What triggers a backup to the cloud to occur?
3. What tools currently exist to access icloud backups?

Friday, March 14, 2014

Daily Blog #265: Saturday Reading 3/15/14

Hello Reader,
          It's Saturday! If you are working the weekend than just think that all those annoying co-workers who normally bug you aren't there today! It's time to learn something new while you watch the progress bars flow on this weeks Saturday Reading.

1. We had another great Forensic Lunch today, I hope you will consider making time in your Friday to watch it live someday as I think its just way more fun live. You can watch it here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BtB8DA4dQ7s&list=UUZ7mQV3j4GNX-LU1IKPVQZg

This week we had in order of appearance:

Jake Williams, @malwarejake, talking about the results of the SANS Endpoint Security survey and the positions they are looking to hire at the Mayo Clinic for those of  you looking for senior DFIR positions!
You can also train with jake next month in Orlando and elsewhere, go here to see the classes he's teaching https://www.sans.org/instructors/jake-williams.
SANS/Guidance Endpoint Security Survey Webcast - http://bit.ly/1hYUYMU
Alissa's Memory Forensics Class - Orlando, http://bit.ly/1e0ZEkD
Jake's Log Management and Forensics Class - Orlando, http://bit.ly/PBqkQy
Jake and Alissa's Memory Forensics vLive class - http://bit.ly/1imyw0V

Brian Baskin, @bbaskin, talking about his research, blog (ghetto forensics), books (here is an amazon link), and his work at DC3 where they are looking for people interested in DFIR with a clearance who live in the Baltimore area! Reach out to him if you are interested.

Vladimir Katalov, @vkatalov, the CEO of Elcomsoft talking about upcoming research regarding iCloud key chain recovery from network traffic, Blackberry 10 backups, accessing cloud storage and which gpus work well for long term password cracking. You can go to elcomsoft's website here and these are my favorite tools they sell:
Elcomsoft Phone Password Breaker http://www.elcomsoft.com/eppb.html, great for cracking encrypted phone backups and accessing iCloud backups!
Elcomsoft iOS Toolkit, http://www.elcomsoft.com/eift.html, great for low level working in iOS forensics.
Elcomsoft password cracking bundle, http://www.elcomsoft.com/eprb.html, a nice collection of there password cracking tools

2.  Alissa Torres has a cool blog up on the SANS blog about carving network streams from memory dumps, check it out http://digital-forensics.sans.org/blog/2014/03/14/stream-based-memory-analysis-case-study.

3. A reminder there is still time to nominate your favorite DFIR software vendor, blogger, tool maker and personalities for Forensic 4:cast awards, Go here: http://forensic4cast.com/forensic-4cast-awards to nominate. Speaking as someone who was nominated and won an award last year I can say that it really does make the day of the person you nominate to even see their work recognized. So do the community a favor and nominate those who you feel deserve it!

4.  Colby Lahaie has a blog up involving his capstone research to fulfill his degree requirements over at Champlain. He's researching the what the cloud storage program Idrive leaves behind from a disk and network point of view. Keeping up with the cloud can be tough so I am always looking for more information, read it here: http://lahaie4n6.blogspot.com/2014/03/whats-life-like-in-clouds.html

5. Brian Moran has a new post up about lessons learned from his recent weeks in the field, http://brimorlabs.blogspot.com/2014/03/some-quick-lessons-learned.html. Learning lessons from others who are where you may be in the near future can save you a lot of trouble later.

6. Andrew Hay landed at Open DNS and wrote a blog post about life as a researcher, I like it! http://labs.umbrella.com/2014/03/10/only-easy-research-day-was-yesterday/

7. Hidden Illusion has a neat blog post up on using Yara to brute force Xor encoded strings, http://hiddenillusion.blogspot.com/2014/03/bruteforcing-xor-with-yara.html

8. Corey Harrell has a new blog up this week talking about how he got into DFIR, I hope someday to get Corey to come on the lunch and talk about himself and his work. http://journeyintoir.blogspot.com/2014/03/lose-yourself-in-dfir-music.html

That's all for this week, let me know if I missed anything either in the comments, twitter or email. I'm always looking for more good things to read!