Difference between pages "Tools:Memory Imaging" and "Residual Data on Used Equipment"

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The [[physical memory]] of computers can be imaged and analyzed using a variety of tools. Because the procedure for accessing physical memory varies between [[operating systems]], these tools are listed by operating system. Once memory has been imaged, it is subjected to [[memory analysis]] to ascertain the state of the system, extract artifacts, and so on.
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Used hard drives are frequently a good source of images for testing forensic tools. That's because many individuals, companies and organizations neglect to properly sanitize their hard drives before they are sold on the secondary market.
  
One of the most vexing problems for memory imaging is verifying that the image has been created correctly.  That is, verifying that it reflects the actual contents of memory at the time of its creation. Because the contents of memory are constantly changing on a running system, the process can be repeated but the results will never--to a high degree of probability--be the same.  Thus, repeating the acquisition and comparing the results is not a feasible means of validating correct image creation.  [[Memory analysis]] can reveal whether the image's contents are consistent with the known layout and structure of a given operating system, as well as answering other questions, but it cannot answer the question as to whether the image accurately reflects the system from which it was taken at the time it was taken.
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You can find used hard drives on eBay, at swap meets, yard sales, and even on the street.  
  
== Memory Imaging Techniques ==
 
  
; Crash Dumps
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=Newsworthy Used Hard Drive Stories=
: When configured to create a full memory dump, [[Windows]] operating systems will automatically save an image of physical memory when a bugcheck (aka blue screen or kernel panic) occurs. [[Andreas Schuster]] has a [http://computer.forensikblog.de/en/2005/10/acquisition_2_crashdump.html blog post] describing this technique.
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; LiveKd Dumps
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: The [[Sysinternals]] tool [http://www.microsoft.com/technet/sysinternals/SystemInformation/LiveKd.mspx LiveKd] can be used to create an image of physical memory on a live machine in crash dump format. Once livekd is started, use the command ".dump -f [output file]"
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; Hibernation Files
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: [[Windows]] 98, 2000, XP, 2003, and Vista support a feature called [[hibernation]] that saves the machine's state to the disk when the computer is powered off. When the machine is turned on again, the state is restored and the user can return to the exact point where they left off. The machine's state, including a compressed image of [[physical memory]], is written to the disk on the system drive, usually C:, as [[hiberfil.sys]]. This file can be parsed and decompressed to obtain the memory image. Once [[hiberfil.sys]] has been obtained, [http://sandman.msuiche.net/ Sandman] can be used to convert it to a dd image.
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: [[Mac OS X]] very kindly creates a file called '''/var/vm/sleepimage''' on any laptop that is suspended. This file is NOT erased when the machine starts up. It is unencrypted even if the user turns on [[File Vault]] and enables Secure Virtual Memory. [http://pc-eye.blogspot.com/2008/08/live-memory-dump-on-mac-laptops.html].
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; Firewire
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: It is possible for [[Firewire]] or IEEE1394 devices to directly access the memory of a computer. Using this capability has been suggested as a method for acquiring memory images for forensic analysis. Unfortunately, the method is not safe enough to be widely used yet. There are some published papers and tools, listed below, but they are not yet forensically sound. These tools do not work with all Firewire controllers and on other can cause system crashes. The technology holds promise for future development, in general should be avoided for now.
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: At [[CanSec West 05]], [[Michael Becher]], [[Maximillian Dornseif]], and [[Christian N. Klein]] discussed an [[exploit]] which uses [[DMA]] to read arbitrary memory locations of a [[firewire]]-enabled system. The [http://md.hudora.de/presentations/firewire/2005-firewire-cansecwest.pdf paper] lists more details. The exploit is run on an [http://ipodlinux.org/Main_Page iPod running Linux]. This can be used to grab screen contents.
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: This technique has been turned into a tool that you can download from:  http://www.storm.net.nz/projects/16
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: The [http://goldfish.ae Goldfish] tool automates this exploit for investigators needing to analyze the memory of a Mac.
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== Memory Imaging Tools ==
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There have been several incidents in which individual have purchased a large number of hard drives and written about what they have found. This web page is an attempt to catalog all of those stories in chronological order.
===x86 Hardware===
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; Data Copy King by SalvationDATA Technology
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:In order to meet a higher level of data copy requirements, SalvationDATA developed the Data  copy king integrating fast HDD Auto detection, data erasing and hard drive duplication. This hard drive duplicator can be used widely among data recovery companies, computer forensic agencies, security agencies, IT after sale departments, Banks, Universities, hosting companies, individuals, etc.
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:http://www.salvationdata.com/data-recovery-equipment/data-copy-king.htm
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; Tribble PCI Card (research project)
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* '''2003-01''': Simson Garfinkel and Abhi Shelat at MIT publish a study in ''IEEE Security and Privacy Magazine''  which documents large amount of personal and business-sensitive information found on 250 drives purchased on the secondary market.
: http://www.digital-evidence.org/papers/tribble-preprint.pdf
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; CoPilot by Komoku
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* '''2006-06''': A man buys a family's hard drive at a fleamarket in Chicago after the family's hard drive is upgraded by Best Buy. Apparently somebody at Best Buy violated company policy and instead of destroying the hard drive, they sold it. [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pcyemfJ5H3o&NR Target 5 Investigation]
: Komoku was acquired by Microsoft and the card was not made publicly available.
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; Forensic RAM Extraction Device (FRED) by BBN
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* '''2006-08-10''': The University of Glamorgan in Wales purchased 317 used hard drives from the UK, Australia, Germany, and the US. 25% of the 200 drives purchased from the UK market had been completely wiped. 40% of the purchased drives didn't work.  40% came from businesses, of which 23% contained enough information to identify the company. 5% had business sensitive information. 25% came from individuals, of which many had pornography, and 2 had to be referred to the police for suspected child pornography.
: Not publicly available. http://www.ir.bbn.com/~vkawadia/
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===[[Windows]] Software===
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* '''2006-08-14''': [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/4790293.stm BBC News] reports on bank account information recovered from used PC hard drives and being sold in Nigeria for £20 each. The PCs had apparently come from recycling points run by UK town councils that are then "recycled" by being sent to Africa.
; winen.exe (Guidance Software - included with Encase 6.11 and higher)
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: included on [http://www.e-fense.com/helix/ Helix 2.0]
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: http://forensiczone.blogspot.com/2008/06/winenexe-ram-imaging-tool-included-in.html
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; [[WinDD]]
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* '''2006-08-15''': Simson Garfinkel presents results of a study of 1000 hard drives (750 working) at the 2006 Workshop on Digital Forensics. Results of the study show that information can be correlated across hard drives using Garfinkel's [[Cross Drive Analysis]] approach.
: included on [http://www.e-fense.com/helix/ Helix 2.0]
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: http://windd.msuiche.net/
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: http://www.msuiche.net/2008/06/14/capture-memory-under-win2k3-or-vista-with-win32dd/
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; [[Mdd]] (Memory DD) ([[ManTech]])
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* '''2007-02-06''': [http://www.fulcruminquiry.com Fulcrum Inquiry], a Los Angeles litigation support firm, purchased 70 used hard drives from 14 firms and discovered confidential information on 2/3rds of the drives.
: included on [http://www.e-fense.com/helix/ Helix 2.0]
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: http://sourceforge.net/projects/mdd
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; F-Response with FTK imager, dd, Encase, WinHex, etc
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: Beta 2.03 provides remote access to memory that can be acquired using practically any standard imaging tool
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: http://www.f-response.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=79&Itemid=2
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; MANDIANT Memoryze
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: Can capture and analyze memory. Supports reading dumps (raw/dd format) from other tools.
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: http://www.mandiant.com/software/memoryze.htm
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; [[Kntdd]]
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: http://www.gmgsystemsinc.com/knttools/
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; [[dd]]
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: On [[Microsoft Windows]] systems, [[dd]] can be used by an Administrator user to image memory using the ''\Device\Physicalmemory'' object. Userland access to this object is denied starting in Windows 2003 Service Pack 1 and Windows Vista.
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; Windows Memory Forensic Toolkit (WMFT)
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: http://forensic.seccure.net/
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: http://www.blackhat.com/presentations/bh-usa-06/BH-US-06-Burdach.pdf
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; Nigilant32
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: http://www.agilerm.net/publications_4.html
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;[[HBGary]]: Fastdump and Fastdump Pro
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:http://www.hbgary.com
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:[[Fastdump]] (free with registration) Can acquire physical memory on Windows 2000 through Windows XP 32 bit but not Windows 2003 or Vista.
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:[[Fastdump Pro]] Can acquire physical memory on Windows 2000 through Windows 2008, all service packs.  Additionally, Fastdump Pro supports:
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:-32 bit and 64 bit architectures
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:-Acquisitions of greater than 4GB
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:-Fast acquisitions through the use of larger page sizes (1024KB) but also supports a strict mode that enforces 4KB page sizes.
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:-Process probing which allows for a more complete memory image of a process of interest.
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:-Acquisition of the system page file during physical memory acquisition.  This allows for a more complete memory analysis.
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===Linux/Unix===
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;[[dd]]
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: On Unix systems, the program [[dd]] can be used to capture the contents of [[physical memory]] using a device file (e.g. <tt>/dev/mem</tt> and <tt>/dev/kmem</tt>).  In recent Linux kernels, /dev/kmem is no longer available.  In even more recent kernels, /dev/mem has additional restrictions.  And in the most recent, /dev/mem is no longer available by default, either.  Throughout the 2.6 kernel series the trend has been to reduce direct access to memory via pseudo-device files.  See, for example, the message accompanying this patch: http://lwn.net/Articles/267427/.  On Red Hat systems (and derived distros such as CentOS), the crash driver can be loaded to create a pseudo-device for memory access ("modprobe crash").
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;[http://www.pikewerks.com/sl/ Second Look]
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: This commercial memory analysis product has the ability to acquire memory from Linux systems, either locally or from a remote target via DMA or over the network.  It comes with pre-compiled Physical Memory Access Driver (PMAD) modules for hundreds of kernels from the most commonly used Linux distributions.
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; Idetect (Linux)
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: http://forensic.seccure.net/
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;[http://hysteria.sk/~niekt0/foriana/fmem_current.tgz fmem] (Linux)
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: fmem is kernel module, that creates device /dev/fmem, similar to /dev/mem but without limitations. This device (physical RAM) can be copied using dd or other tool. Works on 2.6 Linux kernels. Under GNU GPL.
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;[http://goldfish.ae Goldfish]
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:Goldfish is a [[Mac OS X]] live forensic tool for use only by law enforcement. Its main purpose is to provide an easy to use interface to dump the system RAM of a target machine via a [[Firewire]] connection. It then automatically extracts the current user login password and any open AOL Instant Messenger conversation fragments that may be available. Law Enforcement may contact [http://goldfish.ae goldfish.ae] for download information.
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==See Also==
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* [[Windows Memory Analysis]]
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* [[Linux Memory Analysis]]
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* http://blogs.23.nu/RedTeam/0000/00/antville-5201/
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* http://www.storm.net.nz/projects/16
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* http://www.friendsglobal.com/papers/FireWire%20Memory%20Dump%20of%20Windows%20XP.pdf
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== External Links ==
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* [http://www.syngress.com/book_catalog/sample_159749156X.PDF  Windows Memory Analysis (Sample Chapter)]
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[[Category:Tools]]
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Revision as of 17:53, 14 February 2007

Used hard drives are frequently a good source of images for testing forensic tools. That's because many individuals, companies and organizations neglect to properly sanitize their hard drives before they are sold on the secondary market.

You can find used hard drives on eBay, at swap meets, yard sales, and even on the street.


Newsworthy Used Hard Drive Stories

There have been several incidents in which individual have purchased a large number of hard drives and written about what they have found. This web page is an attempt to catalog all of those stories in chronological order.

  • 2003-01: Simson Garfinkel and Abhi Shelat at MIT publish a study in IEEE Security and Privacy Magazine which documents large amount of personal and business-sensitive information found on 250 drives purchased on the secondary market.
  • 2006-06: A man buys a family's hard drive at a fleamarket in Chicago after the family's hard drive is upgraded by Best Buy. Apparently somebody at Best Buy violated company policy and instead of destroying the hard drive, they sold it. Target 5 Investigation
  • 2006-08-10: The University of Glamorgan in Wales purchased 317 used hard drives from the UK, Australia, Germany, and the US. 25% of the 200 drives purchased from the UK market had been completely wiped. 40% of the purchased drives didn't work. 40% came from businesses, of which 23% contained enough information to identify the company. 5% had business sensitive information. 25% came from individuals, of which many had pornography, and 2 had to be referred to the police for suspected child pornography.
  • 2006-08-14: BBC News reports on bank account information recovered from used PC hard drives and being sold in Nigeria for £20 each. The PCs had apparently come from recycling points run by UK town councils that are then "recycled" by being sent to Africa.
  • 2006-08-15: Simson Garfinkel presents results of a study of 1000 hard drives (750 working) at the 2006 Workshop on Digital Forensics. Results of the study show that information can be correlated across hard drives using Garfinkel's Cross Drive Analysis approach.
  • 2007-02-06: Fulcrum Inquiry, a Los Angeles litigation support firm, purchased 70 used hard drives from 14 firms and discovered confidential information on 2/3rds of the drives.