Difference between pages "Residual Data on Used Equipment" and "Timestomp"

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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.
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You can find used hard drives on eBay, at swap meets, yard sales, and even on the street.  
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[[Image:timestomp_mace.jpg|thumb|100px|right|Timestomp MACE Values]] Timestomp is a utility co-authored by developers [[James C. Foster]] and [[Vincent Liu]].  The software's goal is to allow for the deletion or modification of time stamp-related information on files.
  
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Take for example the "Timestomp MACE Values" screenshot displaying a command prompt window displaying the MACE values for a document file titled "text.txt".  There are (4) four date time and date stamps displayed that are useful to Forensic Examiners in reconstructing when data was last modified, accessed, created, or entered into the NTFS Master File Table by the Operating system or manually by the user.
  
=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.
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[[Image:timestomp_mace_change.jpg|thumb|100px|right|Timestomp MACE Change]] Using the Timestomp application, the modified date and time stamp can be completely changed (i.e., evidenced by the "Timestomp MACE Change" screenshot).  If I were to change it, along with the other entries to more believable dates and times, then the validity of the document falls into question as does its ability to completely slip by an examiner's watchful eye if looking for modified files in an entirely different year or date span.
  
* '''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 150 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. [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pcyemfJ5H3o&NR Target 5 Investigation]
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[[Image:timestomp_mace_change_proof.jpg|thumb|100px|right|Timestomp MACE Change Proof]] The "Timestomp MACE Change Proof" screenshot is a final shot of the Operating System's interpretation of the Modified time stamp. It reflects the aforementioned change exactly.
  
* '''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''': [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.
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Note: Although this program is designed to frustrate forensic analysis, it should be noted that its use can be easily detected. Because the program can delete all time stamp information, the lack of time stamp values would lead an examiner to the conclusion that something is amiss on the system.  Microsoft-based Windows operating system record at least some timestamp information. The total absence of such is a dead giveaway that a user has tried to hide something. On the flipside, if the values are simply changed to believable values, then there is little chance of the change(s) being noticed at a casual glance.
  
* '''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''': [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.
 
  
* '''2007-08-30''': Bill Ries-Kinght, an IT consultant, purchases a 120GB Seagate hard drive on eBay for $69. Although the drive was advertised as being new, it apparently was previously used by the campaign of Mike Beebe, who won the Arkansas state governorship in November 2006. "Among the files were documents listing the private cell phone numbers of political allies, including US Senators Blanch Lincoln and Mark Pryor and US Representatives Marion Berry, Mike Ross and Vic Snyder. It also included talking points to guide the candidate as he called influential people whose support he sought," states an article published in [http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/08/30/governors_data_sold_on_ebay/ The Register].
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== External Links ==
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* [http://www.metasploit.com/projects/antiforensics/timestomp.exe Download Timestomp.exe]
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* [http://www.blackhat.com/presentations/bh-usa-05/bh-us-05-foster-liu-update.pdf Presentation at Blackhat 2005]
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[[Category:Anti-forensics tools]]

Revision as of 11:40, 25 October 2007

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Timestomp MACE Values
Timestomp is a utility co-authored by developers James C. Foster and Vincent Liu. The software's goal is to allow for the deletion or modification of time stamp-related information on files.

Take for example the "Timestomp MACE Values" screenshot displaying a command prompt window displaying the MACE values for a document file titled "text.txt". There are (4) four date time and date stamps displayed that are useful to Forensic Examiners in reconstructing when data was last modified, accessed, created, or entered into the NTFS Master File Table by the Operating system or manually by the user.


Timestomp MACE Change
Using the Timestomp application, the modified date and time stamp can be completely changed (i.e., evidenced by the "Timestomp MACE Change" screenshot). If I were to change it, along with the other entries to more believable dates and times, then the validity of the document falls into question as does its ability to completely slip by an examiner's watchful eye if looking for modified files in an entirely different year or date span.


Timestomp MACE Change Proof
The "Timestomp MACE Change Proof" screenshot is a final shot of the Operating System's interpretation of the Modified time stamp. It reflects the aforementioned change exactly.


Note: Although this program is designed to frustrate forensic analysis, it should be noted that its use can be easily detected. Because the program can delete all time stamp information, the lack of time stamp values would lead an examiner to the conclusion that something is amiss on the system. Microsoft-based Windows operating system record at least some timestamp information. The total absence of such is a dead giveaway that a user has tried to hide something. On the flipside, if the values are simply changed to believable values, then there is little chance of the change(s) being noticed at a casual glance.


External Links