Difference between pages "Windows Registry XML" and "New Technology File System (NTFS)"

From ForensicsWiki
(Difference between pages)
Jump to: navigation, search
m
 
(Changes in Windows Vista)
 
Line 1: Line 1:
Microsoft's .reg format for representing MS Registry entries has many limitations, such as the inability to represent where registry information physically resides on the disk and the difficulty in representing Unicode. As a result, a variety of approaches have been implemented. Currently DFXML uses the [[RegXML]] standard to represent Registry entries.
+
The '''New Technology File System''' ('''NTFS''') is a [[file system]] developed and introduced by [[Microsoft]] in 1995 with [[Windows]] NT. As a replacement for the [[FAT]] file system, it quickly became the standard for [[Windows 2000]], [[Windows XP]] and [[Windows Server 2003]].
  
==See Also==
+
The features of NTFS include:
There are several open source programs that use XML to represent the Windows Registry:
+
  
* [[registryasxml]] is a Windows GUI program that exports and imports section of the Windows Registry as XML-foramtted files.
+
* [[Hard-links]]
* [[RegXML]] is also a Windows command-line utility that exports sections of the Windows Registry as XML-formatted files.
+
* Improved performance, reliability and disk space utilization
* [[hivexml]] is a command-line utility that is part of Red Hat's [http://libguestfs.org/ libguestfs] that  converts Registry hives to XML.
+
* Security [[access control lists]]
* [http://www.nsrl.nist.gov/Documents/aafs2008/dw-1-AAFS-2008-wired.pdf Tracking Computer Use with the Windows® Registry Dataset], Doug White, NIST.
+
* File system journaling
* [http://www.nsrl.nist.gov/WIRED/WIRED-060511.iso The complete set of code and and a WiReD XML difference set for steganographic applications].
+
  
 +
== Time Stamps ==
  
There is one commercial program that we have found:
+
NTFS keeps track of lots of time stamps. Each file has a time stamp for 'Create', 'Modify', 'Access', and 'Entry Modified'. The latter refers to the time when the MFT entry itself was modified. These four values are commonly abbreviated as the 'MACE' values. Note that other attributes in each MFT record may also contain timestamps that are of forensic value.
* [http://www.componentsource.com/products/componentspace-registry-toolkit-component/prices.html ComponentSource] has a $195 .NET too that allows management, importing and exporting of the registry via XML.
+
  
 +
Additional information on how NTFS timestamps work when files are moved or copied is available here: [http://support.microsoft.com/kb/299648 Microsoft KB 299648]
  
[[Category:Digital Forensics XML]]
+
=== Changes in Windows Vista  ===
 +
In Windows Vista, NTFS no longer tracks the Last Access time of a file by default. This feature can be enabled by setting the NtfsDisableLastAccessUpdate value to '0' in the Registry key:
 +
<pre>HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\FileSystem</pre>
 +
 
 +
Note that this feature has been around since as early as Windows 2000 [http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc959914.aspx].
 +
 
 +
== Alternate Data Streams ==
 +
The '''NTFS''' file system includes a feature referred to as Alternate Data Streams (ADSs).  This feature has also been referred to as "multiple data streams", "alternative data streams", etc.  ADSs were included in '''NTFS''' in order to support the resource forks employed by the Hierarchal File System ([[HFS]]) employed by Macintosh systems. 
 +
 
 +
As of [[Windows XP]] SP2, files downloaded via Internet Explorer, Outlook, and Windows Messenger were automatically given specific "zoneid" ADSs.  The [[Windows]] Explorer shell would then display a warning when the user attempted to execute these files (by double-clicking them).
 +
 
 +
Sysadmins should be aware that prior to Vista, there are no tools native to the [[Windows]] platform that would allow you to view the existence of arbitrary ADSs.  While ADSs can be created and their contents executed or viewed, it wasn't until the "/r" switch was introduced with the "dir" command on Vista that arbitrary ADSs would be visible.  Prior to this, tools such as [http://www.heysoft.de/Frames/f_sw_la_en.htm LADS] could be used to view the existence of these files.
 +
 
 +
Microsoft FSRM (File System Resource Manager) also uses ADS as part of 'file classification'.
 +
 
 +
Examiners should be aware that most forensic analysis applications, including [[EnCase]] and ProDiscover, will display ADSs found in acquired images in red.
 +
 
 +
== Advanced Format (4KB Sector) Hard Drives ==
 +
NTFS does not natively handle drives that use the new standard of 4KB sectors. For information on this, see [[Advanced Format]].
 +
 
 +
== Transactional NTFS (TxF) ==
 +
 
 +
According to MSDN Transactional NTFS (TxF) allows file operations on an NTFS file system volume to be performed in a transaction.
 +
 
 +
Several TxF related file-system-metadata files can be found in the file-system-metadata directory: \$Extend\$RmMetadata\. TxF also uses the MFT attribute $LOGGING_UTILITY_STREAM with the name $TXF_DATA.
 +
 
 +
TxF uses the [[Common Log File System (CLFS)]]
 +
 
 +
== External links ==
 +
* [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NTFS Wikipedia: NTFS]
 +
* [http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb968806%28v=VS.85%29.aspx MSDN on Transactional NTFS]
 +
* [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transactional_NTFS Wikipedia on Transactional NTFS]
 +
* [http://www.tzworks.net/prototype_page.php?proto_id=12  Windows NTFS Metadata Extractor Utility] Free tool that can be run on Windows, Linux or Mac OS-X
 +
* [http://www.tzworks.net/prototype_page.php?proto_id=28 Graphic Engine for NTFS Analysis (gena)] (GUI to view NTFS internals/extract data on live systems)
 +
* [http://sourceforge.net/projects/linux-ntfs/files/NTFS%20Documentation/ Linux-ntfs Documentation] Detailed documentation of the NTFS format by the Linux-NTFS driver creators.
 +
* [http://support.microsoft.com/kb/140365 Default cluster size for NTFS, FAT, and exFAT]
 +
* [http://code.google.com/p/libfslibs/downloads/detail?name=New%20Technologies%20File%20System%20%28NTFS%29.pdf New Technologies File System (NTFS)], by the [[libfslibs|libfslibs project]], August 2009
 +
 
 +
[[Category:File Systems]]

Revision as of 09:33, 14 September 2013

The New Technology File System (NTFS) is a file system developed and introduced by Microsoft in 1995 with Windows NT. As a replacement for the FAT file system, it quickly became the standard for Windows 2000, Windows XP and Windows Server 2003.

The features of NTFS include:

Time Stamps

NTFS keeps track of lots of time stamps. Each file has a time stamp for 'Create', 'Modify', 'Access', and 'Entry Modified'. The latter refers to the time when the MFT entry itself was modified. These four values are commonly abbreviated as the 'MACE' values. Note that other attributes in each MFT record may also contain timestamps that are of forensic value.

Additional information on how NTFS timestamps work when files are moved or copied is available here: Microsoft KB 299648

Changes in Windows Vista

In Windows Vista, NTFS no longer tracks the Last Access time of a file by default. This feature can be enabled by setting the NtfsDisableLastAccessUpdate value to '0' in the Registry key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\FileSystem

Note that this feature has been around since as early as Windows 2000 [1].

Alternate Data Streams

The NTFS file system includes a feature referred to as Alternate Data Streams (ADSs). This feature has also been referred to as "multiple data streams", "alternative data streams", etc. ADSs were included in NTFS in order to support the resource forks employed by the Hierarchal File System (HFS) employed by Macintosh systems.

As of Windows XP SP2, files downloaded via Internet Explorer, Outlook, and Windows Messenger were automatically given specific "zoneid" ADSs. The Windows Explorer shell would then display a warning when the user attempted to execute these files (by double-clicking them).

Sysadmins should be aware that prior to Vista, there are no tools native to the Windows platform that would allow you to view the existence of arbitrary ADSs. While ADSs can be created and their contents executed or viewed, it wasn't until the "/r" switch was introduced with the "dir" command on Vista that arbitrary ADSs would be visible. Prior to this, tools such as LADS could be used to view the existence of these files.

Microsoft FSRM (File System Resource Manager) also uses ADS as part of 'file classification'.

Examiners should be aware that most forensic analysis applications, including EnCase and ProDiscover, will display ADSs found in acquired images in red.

Advanced Format (4KB Sector) Hard Drives

NTFS does not natively handle drives that use the new standard of 4KB sectors. For information on this, see Advanced Format.

Transactional NTFS (TxF)

According to MSDN Transactional NTFS (TxF) allows file operations on an NTFS file system volume to be performed in a transaction.

Several TxF related file-system-metadata files can be found in the file-system-metadata directory: \$Extend\$RmMetadata\. TxF also uses the MFT attribute $LOGGING_UTILITY_STREAM with the name $TXF_DATA.

TxF uses the Common Log File System (CLFS)

External links