Difference between pages "Personal Folder File (PAB, PST, OST)" and "Windows Shadow Volumes"

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[[Microsoft]] [[Outlook]] uses the '''Personal Folder File (PFF)''' to store e-mails, appointments, tasks, contacts, notes, etc.
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==Volume Shadow Copy Service==
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Windows has included the Volume Shadow Copy Service in it's releases since Windows XP.  The Shadow Copy Service creates differential backups periodically to create restore points for the user.  Windows 7 Professional and Ultimate editions include tools to work with and manage the Volume Shadow Copy Service, including the ability to [[mount shadow volumes on disk images]].
  
Three different types of the PFF are known:
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In Windows 8 the shadow volumes seem to have been superseded by File History. For now it looks like it uses similar structures as its predecessors.
* The '''Personal Address Book (PAB)''', which contains the address book of contacts. These files have the extension '''.pab'''.
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* The '''Personal Storage Table (PST)''', which contains items like e-mails, appointments, tasks, notes, etc. and is used as current and archived mailbox files. These files have the extension '''.pst'''. The PST format is also referred to as the '''Personal Folder File (PFF)''' format.
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* The '''Offline Storage Table (OST)''', which contains items like e-mails, appointments, tasks, notes, etc. and is used as off line mailbox files in conjunction with [[Microsoft]] [[Exchange]]. These files have the extension '''.ost'''. The OST format is also referred to as the '''Offline Folder File (OFF)''' format.
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The underlying file format of these files is the same of which the actual name is unknown but has been dubbed the '''Personal Folder File (PFF)''' format, because of its most common usage.
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== Also see ==
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* [[Windows]]
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* [[Windows File History | File History]]
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* How to: [[Mount shadow volumes on disk images]]
  
== MIME types ==
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== External Links ==
  
The actual Mime type of the PFF format is unspecified however some sources claim the following [[MIME types]] apply to this [[file format]]:
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=== How to analyze Shadow Volumes ===
* application/vnd.ms-outlook (for PST files)
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* [http://computer-forensics.sans.org/blog/2008/10/10/shadow-forensics/ VISTA and Windows 7 Shadow Volume Forensics], by [[Rob Lee]], October 2008
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* [http://windowsir.blogspot.ch/2011/01/accessing-volume-shadow-copies.html Accessing Volume Shadow Copies], by [[Harlan Carvey]], January 2011
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* [http://windowsir.blogspot.ch/2011/01/more-vscs.html More VSCs], by [[Harlan Carvey]], January 2011
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* [http://journeyintoir.blogspot.ch/2011/04/little-help-with-volume-shadow-copies.html A Little Help with Volume Shadow Copies], by [[Corey Harrell]], April 2011
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* [http://toorcon.techpathways.com/uploads/VolumeShadowCopyWithProDiscover-0511.pdf Volume Shadow Copy with ProDiscover], May 2011
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* [http://windowsir.blogspot.ch/2011/09/howto-mount-and-access-vscs.html HowTo: Mount and Access VSCs], by [[Harlan Carvey]], September 2011
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* [http://computer-forensics.sans.org/blog/2011/09/16/shadow-timelines-and-other-shadowvolumecopy-digital-forensics-techniques-with-the-sleuthkit-on-windows/ Shadow Timelines And Other VolumeShadowCopy Digital Forensics Techniques with the Sleuthkit on Windows], by [[Rob Lee]], September 2011
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* [http://journeyintoir.blogspot.ch/2012/01/ripping-volume-shadow-copies.html Ripping Volume Shadow Copies – Introduction], by [[Corey Harrell]], January 2012
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* [http://journeyintoir.blogspot.ch/2012/02/ripping-vscs-practitioner-method.html Ripping VSCs – Practitioner Method], by [[Corey Harrell]], February 2012
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* [http://journeyintoir.blogspot.ch/2012/02/ripping-vscs-practitioner-examples.html Ripping VSCs – Practitioner Examples], by [[Corey Harrell]], February 2012
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* [http://journeyintoir.blogspot.ch/2012/02/ripping-vscs-developer-method.html Ripping VSCs – Developer Method], by [[Corey Harrell]], February 2012
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* [http://journeyintoir.blogspot.ch/2012/02/ripping-vscs-developer-examples.html Ripping VSCs – Developer Examples], by [[Corey Harrell]], February 2012
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* [http://journeyintoir.blogspot.ch/2012/02/examining-vscs-with-gui-tools.html Examining VSCs with GUI Tools], by [[Corey Harrell]], February 2012
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* [http://dfstream.blogspot.ch/2012/03/vsc-toolset-gui-tool-for-shadow-copies.html VSC Toolset: A GUI Tool for Shadow Copies], by [[Jason Hale]], March 2012
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* [http://encase-forensic-blog.guidancesoftware.com/2012/06/examining-volume-shadow-copies-easy-way.html Examining Volume Shadow Copies – The Easy Way!], by [[Simon Key]], June 2012
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* [http://justaskweg.com/?p=351 Getting Ready for a Shadow Volume Exam], by [[Jimmy Weg]], June 2012
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* [http://justaskweg.com/?p=466 Mounting Shadow Volumes], by [[Jimmy Weg]], July 2012
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* [http://justaskweg.com/?p=518 Examining the Shadow Volumes with X-Ways Forensics], by [[Jimmy Weg]], July 2012
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* [http://justaskweg.com/?p=710 “Weg, I’m afraid that I don’t have VMware. How do I Examime Shadow Volumes?”], by [[Jimmy Weg]], August 2012
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* [http://sandersonforensics.com/forum/content.php?168-Reconnoitre "Examining shadow copies with Reconnoitre (and without vssadmin), it's as easy as 1, 2, 3"], by [[Paul Sanderson]], January 2013
  
== File signature ==
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=== Shadow Volumes in depth ===
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* [http://www.qccis.com/docs/publications/WP-VSS.pdf Reliably recovering evidential data from Volume Shadow Copies in Windows Vista and Windows 7], by [[James Crabtree]] and [[Gary Evans]], 2010
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* [http://forensic4cast.com/2010/04/19/into-the-shadows/ Into The Shadows] and [http://www.forensic4cast.com/2010/04/presentation-into-the-shadows/ Presentation], by [[Lee Whitfield]], April 2010
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* [https://googledrive.com/host/0B3fBvzttpiiSZDZXRFVMdnZCeHc/Volume%20Shadow%20Snapshot%20(VSS)%20format.pdf Volume Shadow Snapshot format], by the [[libvshadow|libvshadow project]], March 2011
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* [http://code.google.com/p/libvshadow/downloads/detail?name=Paper%20-%20Windowless%20Shadow%20Snapshots.pdf Windowless Shadow Snapshots - Analyzing Volume Shadow Snapshots (VSS) without using Windows] and [http://www.basistech.com/about-us/events/open-source-forensics-conference/ OSDFC 2012] [http://code.google.com/p/libvshadow/downloads/detail?name=Slides%20-%20Windowless%20Shadow%20Snapshots.pdf Slides], by [[Joachim Metz]], October 2012
  
The PFF has the following file signature:
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=== Other ===
hexadecimal: 21 42 44 4e
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* [http://lanmaster53.com/talks/#hack3rcon2 Lurking in the Shadows – Hack3rcon II]
ASCII: !BDN
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* [http://pauldotcom.com/2012/10/volume-shadow-copies---the-los.html Volume Shadow Copies - The Lost Post], [[Mark Baggett]], October 2012
  
== File types ==
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== Tools ==
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* [[EnCase]] with VSS Examiner Enscript (available from the downloads section of the GSI Support Portal)
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* [[libvshadow]]
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* [[ProDiscover]]
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* [http://www.shadowexplorer.com/ ShadowExplorer]
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* [http://dfstream.blogspot.ch/p/vsc-toolset.html VSC Toolset]
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* [[X-Ways AG|X-Ways Forensics]]
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* [http://sandersonforensics.com/forum/content.php?168-Reconnoitre Reconnoitre]
  
There are a 32-bit and a 64-bit version of the PFF. These have the same file signature but can be identified by the version in the file header.
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[[Category:Volume Systems]]
 
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== Contents ==
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The PFF basically contains a hierarchy of items. The attributes of these items are defined by the [[Microsoft]] [[Outlook]] [[Message API (MAPI)]].
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== Encryption ==
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The PFF format allows the file to be encrypted. Two types of encryptions are currently known these are referred to as compressible and high encryption.
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The compressible encryption is a basic substitution cypher and the high encryption is a little more complex substitution cypher.
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From a cryptographic point of view this is more a way of obfuscation than a means to protect confidentiality.
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== See also==
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* A great deal of information about the format has been documented by the [http://libpff.sourceforge.net libpff project], including some of the [http://downloads.sourceforge.net/libpff/Personal_Folder_File_format.pdf Personal Folder File format specifications] and [http://downloads.sourceforge.net/libpff/MAPI_definitions.pdf MAPI definitions].
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* [http://www.five-ten-sg.com/libpst/ libpst]
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[[Category:File Formats]]
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Revision as of 14:17, 25 November 2013

Volume Shadow Copy Service

Windows has included the Volume Shadow Copy Service in it's releases since Windows XP. The Shadow Copy Service creates differential backups periodically to create restore points for the user. Windows 7 Professional and Ultimate editions include tools to work with and manage the Volume Shadow Copy Service, including the ability to mount shadow volumes on disk images.

In Windows 8 the shadow volumes seem to have been superseded by File History. For now it looks like it uses similar structures as its predecessors.

Also see

External Links

How to analyze Shadow Volumes

Shadow Volumes in depth

Other

Tools