Difference between pages "Prefetch" and "Mac OS X"

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Windows Prefetch files, introduced in [[Windows|Windows XP]], are designed to speed up the application startup process. Prefetch files contain the name of the executable, a Unicode list of DLLs used by that executable, a count of how many times the executable has been run, and a timestamp indicating the last time the program was run. Although Prefetch is present in Windows 2003, by default it is only enabled for boot prefetching. The feature is also found in [[Windows|Windows Vista]], where it has been augmented with [[SuperFetch]], [[ReadyBoot]], and [[ReadyBoost]]. For SSD drives Prefetch is disabled by default [http://blogs.msdn.com/b/e7/archive/2009/05/05/support-and-q-a-for-solid-state-drives-and.aspx].
 
  
Up to 128 Prefetch files are stored in the <tt>%SystemRoot%\Prefetch</tt> directory [http://blogs.msdn.com/ryanmy/archive/2005/05/25/421882.aspx]. Each file in that directory should contain the name of the application, a dash, and then an eight character hash of the location from which that application was run, and a <tt>.pf</tt> extension. The filenames should be all uppercase except for the extension. The format of hashes is not known. A sample filename for [[md5deep]] would look like: <tt>MD5DEEP.EXE-4F89AB0C.pf</tt>. If an application is run from two different locations on the drive (i.e. the user runs <tt>C:\md5deep.exe</tt> and then <tt>C:\Apps\Hashing\md5deep.exe</tt>), there will be two different prefetch files in the Prefetch folder.
+
Apple Inc.'s Macintosh OS X (pronounced "'''OS Ten'''") is the operating system distributed with Apple computers. It includes heavily used several programs by default, including [[Apple Mail]], a web browser called [[Apple Safari | Safari]], and an [[Apple Address Book]], and [[iCal]].  
  
 +
== EFI boot ==
 +
* Configuration in nvram
  
== File format ==
+
The firmware looks for the boot partition in nvram.
Each Prefetch file has a 4-byte signature (at offset 4) "SCCA" (or in hexadecimal notation 0x53 0x43 0x43 0x41). The signature is assumed to be preceded by a 4-byte format version indicator:
+
* 17 (0x00000011) for [[Windows XP]] and [[Windows 2003]]
+
* 23 (0x00000017) for [[Windows Vista]] and [[Windows 7]]
+
* 26 (0x0000001a) for [[Windows 8|Windows 8.1]] (note this could be Windows 8 as well but has not been confirmed)
+
  
For more information about the file format see: [[Windows Prefetch File Format]]
+
Mac OS X EFI boot process supports both MZ-PE/COFF and EFI fat binary type [[Executable executables]].
 +
<pre>
 +
/com.apple.recovery.boot/boot.efi
 +
/System/Library/CoreServices/boot.efi
 +
/usr/standalone/i386/boot.efi
 +
</pre>
  
== Timestamps ==
+
== Disk image types ==
  
Both the [[NTFS]] timestamps for a Prefetch file and the timestamp embedded in each Prefetch file contain valuable information. The timestamp embedded within the Prefetch file is a 64-bit (QWORD) [http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms724284.aspx FILETIME] object The creation date of the file indicates the first time the application was executed. Both the modification date of the file and the embedded timestamp indicate the last time the application was executed.
+
Mac OS X has support for various disk image types build-in, some of which are:
 +
* read-write disk image (.dmg) some of which use the [[Raw Image Format]]
 +
* [[Sparse Image format|Sparse disk image (.spareimage)]]
 +
* [[Sparse Bundle Image format|Sparse bundle disk image (.sparsebundle)]]
  
Windows will store timestamps according to a Windows [http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms724290%28VS.85%29.aspx file time].
+
== Burn Folder ==
  
==== Creation Time ====
+
Mac OS X Burn Folder:
The creation time does not have a static offset on any Windows platform. The location of the creation time can be found using the offset 0x8 + length of Volume path offset. See section Volume for more information.
+
<pre>
 +
$NAME.fpbf
 +
</pre>
  
==== Last Run Time ====
+
This folder normally contains [[Mac OS X Alias Files|alias files]] (similar to LNK files under Windows). Which should have the following signature.
A timestamp of when the application was last ran is embedded into the Prefetch file.
+
<pre>
The offset from the beginning of the file to the "Last Run Time" is located:
+
00000000  62 6f 6f 6b 00 00 00 00  6d 61 72 6b 00 00 00 00  |book....mark....|
* at offset 0x78 on Windows XP and Windows 2003.
+
</pre>
* at offset 0x80 on Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8 (up to 8 entries for Windows 8).
+
  
== MetaData ==
+
These [[Mac OS X Alias Files|alias files]] contain additional date and time values.
==== Header ====
+
In each Prefetch file, the size of the header is stored and can be found at offset 0x54 on [[Windows|Windows XP]], [[Windows|Windows Vista]], and [[Windows|Windows 7]]. The header size for [[Windows|Windows XP]] is 0x98 (152) and 0xf0 (240) on Windows Vista and Windows 7.
+
  
The Prefetch file will embed the executable's name, up to 29 characters, into the header at offset 0x10.
+
Also check the following files for references to deleted .fpbf paths:
 +
<pre>
 +
/Users/$USERNAME/Library/Preferences/com.apple.finder.plist
 +
/Users/$USERNAME/Library/Preferences/com.apple.sidebarlists.plist
 +
</pre>
  
==== Run Count ====
+
Actual burning of optical media is logged in:
The run count, or number of times the application has been run, is a 4-byte (DWORD) value located at offset 0x90 from the beginning of the file on [[Windows|Windows XP]]. On [[Windows|Windows Vista]] and [[Windows|Windows 7]], the run time can be found at 0x98.
+
<pre>
 +
/var/log/system.log
 +
/Users/$USERNAME/Library/Logs/DiscRecording.log
 +
/private/var/.logs_exporter/cache/Users/$USERNAME/Library/Logs/DiscRecording.log
 +
</pre>
  
==== Volume ====
+
== HFS/HFS+ date and time values ==
Volume related information, volume path and volume serial number, are embedded into the Prefetch file. The precise offset for this information is the same for each Prefetch file and Windows operating system. In the header at offset 0x6c, the location of the volume path is stored. The location is a 4-bytes (DWORD) value.
+
  
At the location given from offset 0x6c, a 4-byte value is stored which is the number of bytes from current offset (location from offset 0x6c) to the beginning of the volume path string. The location from the offset 0x6c, for ease of reading, will be called the "volume path offset." The volume path is embedded as an [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UTF-16/UCS-2 UTF-16] encoded string.
+
In HFS+ date and time values are stored in an unsigned 32-bit integer containing the number of seconds since January 1, 1904 at 00:00:00 (midnight) UTC (GMT). This is slightly different from HFS where the date and time value are stored using the local time. The maximum representable date is February 6, 2040 at 06:28:15 UTC (GMT). The date values do not account for leap seconds. They do include a leap day in every year that is evenly divisible by four. This is sufficient given that the range of representable dates does not contain 1900 or 2100, neither of which have leap days. Also see: [http://web.archive.org/web/20090214212148/http://developer.apple.com/technotes/tn/tn1150.html Technical Note TN1150 - HFS Plus Volume Format]
  
The length of the volume path string is a 4-byte value is located at volume path offset + 0x4.
+
Converting HFS/HFS+ date and time values with Python:
 +
<pre>
 +
import datetime
  
The volume [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volume_serial_number serial number] is a 4-byte value that identifies a media storage. A serial number does not have a consistent offset within a Prefetch between Windows operating systems. The 4-byte value can be found eight (8) bytes from the creation time location. The [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vol_%28command%29 vol] command on Windows can verify the volume serial number.
+
print datetime.datetime( 1904, 1, 1 ) + datetime.timedelta( seconds=0xCBDAF25B )
 +
</pre>
  
==== End of File ====
+
== Launch Agents ==
The end of file (EOF) for each Prefetch file is located at offset 0xc. The location of EOF also denotes the size of the Prefetch file.
+
System-wide:
 +
<pre>
 +
/Library/LaunchAgents
 +
/System/Library/LaunchAgents
 +
</pre>
  
==== Files ====
+
Per user:
 +
<pre>
 +
/Users/$USERNAME/Library/LaunchAgents
 +
</pre>
  
Embedded within each Prefetch file are files and directories that were used doing the application's startup. The Prefetch file separates both filenames and directories into two different location in the file. Each string is encoded as a [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UTF-16/UCS-2 UTF-16] string. Windows operating system uses UTF-16 encoding.
+
These directories contain  [[Property list (plist)]] files.
  
The offset to the first set of filenames are at 0x64. The size of the first set of filenames can be found at offset 0x68. Both offsets are consistent between Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7.
+
== Launch Daemons ==
 +
System-wide:
 +
<pre>
 +
/Library/LaunchDaemons
 +
/System/Library/LaunchDaemons
 +
</pre>
  
In the bottom section of the Prefetch file are UTF-16 strings of directories. At the time of this writing (7/2011), the precise offset and size of the directory listing is unknown. The distance between the end of the Volume Path string and the beginning of the directory strings is given. An approach to finding the offset to the beginning of the directories listing is to obtain the distance value and the offset when the Volume Path string ends (after the NULL bytes). The distance value is at volume path offset + 0x18 (24). The distance is a 4-byte (DWORD) value. The end of second set of strings will complete the Prefetch file. The size of the directory listing is calculated by subtracting the start position of the directory listing from the end of file position.
+
These directories contain [[Property list (plist)]] files.
  
== Registry Keys ==
+
== Startup Items ==
 
<pre>
 
<pre>
Key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management\PrefetchParameters
+
/Library/StartupItems/
 +
/System/Library/StartupItems/
 
</pre>
 
</pre>
  
The EnablePrefetcher Registry value can be used to disable prefetch.
+
== Crash Reporter ==
 +
<pre>
 +
/Library/Application Support/CrashReporter
 +
</pre>
 +
 
 +
Contains text files named .crash, .diag, .spin
 +
 
 +
== Diagnostic Reports ==
 +
<pre>
 +
/Library/Logs/DiagnosticReports
 +
</pre>
 +
 
 +
== Internet Plug-Ins ==
 +
System-wide:
 +
<pre>
 +
/Library/Internet Plug-Ins
 +
</pre>
 +
 
 +
Per user:
 +
<pre>
 +
/Users/$USERNAME/Library/Internet Plug-Ins
 +
</pre>
 +
 
 +
== Quarantine event database ==
 +
See [http://menial.co.uk/blog/2011/06/16/mac-quarantine-event-database/]
 +
 
 +
Snow Leopard and earlier
 +
<pre>
 +
/Users/$USER/Library/Preferences/com.apple.LaunchServices.QuarantineEvents
 +
</pre>
 +
 
 +
<pre>
 +
SELECT datetime(LSQuarantineTimeStamp + 978307200, "unixepoch") as LSQuarantineTimeStamp, LSQuarantineAgentName, LSQuarantineOriginURLString, LSQuarantineDataURLString from LSQuarantineEvent;
 +
</pre>
 +
 
 +
Lion and later
 +
<pre>
 +
/Users/$USER/Library/Preferences/com.apple.LaunchServices.QuarantineEventsV2
 +
</pre>
 +
 
 +
== sleepimage ==
 +
This file is similar to the hibernation file on Windows.
 +
<pre>
 +
/private/var/vm/sleepimage
 +
</pre>
 +
 
 +
Also see: [http://osxdaily.com/2010/10/11/sleepimage-mac/]
 +
 
 +
== Last shutdown logs ==
 +
<pre>
 +
/private/var/log/com.apple.launchd/launchd-shutdown.system.log
 +
/private/var/log/com.apple.launchd/launchd-shutdown.system.log.1
 +
</pre>
 +
 
 +
== Package Files (.PKG) ==
 +
Package Files (.PKG) are XAR archives [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xar_(archiver)] that contain a cpio archive and metadata [http://s.sudre.free.fr/Stuff/Ivanhoe/FLAT.html].
 +
 
 +
== Also see ==
 +
* [[MacOS Process Monitoring]]
 +
* [[Acquiring a MacOS System with Target Disk Mode]]
 +
* [[Converting Binary Plists]]
 +
* [[FileVault Disk Encryption]]
 +
* [[File Vault]]
  
== See Also ==
+
=== Formats ===
* [[Windows Prefetch File Format]]
+
* [[Basic Security Module (BSM) file format]]
* [[SuperFetch]]
+
* [[Property list (plist)]]
* [[Prefetch XML]]
+
* [[Windows]]
+
  
 
== External Links ==
 
== External Links ==
* [http://msdn.microsoft.com/msdnmag/issues/01/12/XPKernel/default.aspx More detail from Microsoft]
+
* [http://www.apple.com/macosx/ Official website]
* [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prefetcher Wikipedia Prefetcher]
+
* [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OS_X Wikipedia entry on OS X]
* [http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms940847(v=winembedded.5).aspx MSDN: Disabling Prefetch]
+
* [http://menial.co.uk/blog/2011/06/16/mac-quarantine-event-database/ Quarantine event database]
* [http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/driver/kernel/XP_kernel.mspx Kernel Enhancements for Windows XP], by [[Microsoft]], January 13, 2003 (Microsoft's description of Prefetch when Windows XP was introduced)
+
* [http://www2.tech.purdue.edu/cit/Courses/cit556/readings/MacForensicsCraiger.pdf Mac Forensics: Mac OS X and the HFS+ File System] by P. Craiger
* [http://blogs.msdn.com/b/ryanmy/archive/2005/05/25/421882.aspx Misinformation and the The Prefetch Flag], MSDN Blogs, May 25, 2005
+
* [http://web.me.com/driley/iWeb/Previous_files/Directory_Services_Overview.pdf Mac OS X Directory Services Integration including Active Directory]
* [http://windowsir.blogspot.ch/2005/07/prefetch-file-metadata.html Prefetch file metadata], by [[Harlan Carvey]], July 13, 2005
+
* [http://digitalinvestigation.wordpress.com/2012/04/04/geek-post-nskeyedarchiver-files-what-are-they-and-how-can-i-use-them/ NSKeyedArchiver files – what are they, and how can I use them?]
* [http://windowsir.blogspot.ch/2006/04/prefetch-files-revisited.html Prefetch files, revisited], by [[Harlan Carvey]], April 13, 2006
+
* [http://krypted.com/mac-os-x/command-line-alf-on-mac-os-x/ Command Line ALF on Mac OS X]
* [http://blogs.msdn.com/b/e7/archive/2009/05/05/support-and-q-a-for-solid-state-drives-and.aspx Support and Q&A for Solid-State Drives], by Steven Sinofsky, May 5, 2009
+
* [http://newosxbook.com/DMG.html Demystifying the DMG File Format]
* [http://computer-forensics.sans.org/blog/2009/08/05/de-mystifying-defrag-identifying-when-defrag-has-been-used-for-anti-forensics-part-1-windows-xp/ De-mystifying Defrag: Identifying When Defrag Has Been Used for Anti-Forensics (Part 1 - Windows XP)], by [[Chad Tilbury]], August 5, 2009
+
* [https://code.google.com/p/mac-security-tips/wiki/ALL_THE_TIPS mac-security-tips]
* [http://www.swiftforensics.com/2010/04/the-windows-prefetchfile.html Windows Prefetch File (old blog entry from 42 LLC)], by [[Yogesh Khatri]], April 14, 2010
+
* [http://www.dfinews.com/articles/2010/12/decoding-prefetch-files-forensic-purposes-part-1 Decoding Prefetch Files for Forensic Purposes: Part 1], by [[Mark Wade]], December 8, 2010
+
* [http://crucialsecurityblog.harris.com/2011/04/11/prefetch-files-at-face-value/ Prefetch Files at Face Value], by [[Mark Wade]], April 11, 2011
+
* [http://kitrap08.blogspot.hk/2011/07/windows-logical-prefetcher.html Windows Logical Prefetcher], TTS blog, July 30, 2011 (article is in Russian)
+
* [http://labit.in/pliki-prefetch-w-windows/ Prefetch i niedokładny licznik] by Paweł Hałdrzyński, August 20, 2011 (article in Polish)
+
* [http://windowsir.blogspot.ch/2012/03/prefetch-analysis-revisited.html Prefetch Analysis, Revisited], by [[Harlan Carvey]], March 8, 2012
+
* [http://windowsir.blogspot.ch/2012/03/prefetch-analysis-revisitedagain.html Prefetch Analysis, Revisited...Again...], by [[Harlan Carvey]], March 15, 2012
+
* [http://www.hexacorn.com/blog/2012/06/13/prefetch-hash-calculator-a-hash-lookup-table-xpvistaw7w2k3w2k8/ Prefetch Hash Calculator + a hash lookup table xp/vista/w7/w2k3/w2k8], Hexacorn blog, June 13, 2012
+
* [http://www.hexacorn.com/blog/2012/10/29/prefetch-file-names-and-unc-paths/ Prefetch file names and UNC paths], Hexacorn blog, October 29, 2012
+
* [http://journeyintoir.blogspot.ch/2012/12/ntosboot-prefetch-file.html NTOSBOOT Prefetch File], by [[Corey Harrell]], December 5, 2012
+
* [http://www.invoke-ir.com/2013/09/whats-new-in-prefetch-for-windows-8.html What's New in the Prefetch for Windows 8??], by Jared Atkinson, September 21, 2013
+
* [http://www.swiftforensics.com/2013/10/windows-prefetch-pf-files.html?m=1 Windows Prefetch (.PF) files], by [[Yogesh Khatri]], October 21, 2013
+
  
== Tools ==
+
=== Apple Examiner ===
 +
* [http://www.appleexaminer.com/ The Apple Examiner]
 +
* [http://www.appleexaminer.com/MacsAndOS/Analysis/USBOSX/USBOSX.html USB Entries on OS X]
 +
* [http://www.appleexaminer.com/Downloads/MacForensics.pdf Macintosh Forensics - A Guide for the Forensically Sound Examination of a Macintosh Computer] by Ryan R. Kubasiak
  
=== Commercial ===
+
=== EFI ===
 +
* [http://ho.ax/posts/2012/02/carving-up-efi-fat-binaries/ Carving up EFI fat binaries], by snare, February 24, 2012
  
=== Free - Non Open Source ===
+
=== iCloud ===
* [http://www.woanware.co.uk/forensics/prefetchforensics.html PrefetchForensics], PrefetchForensics is an application to extract information from Windows Prefetch files
+
* [http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4865?viewlocale=en_US&locale=en_US iCloud: iCloud security and privacy overview]
* [http://redwolfcomputerforensics.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=42&Itemid=55 Prefetch-Parser], Parse the prefetch files and display information
+
* [http://www.mitec.cz/wfa.html Windows File Analyzer] - Parses Prefetch files, thumbnail databases, shortcuts, index.dat files, and the recycle bin
+
* [http://www.tzworks.net/prototype_page.php?proto_id=1 Windows Prefetch Parser (pf)], Free tool that can be run on Windows, Linux or Mac OS-X
+
  
=== Open Source ===
+
[[Category:Mac OS X]]
* [https://code.google.com/p/prefetch-tool/ prefetch-tool], Script to extract information from windows prefetch folder
+
[[Category:Operating systems]]

Revision as of 05:03, 25 June 2014

Information icon.png

Please help to improve this article by expanding it.
Further information might be found on the discussion page.

Apple Inc.'s Macintosh OS X (pronounced "OS Ten") is the operating system distributed with Apple computers. It includes heavily used several programs by default, including Apple Mail, a web browser called Safari, and an Apple Address Book, and iCal.

EFI boot

  • Configuration in nvram

The firmware looks for the boot partition in nvram.

Mac OS X EFI boot process supports both MZ-PE/COFF and EFI fat binary type Executable executables.

/com.apple.recovery.boot/boot.efi
/System/Library/CoreServices/boot.efi
/usr/standalone/i386/boot.efi

Disk image types

Mac OS X has support for various disk image types build-in, some of which are:

Burn Folder

Mac OS X Burn Folder:

$NAME.fpbf

This folder normally contains alias files (similar to LNK files under Windows). Which should have the following signature.

00000000  62 6f 6f 6b 00 00 00 00  6d 61 72 6b 00 00 00 00  |book....mark....|

These alias files contain additional date and time values.

Also check the following files for references to deleted .fpbf paths:

/Users/$USERNAME/Library/Preferences/com.apple.finder.plist
/Users/$USERNAME/Library/Preferences/com.apple.sidebarlists.plist

Actual burning of optical media is logged in:

/var/log/system.log
/Users/$USERNAME/Library/Logs/DiscRecording.log
/private/var/.logs_exporter/cache/Users/$USERNAME/Library/Logs/DiscRecording.log

HFS/HFS+ date and time values

In HFS+ date and time values are stored in an unsigned 32-bit integer containing the number of seconds since January 1, 1904 at 00:00:00 (midnight) UTC (GMT). This is slightly different from HFS where the date and time value are stored using the local time. The maximum representable date is February 6, 2040 at 06:28:15 UTC (GMT). The date values do not account for leap seconds. They do include a leap day in every year that is evenly divisible by four. This is sufficient given that the range of representable dates does not contain 1900 or 2100, neither of which have leap days. Also see: Technical Note TN1150 - HFS Plus Volume Format

Converting HFS/HFS+ date and time values with Python:

import datetime

print datetime.datetime( 1904, 1, 1 ) + datetime.timedelta( seconds=0xCBDAF25B )

Launch Agents

System-wide:

/Library/LaunchAgents
/System/Library/LaunchAgents

Per user:

/Users/$USERNAME/Library/LaunchAgents

These directories contain Property list (plist) files.

Launch Daemons

System-wide:

/Library/LaunchDaemons
/System/Library/LaunchDaemons

These directories contain Property list (plist) files.

Startup Items

/Library/StartupItems/
/System/Library/StartupItems/

Crash Reporter

/Library/Application Support/CrashReporter

Contains text files named .crash, .diag, .spin

Diagnostic Reports

/Library/Logs/DiagnosticReports

Internet Plug-Ins

System-wide:

/Library/Internet Plug-Ins

Per user:

/Users/$USERNAME/Library/Internet Plug-Ins

Quarantine event database

See [1]

Snow Leopard and earlier

/Users/$USER/Library/Preferences/com.apple.LaunchServices.QuarantineEvents
SELECT datetime(LSQuarantineTimeStamp + 978307200, "unixepoch") as LSQuarantineTimeStamp, LSQuarantineAgentName, LSQuarantineOriginURLString, LSQuarantineDataURLString from LSQuarantineEvent;

Lion and later

/Users/$USER/Library/Preferences/com.apple.LaunchServices.QuarantineEventsV2

sleepimage

This file is similar to the hibernation file on Windows.

/private/var/vm/sleepimage

Also see: [2]

Last shutdown logs

/private/var/log/com.apple.launchd/launchd-shutdown.system.log
/private/var/log/com.apple.launchd/launchd-shutdown.system.log.1

Package Files (.PKG)

Package Files (.PKG) are XAR archives [3] that contain a cpio archive and metadata [4].

Also see

Formats

External Links

Apple Examiner

EFI

iCloud