Difference between pages "Research Topics" and "Mac OS X"

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Interested in doing research in computer forensics? Looking for a master's topic, or just some ideas for a research paper? Here is our list. Please feel free to add your own ideas.
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{{Expand}}
  
Many of these would make a nice master's project.
+
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]].  
  
=Programming Projects=
+
== Disk image types ==
  
==Small-Sized Programming Projects==
+
Mac OS X has support for various disk image types build-in, some of which are:
* Modify [[bulk_extractor]] so that it can directly acquire a raw device under Windows. This requires replacing the current ''open'' function call with a ''CreateFile'' function call and using windows file handles.
+
* read-write disk image (.dmg) some of which use the [[Raw Image Format]]
* Rewrite SleuthKit '''sorter''' in C++ to make it faster and more flexible.
+
* [[Sparse Image format|Sparse disk image (.spareimage)]]
 +
* [[Sparse Bundle Image format|Sparse bundle disk image (.sparsebundle)]]
  
==Medium-Sized Programming Projects==
+
== Burn Folder ==
* Create a program that visualizes the contents of a file, sort of like hexedit, but with other features:
+
** Automatically pull out the strings
+
** Show histogram
+
** Detect crypto and/or stenography.
+
* Extend [[fiwalk]] to report the NTFS alternative data streams.
+
* Create a method to detect NTFS-compressed cluster blocks on a disk (RAW data stream). A method could be to write a generic signature to detect the beginning of NTFS-compressed file segments on a disk. This method is useful in carving and scanning for textual strings.
+
* Write a FUSE-based mounter for SleuthKit, so that disk images can be forensically mounted using TSK.
+
* Modify SleuthKit's API so that the physical location on disk of compressed files can be learned.
+
  
 +
Mac OS X Burn Folder:
 +
<pre>
 +
$NAME.fpbf
 +
</pre>
  
==Big Programming Projects==
+
This folder normally contains [[Mac OS X Alias Files|alias files]] (similar to LNK files under Windows). Which should have the following signature.
* Develop a new carver with a plug-in architecture and support for fragment reassembly carving (see [[Carver 2.0 Planning Page]]).
+
<pre>
* Write a new timeline viewer that supports Logfile fusion (with offsets) and provides the ability to view the logfile in the frequency domain.
+
00000000  62 6f 6f 6b 00 00 00 00  6d 61 72 6b 00 00 00 00  |book....mark....|
 +
</pre>
  
* Correlation Engine:
+
These [[Mac OS X Alias Files|alias files]] contain additional date and time values.
** Logfile correlation
+
** Document identity identification
+
** Correlation between stored data and intercept data
+
** Online Social Network Analysis
+
  
* Find and download in a forensically secure manner all of the information in a social network (e.g. Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.) associated with a targeted individual.
+
Also check the following files for references to deleted .fpbf paths:
** Determine who is searching for a targeted individual. This might be done with a honeypot, or documents with a tracking device in them, or some kind of covert Facebook App.
+
<pre>
** Automated grouping/annotation of low-level events, e.g. access-time, log-file entry, to higher-level events, e.g. program start, login
+
/Users/$USERNAME/Library/Preferences/com.apple.finder.plist
 +
/Users/$USERNAME/Library/Preferences/com.apple.sidebarlists.plist
 +
</pre>
  
=Reverse-Engineering Projects=
+
Actual burning of optical media is logged in:
==Reverse-Engineering Projects==
+
<pre>
* Reverse the on-disk structure of the [[Extensible Storage Engine (ESE) Database File (EDB) format]] to learn:
+
/var/log/system.log
** Fill in the missing information about older ESE databases
+
/Users/$USERNAME/Library/Logs/DiscRecording.log
** Exchange EDB (MAPI database), STM
+
/private/var/.logs_exporter/cache/Users/$USERNAME/Library/Logs/DiscRecording.log
** Active Directory (Active Directory working document available on request)
+
</pre>
* Reverse the on-disk structure of the Lotus [[Notes Storage Facility (NSF)]]
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* Reverse the on-disk structure of Microsoft SQL Server databases
+
* Add support to SleuthKit for [[FAT|eXFAT]], Microsoft's new FAT file system.
+
* Add support to SleuthKit for [[Resilient File System (ReFS)|ReFS]].
+
* Physical layer access to flash storage (requires reverse-engineering proprietary APIs for flash USB and SSD storage.)
+
* Modify SleuthKit's NTFS implementation to support NTFS encrypted files (EFS)
+
* Extend SleuthKit's implementation of NTFS to cover Transaction NTFS (TxF) (see [[NTFS]])
+
  
==EnCase Enhancement==
+
== HFS/HFS+ date and time values ==
* Develop an EnScript that allows you to script EnCase from Python. (You can do this because EnScripts can run arbitrary DLLs. The EnScript calls the DLL. Each "return" from the DLL is a specific EnCase command to execute. The EnScript then re-enters the DLL.)
+
  
= Timeline analysis =
+
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]
* Mapping differences and similarities in multiple versions of a system, e.g. those created by [[Windows Shadow Volumes]]
+
  
=Research Areas=
+
Converting HFS/HFS+ date and time values with Python:
These are research areas that could easily grow into a PhD thesis.
+
<pre>
* General-purpose detection of:
+
import datetime
** Stegnography
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** Sanitization attempts
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** Evidence Falsification (perhaps through inconsistency in file system allocations, application data allocation, and log file analysis.
+
* Visualization of data/information in digital forensic context
+
* SWOT of current visualization techniques in forensic tools; improvements; feasibility of 3D representation;
+
  
 +
print datetime.datetime( 1904, 1, 1 ) + datetime.timedelta( seconds=0xCBDAF25B )
 +
</pre>
  
 +
== Launch Agents ==
 +
System-wide:
 +
<pre>
 +
/Library/LaunchAgents
 +
/System/Library/LaunchAgents
 +
</pre>
  
__NOTOC__
+
Per user:
 +
<pre>
 +
/Users/$USERNAME/Library/LaunchAgents
 +
</pre>
 +
 
 +
These directories contain  [[Property list (plist)]] files.
 +
 
 +
== Launch Daemons ==
 +
System-wide:
 +
<pre>
 +
/Library/LaunchDaemons
 +
/System/Library/LaunchDaemons
 +
</pre>
 +
 
 +
These directories contain [[Property list (plist)]] files.
 +
 
 +
== Startup Items ==
 +
<pre>
 +
/Library/StartupItems/
 +
/System/Library/StartupItems/
 +
</pre>
 +
 
 +
== Crash Reporter ==
 +
<pre>
 +
/Library/Application Support/CrashReporter
 +
</pre>
 +
 
 +
== Diagnostic Reports ==
 +
<pre>
 +
/Library/Logs/DiagnosticReports
 +
</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/]
 +
 
 +
== 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]]
 +
 
 +
=== Formats ===
 +
* [[Basic Security Module (BSM) file format]]
 +
* [[Property list (plist)]]
 +
 
 +
== External Links ==
 +
* [http://www.apple.com/macosx/ Official website]
 +
* [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OS_X Wikipedia entry on OS X]
 +
* [http://menial.co.uk/blog/2011/06/16/mac-quarantine-event-database/ Quarantine event database]
 +
* [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://web.me.com/driley/iWeb/Previous_files/Directory_Services_Overview.pdf Mac OS X Directory Services Integration including Active Directory]
 +
* [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://krypted.com/mac-os-x/command-line-alf-on-mac-os-x/ Command Line ALF on Mac OS X]
 +
* [http://newosxbook.com/DMG.html Demystifying the DMG File Format]
 +
* [https://code.google.com/p/mac-security-tips/wiki/ALL_THE_TIPS mac-security-tips]
 +
 
 +
=== 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
 +
 
 +
=== iCloud ===
 +
* [http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4865?viewlocale=en_US&locale=en_US iCloud: iCloud security and privacy overview]
 +
 
 +
[[Category:Mac OS X]]
 +
[[Category:Operating systems]]

Revision as of 14:08, 12 June 2014

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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.

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

Diagnostic Reports

/Library/Logs/DiagnosticReports

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]

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

iCloud