Difference between pages "Windows Memory Analysis" and "Prefetch"

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Analysis of [[physical memory]] from [[Windows]] systems can yield significant information about the target operating system. This field is still very new, but holds great promise.
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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 list of DLLs used by that executable, a count of how many times the executable was has been run, and a timestamp indicating the last time the program was run. Prefetch files are stored in the <tt>%SystemRoot%\Prefetch</tt> directory.
  
== Sample Memory Images ==
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== Timestamps ==
 
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Both the [[NTFS]] timestamps for a Prefetch file and the timestamp embedded in each Prefetch file contain valueable information. 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. The
Getting started with memory analysis can be difficult without some known images to practice with.
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* The 2005 [[Digital Forensic Research Workshop]] [http://www.dfrws.org/2005/challenge/ Memory Analysis Challenge] published two Windows 2000 Service Pack 1 memory images with some [[malware]] installed.
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* The [http://dftt.sourceforge.net/ Digital Forensics Tool Testing] project has published a few [http://dftt.sourceforge.net/test13/index.html Windows memory images].
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* The [[CFReDS Project]] has created some [http://www.cfreds.nist.gov/mem/memory-images.rar downloadable memory images].
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== See Also ==
 
== See Also ==
* [[Memory analysis]]
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* [[SuperFetch]]
* [[Tools:Memory Imaging]]
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* [[Pagefile.sys]]
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* [http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa366778%28VS.85%29.aspx Memory Limits for Windows Releases], Microsoft MSDN.
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== History ==
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During the 1990s, it became a [[best practice]] to capture a [[Tools:Memory_Imaging|memory image]] during [[Incident Response|incident response]]. At the time, the only way to analyze such memory images was using [[strings]]. Although this method could reveal interesting details about the memory image, there was no way to associate what data came from what program, let alone what user.
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In the summer 2005 the [[Digital Forensic Research Workshop]] published a ''Memory Analysis Challenge''. They distributed two memory images and asked researchers to answer a number of questions about a security incident. The challenge produced two seminal works. The first, by [[Chris Betz]], introduced a tool called [[memparser]]. The second, by [[George Garner]] and [[Robert-Jan Mora]] produced [[KnTList]].
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At the [[Blackhat (conference)|Blackhat Federal]] conference in March 2007, [[AAron Walters]] and [[Nick Petroni]] released a suite called [[volatools]]. Although it only worked on [[Windows XP]] Service Pack 2 images, it was able to produce a number of useful data. [[volatools]] was updated and re-released as [[Volatility]] in August 2007, and is now maintained and distributed by [https://www.volatilesystems.com/ Volatile Systems].
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==Bibliography==
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; 2009
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* [http://www.shakacon.org/talks/NFI-Shakacon-win32dd0.3.pdf Win32dd : Challenges of Windows physical memory acquisition and exploitation], Matthieu Suiche, Netherlands Forensics Institute, Shakacon - June 2009
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; 2008
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* [http://citp.princeton.edu/memory/ Lest We Remember: Cold Boot Attacks on Encryption Keys] ([http://citp.princeton.edu.nyud.net/pub/coldboot.pdf PDF]), Usenix Security 2008 (Best student paper)
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* [http://blogs.technet.com/markrussinovich/archive/2008/07/21/3092070.aspx Pushing the Limits of Windows: Physical Memory], Mark Russinovich, Technet Blogs, July 21, 2008
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* [http://www.dfrws.org/2008/proceedings/p58-schuster.pdf The impact of Microsoft Windows pool allocation strategies on memory forensics], Andreas Schuster, DFRWS 2008 [http://www.dfrws.org/2008/proceedings/p58-schuster_pres.pdf [slides]]
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* [http://www.blackhat.com/presentations/bh-federal-06/BH-Fed-06-Burdach/bh-fed-06-burdach-up.pdf Finding Digital Evidence In Physical Memory], Mariusz Burdach, Black Hat Federal, 2008
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* [http://www.dfrws.org/2008/proceedings/p52-vanBaar.pdf Forensic Memory Analysis: Files mapped in memory], Ruud van Baar, DFRWS 2008, [http://www.dfrws.org/2008/proceedings/p52-vanBaar_pres.pdf [slides]]
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* [http://www.dfrws.org/2008/proceedings/p26-dolan-gavitt.pdf Forensic Analysis of the Windows Registry in Memory], Brendan Dolan-Gavitt, DFRWS 2008 [http://www.dfrws.org/2008/proceedings/p26-dolan-gavitt_pres.pdf [slides]]
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; 2007
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* [http://www.first.org/conference/2007/papers/rutkowska-joanna-slides.pdf Beyond The CPU: Defeating Hardware Based RAM Acquisition (part I: AMD case)], Joanna Rutkowska COSEINC Advanced Malware Labs
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* [http://www.dfrws.org/2007/proceedings/p114-arasteh.pdf Forensic Memory Analysis: From Stack and Code to Execution History], Ali Reza Arasteh and Mourad Debbabi, DFRWS 2007
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* [http://www.dfrws.org/2007/proceedings/p126-schatz.pdf BodySnatcher: Towards Reliable Volatile Memory Acquisition by Software], Bradley Schatz, DFRWS 2007
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* [http://www.dfrws.org/2007/proceedings/p62-dolan-gavitt.pdf The VAD Tree: A Process-Eye View of Physical Memory], Brendan F Dolan-Gavitt, DFRWS 2007
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* [http://www.friendsglobal.com/papers/FireWire%20Memory%20Dump%20of%20Windows%20XP.pdf FireWire Memory Dump of a Windows XP Computer: A Forensic Approach], Antonio Martin, 2007
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; 2006
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* [http://www.dfrws.org/2006/proceedings/2-Schuster.pdf Searching for Processes and Threads in Microsoft Windows Memory Dumps], Andreas Schuster, Deutsche Telekom AG, Germany, DFRWS 2006
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* Using every part of the buffalo in Windows memory an, Jesse D. Kornblum, DFRWS 2006
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[[Category:Bibliographies]]
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== External Links ==
 
== External Links ==
; Jesse Kornblum Memory Analysis discussion on Cyberspeak
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* [http://www.mitec.cz/wfa.html Windows File Analyzer] - Parses Prefetch files, thumbnail databases, shortcuts, index.dat files, and the recycle bin
: http://cyberspeak.libsyn.com/index.php?post_id=98104
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; Memory Analysis Bibliography
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: http://www.4tphi.net/fatkit/#links
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Revision as of 09:41, 22 May 2007

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Windows Prefetch files, introduced in Windows XP, are designed to speed up the application startup process. Prefetch files contain the name of the executable, a list of DLLs used by that executable, a count of how many times the executable was has been run, and a timestamp indicating the last time the program was run. Prefetch files are stored in the %SystemRoot%\Prefetch directory.

Timestamps

Both the NTFS timestamps for a Prefetch file and the timestamp embedded in each Prefetch file contain valueable information. 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. The

See Also

External Links

  • Windows File Analyzer - Parses Prefetch files, thumbnail databases, shortcuts, index.dat files, and the recycle bin