Difference between pages "RFID" and "Internet Explorer History File Format"

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It typically applies to a technology that uses radio waves to automatically identify people or objects.  While there are various ways to identify, the most common is to store a serial number that represents a person or object identity and possibly other information, on a microchip that is attached to an antenna. Collectively the microchip and antenna represent a RFID transponder or an RFID tag. The antenna gives the chip ability to transmit identity information to a RFID reader. Then the RFID reader converts the radio waves into digital information that can then be passed to the computer for usage. RFID has been around since the 1970s. Since the radio waves from the low end of the electromagnetic spectrum, waves are safe as  radio waves from a car radio.
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{{Expand}}
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[[Internet Explorer]] as of version 4 stores the web browsing history in files called <tt>index.dat</tt>. The files contain multiple records.
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MSIE version 3 probably uses similar records in its History (Cache) files.
  
RFID and Bar codes are different technologies and have different applications.  The big difference between the two is bar codes are line-of-sight technology. A scanner requires a bar code be brought towards a scanner in order for it to be read. RFID on the other hand, doesn’t require line of sight. RFID tags can be read as long as they are within range of a RFID reader. If a label is somehow removed or damaged there is no way to scan the item.
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== File Locations ==
  
Currently many forms and sizes such as personal items, services, and products use RFID worldwide. Currently in the United States, most public transportation such as trains, buses, and restaurants such as Mcdonald's all carry RFID receptacles that allow credit card transactions using MasterCard's PayPass. MasterCard PayPass is the payment feature that can be added to any MasterCard payment account to enable payments with a simple tap. PayPass is flexible enough that it can be built into cards or other devices such as key fobs, and can be used in markets that primarily issue smart cards or those that primarily issue magnetic stripe cards.  
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Internet Explorer history files keep a record of URLs that the browser has visited, cookies that were created by these sites, and any temporary internet files that were downloaded by the site visit. As a result, Internet Explorer history files are kept in several locations.  Regardless of the information stored in the file, the file is named index.dat.
  
InfoSync reported that, Motorola and MasterCard are conducting field tests of new mobile phones that include Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) chips embedded in them as part of a cashless payment system dubbed PayPass. The phones will be equipped with Near Field Communication (NFC) systems, which will allow them to communicate with nearby readers to, for instance, pay for small purchases or tickets for transit or events simply by passing their phone close to a reader.
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On Windows 95/98 these files were located in the following locations:
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<pre>
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%systemdir%\Temporary Internet Files\Content.ie5
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%systemdir%\Cookies
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%systemdir%\History\History.ie5
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</pre>
  
Once the phone and account has been identified by the RFID tag, the user's MasterCard account will be billed automatically by the network for the appropriate amount. MasterCard also sees potential for the phones as contactless readers, which it claims opens the door for "a variety of marketing and promotional applications", on which the company did not elaborate further.
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On Windows 2000/XP the file locations have changed:
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<pre>
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%systemdir%\Documents and Settings\%username%\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files\Content.ie5
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%systemdir%\Documents and Settings\%username%\Cookies
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%systemdir%\Documents and Settings\%username%\Local Settings\History\history.ie5
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</pre>
  
The PayPass trials will be run by the end of the 2006 at various locations in the United States.
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Internet Explorer also keeps daily, weekly, and monthly history logs that will be located in subfolders of %systemdir%\Documents and Settings\%username%\Local Settings\History\history.ie5.  The folders will be named <tt>MSHist<two-digit number><starting four-digit year><starting two-digit month><starting two-digit day><ending four-digit year><ending two-digit month><ending two-digit day></tt>.  For example, the folder containing data from March 26, 2008 to March 27, 2008 might be named <tt>MSHist012008032620080327</tt>.
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Note that not every file named index.dat is a MSIE History (Cache) file.
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== File Header ==
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Every version of Internet Explorer since Internet Explorer 5 has used the same structure for the file header and the individual records.  Internet Explorer history files begin with:
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43 6c 69 65 6e 74 20 55 72 6c 43 61 63 68 65 20 4d 4d 46 20 56 65 72 20 35 2e 32
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Which represents the ascii string "Client UrlCache MMF Ver 5.2"
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The next field in the file header starts at byte offset 28 and is a four byte representation of the file size.  The number will be stored in [[endianness | little-endian]] format so the numbers must actually be reversed to calculate the value.
 +
 
 +
Also of interest in the file header is the location of the cache directories.  In the URL records the cache directories are given as a number, with one representing the first cache directory, two representing the second and so on.  The names of the cache directories are kept at byte offset 64 in the file.  Each directory entry is 12 bytes long of which the first eight bytes contain the directory name.
 +
 
 +
== Allocation bitmap ==
 +
The IE History File contains an allocation bitmap starting from offset 0x250 to 0x4000.
 +
 
 +
== Record Formats ==
 +
 
 +
Every record has a similar header that consists of 8 bytes.
 +
 
 +
<pre>typedef struct _RECORD_HEADER {
 +
  /* 000 */ char        Signature[4];
 +
  /* 004 */ uint32_t    NumberOfBlocksInRecord;
 +
} RECORD_HEADER;</pre>
 +
 
 +
The size of the record can be determined from the number of blocks in the record; per default the block size is 128 bytes. Therefore, a length of <pre>05 00 00 00</pre> would indicate five blocks (because the number is stored in little-endian format) of 128 bytes for a total record length of 640 bytes. Note that even for allocated records the number of blocks value cannot be fully relied upon.
 +
 
 +
The blocks that make up a record can have slack space.
 +
 
 +
Currently 4 types of records are known:
 +
* URL
 +
* REDR
 +
* HASH
 +
* LEAK
 +
 
 +
Note that the location and filename strings are stored in the local codepage, normally these strings will only use the ASCII character set. Chinese versions of Windows are known to also use extended characters as well.
 +
 
 +
=== URL Records ===
 +
 
 +
These records indicate URIs that were actually requested. They contain the location and additional data like the web server's HTTP response. They begin with the header, in hexadecimal:
 +
 
 +
<pre>55 52 4C 20</pre>
 +
This corresponds to the string <tt>URL</tt> followed by a space.
 +
 
 +
The definition for the structure in C99 format:
 +
 
 +
<pre>typedef struct _URL_RECORD_HEADER {
 +
  /* 000 */ char        Signature[4];
 +
  /* 004 */ uint32_t    AmountOfBlocksInRecord;
 +
  /* 008 */ FILETIME    LastModified;
 +
  /* 010 */ FILETIME    LastAccessed;
 +
  /* 018 */ FATTIME    Expires;
 +
  /* 01c */
 +
  // Not finished yet
 +
} URL_RECORD_HEADER;</pre>
 +
 
 +
<pre>
 +
typedef struct _FILETIME {
 +
  /* 000 */ uint32_t    lower;
 +
  /* 004 */ uint32_t    upper;
 +
} FILETIME;</pre>
 +
 
 +
<pre>
 +
typedef struct _FATTIME {
 +
  /* 000 */ uint16_t    date;
 +
  /* 002 */ uint16_t    time;
 +
} FATTIME;</pre>
 +
 
 +
The actual interpretation of the "LastModified" and "LastAccessed" fields depends on the type of history file in which the record is contained. As a matter of fact, Internet Explorer uses three different types of history files, namely Daily History, Weekly History, and Main History. Other "index.dat" files are used to store cached copies of visited pages and cookies.
 +
The information concerning how to intepret the dates of these different files can be found on Capt. Steve Bunting's web page at the University of Delaware Computer Forensics Lab (http://www.stevebunting.org/udpd4n6/forensics/index_dat2.htm).
 +
Please be aware that most free and/or open source index.dat parsing programs, as well as quite a few commercial forensic tools, are not able to correctly interpret the above dates. More specifically, they interpret all the time and dates as if the records were contained into a Daily History file regardless of the actual type of the file they are stored in.
 +
 
 +
=== REDR Records ===
 +
REDR records are very simple records.  They simply indicate that the browser was redirected to another site.  REDR records always start with the string REDR (0x52 45  44 52).  The next four bytes are the size of the record in little endian format.  The size will indicate the number 128 byte blocks.
 +
 
 +
At offset 8 from the start of the REDR record is an unknown data field.  It has been confirmed that this is not a date field.
 +
 
 +
16 bytes into the REDR record is the URL that was visited in a null-terminated string.  After the URL, the REDR record appears to be padded with zeros until the end of the 128 byte block.
 +
 
 +
=== HASH Records ===
 +
 
 +
=== LEAK Records ===
 +
The exact purpose of LEAK records remains unknown, however research performed by Mike Murr suggests that LEAK records are created when the machine attempts to delete records from the history file while a corresponding Temporary Internet File (TIF) is held open and cannot be deleted.
 +
 
 +
== External Links ==
 +
 
 +
* [http://www.cqure.net/wp/?page_id=18 IEHist program for reading index.dat files]
 +
* [http://www.milincorporated.com/a3_index.dat.html What is in Index.dat files]
 +
* [http://www.foundstone.com/us/pdf/wp_index_dat.pdf Detailed analysis of index.dat file format]
 +
* [http://downloads.sourceforge.net/sourceforge/libmsiecf/MSIE_Cache_File_format.pdf MSIE Cache File (index.dat) format specification]
 +
* [http://www.forensicblog.org/2009/09/10/the-meaning-of-leak-records/ The Meaning of LEAK records]
 +
* [http://www.tzworks.net/prototype_page.php?proto_id=6 Windows 'index.dat' Parser] Free tool that can be run on Windows, Linux or Mac OS-X.
 +
 
 +
[[Category:File Formats]]

Revision as of 15:19, 2 November 2011

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

Internet Explorer as of version 4 stores the web browsing history in files called index.dat. The files contain multiple records.

MSIE version 3 probably uses similar records in its History (Cache) files.

File Locations

Internet Explorer history files keep a record of URLs that the browser has visited, cookies that were created by these sites, and any temporary internet files that were downloaded by the site visit. As a result, Internet Explorer history files are kept in several locations. Regardless of the information stored in the file, the file is named index.dat.

On Windows 95/98 these files were located in the following locations:

%systemdir%\Temporary Internet Files\Content.ie5
%systemdir%\Cookies
%systemdir%\History\History.ie5

On Windows 2000/XP the file locations have changed:

%systemdir%\Documents and Settings\%username%\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files\Content.ie5
%systemdir%\Documents and Settings\%username%\Cookies
%systemdir%\Documents and Settings\%username%\Local Settings\History\history.ie5

Internet Explorer also keeps daily, weekly, and monthly history logs that will be located in subfolders of %systemdir%\Documents and Settings\%username%\Local Settings\History\history.ie5. The folders will be named MSHist<two-digit number><starting four-digit year><starting two-digit month><starting two-digit day><ending four-digit year><ending two-digit month><ending two-digit day>. For example, the folder containing data from March 26, 2008 to March 27, 2008 might be named MSHist012008032620080327.

Note that not every file named index.dat is a MSIE History (Cache) file.

File Header

Every version of Internet Explorer since Internet Explorer 5 has used the same structure for the file header and the individual records. Internet Explorer history files begin with:

43 6c 69 65 6e 74 20 55 72 6c 43 61 63 68 65 20 4d 4d 46 20 56 65 72 20 35 2e 32

Which represents the ascii string "Client UrlCache MMF Ver 5.2"

The next field in the file header starts at byte offset 28 and is a four byte representation of the file size. The number will be stored in little-endian format so the numbers must actually be reversed to calculate the value.

Also of interest in the file header is the location of the cache directories. In the URL records the cache directories are given as a number, with one representing the first cache directory, two representing the second and so on. The names of the cache directories are kept at byte offset 64 in the file. Each directory entry is 12 bytes long of which the first eight bytes contain the directory name.

Allocation bitmap

The IE History File contains an allocation bitmap starting from offset 0x250 to 0x4000.

Record Formats

Every record has a similar header that consists of 8 bytes.

typedef struct _RECORD_HEADER {
  /* 000 */ char        Signature[4];
  /* 004 */ uint32_t    NumberOfBlocksInRecord;
} RECORD_HEADER;
The size of the record can be determined from the number of blocks in the record; per default the block size is 128 bytes. Therefore, a length of
05 00 00 00
would indicate five blocks (because the number is stored in little-endian format) of 128 bytes for a total record length of 640 bytes. Note that even for allocated records the number of blocks value cannot be fully relied upon.

The blocks that make up a record can have slack space.

Currently 4 types of records are known:

  • URL
  • REDR
  • HASH
  • LEAK

Note that the location and filename strings are stored in the local codepage, normally these strings will only use the ASCII character set. Chinese versions of Windows are known to also use extended characters as well.

URL Records

These records indicate URIs that were actually requested. They contain the location and additional data like the web server's HTTP response. They begin with the header, in hexadecimal:

55 52 4C 20

This corresponds to the string URL followed by a space.

The definition for the structure in C99 format:

typedef struct _URL_RECORD_HEADER {
  /* 000 */ char        Signature[4];
  /* 004 */ uint32_t    AmountOfBlocksInRecord;
  /* 008 */ FILETIME    LastModified;
  /* 010 */ FILETIME    LastAccessed;
  /* 018 */ FATTIME     Expires;
  /* 01c */ 
  // Not finished yet
} URL_RECORD_HEADER;
typedef struct _FILETIME {
  /* 000 */ uint32_t    lower;
  /* 004 */ uint32_t    upper;
} FILETIME;
typedef struct _FATTIME {
  /* 000 */ uint16_t    date;
  /* 002 */ uint16_t    time;
} FATTIME;

The actual interpretation of the "LastModified" and "LastAccessed" fields depends on the type of history file in which the record is contained. As a matter of fact, Internet Explorer uses three different types of history files, namely Daily History, Weekly History, and Main History. Other "index.dat" files are used to store cached copies of visited pages and cookies. The information concerning how to intepret the dates of these different files can be found on Capt. Steve Bunting's web page at the University of Delaware Computer Forensics Lab (http://www.stevebunting.org/udpd4n6/forensics/index_dat2.htm). Please be aware that most free and/or open source index.dat parsing programs, as well as quite a few commercial forensic tools, are not able to correctly interpret the above dates. More specifically, they interpret all the time and dates as if the records were contained into a Daily History file regardless of the actual type of the file they are stored in.

REDR Records

REDR records are very simple records. They simply indicate that the browser was redirected to another site. REDR records always start with the string REDR (0x52 45 44 52). The next four bytes are the size of the record in little endian format. The size will indicate the number 128 byte blocks.

At offset 8 from the start of the REDR record is an unknown data field. It has been confirmed that this is not a date field.

16 bytes into the REDR record is the URL that was visited in a null-terminated string. After the URL, the REDR record appears to be padded with zeros until the end of the 128 byte block.

HASH Records

LEAK Records

The exact purpose of LEAK records remains unknown, however research performed by Mike Murr suggests that LEAK records are created when the machine attempts to delete records from the history file while a corresponding Temporary Internet File (TIF) is held open and cannot be deleted.

External Links