Difference between pages "Windows" and "AFF"

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The '''Advanced Forensics Format''' ('''AFF''') is an extensible open format for the storage of [[disk image]]s and related forensic [[metadata]]. It was originally developed by [[Simson Garfinkel]] and [[Basis Technology]]. The last version of AFF is implemented in the [[AFFLIBv3]] library, which can be found on [https://github.com/simsong/AFFLIBv3 github].  [[AFF4]] builds upon many of the concepts developed in AFF.  AFF4 was developed by [[Michael Cohen]], Simson Garfinkel and Bradley Schatz. That version can be downloaded from [https://code.google.com/p/aff4/ Google Code].
  
'''Windows''' is a widely-spread [[operating system]] from [[Microsoft]].
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[[Sleuthkit]], [[Autopsy]] , [[OSFMount]], [[Xmount]], [[FTK Imager]] and [[FTK]] support the AFFv3 image format.
  
There are 2 main branches of Windows:
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==AFF Background==
* the DOS-branch: i.e. Windows 95, 98, ME
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AFF was created to be an open and extensible file format to store disk images and associated metadata. The goal was to create a disk imaging format that would not lock users into a proprietary format that may limit how he or she may analyze it. An open standard enables investigators to quickly and efficiently use their preferred tools to solve crimes, gather intelligence, and resolve security incidents. The format was implemented in AFFLIB which was distributed with an open source license.
* the NT-branch: i.e. Windows NT 4, XP, Vista
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== Features ==
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After AFFLIB was published, [[Joachim Metz]] published [[libewf]], an open source implementation of the EnCase Expert Witness format. Later, Guidance Software modified its format to allow single disk volumes larger than 4GiB. Together these two changes significantly decreased the need for AFF and AFFLIB.
* Basic and Dynamic Disks, see: [http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/aa363785(v=vs.85).aspx]
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=== Introduced in Windows NT ===
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In 2009 Cohen, Garfinkel and Schatz published an article on AFF4, a new file format that incorporated and expanded on the underlying AFF ideas. AFF4 provides for multiple data views within a single data archives and allows links between archives. As a result, AFF4 natively supports selective imaging, logical file volumes, hash-based imaging, and a variety of case-management scenarios.
* [[NTFS]]
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=== Introduced in Windows 2000 ===  
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==AFFv3 Extensions==
  
=== Introduced in Windows XP ===
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The original AFF format is a single file that contains segments with drive data and metadata. Its contents can be compressed, but it can be quite large as the data on modern hard disks often reach 100GB in size.
* [[Prefetch]]
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AFFv3 supported three file extensions --– AFF, AFD and AFM –-- and provided a tool to easily convert between the variations.
* System Restore (Restore Points); also present in Windows ME
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==== SP2 ====
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For ease of transfer, large AFF files can be broken into multiple AFD format files. The smaller AFD files can be readily moved around a FAT32 file system which limits files to 2GB or stored on DVDs, which have similar size restrictions. The AFM format stores the metadata in an AFF file, and the disk data in a separate raw file. This format allows analysis tools that support the raw format to access the data, but without losing the metadata.
* Windows Firewall
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=== Introduced in Windows 2003 (Server) ===
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===Compression and Encryption===
* Volume Shadow Copies
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AFF supports two compression algorithms: zlib, which is fast and reasonably efficient, and LZMA, which is slower but dramatically more efficient. zlib is the same compression algorithm used by EnCase. As a result, AFF files compressed with zlib are roughly the same size as the equivalent EnCase file. AFF files can be recompressed using the LZMA algorithm. These files are anywhere from 1/2 to 1/10th the size of the original AFF/EnCase file.
  
=== Introduced in Windows Vista ===
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AFF2.0 supports encryption of disk images. Unlike the password implemented by EnCase, encrypted images cannot be accessed without the necessary encryption key. FTK Imager/FTK added support for this encryption  in version 3.0 and are able to create and access AFF encrypted images.
* [[BitLocker Disk Encryption | BitLocker]]
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* [[Windows Desktop Search | Search]] integrated in operating system
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* [[SuperFetch]]
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* [[NTFS|Transactional NTFS (TxF)]]
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* [[Windows NT Registry File (REGF)|Transactional Registry (TxR)]]
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* [[Windows Shadow Volumes|Shadow Volumes]]; the volume-based storage of the Volume Shadow Copy data
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* $Recycle.Bin
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* [[Windows XML Event Log (EVTX)]]
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* [[User Account Control (UAC)]]
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=== Introduced in Windows 2008 (Server) ===  
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=== AFFLIBv3 Tools ===
  
=== Introduced in Windows 7 ===
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* [[aimage]]
* [[BitLocker Disk Encryption | BitLocker To Go]]
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* [[ident]]
* [[Jump Lists]]
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* [[afcat]]
* [[Sticky Notes]]
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* [[afcompare]]
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* [[afconvert]]
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* [[affix]]
 +
* [[affuse]]
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* [[afinfo]]
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* [[afstats]]
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* [[afxml]]
 +
* [[afsegment]]
  
=== Introduced in Windows 8 ===
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= See Also =
* [[Windows Shadow Volumes | File History]]
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* [[Windows Storage Spaces | Storage Spaces]]
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* [[Resilient File System (ReFS)]]; server edition will likely be available in Windows Server 2012
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== Forensics ==
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* [[AFF Developers Guide]] --- A guide for programmers on how to use the AFF
 
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* [[AFF Development Task List]] --- Want to help with AFF? Here is a list of things that need to be done.
=== Partition layout ===
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Default partition layout, first partition starts:
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* at sector 63 in Windows 2000, XP, 2003
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* at sector 2048 in Windows Vista, 2008, 7
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=== Filesystems ===
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* [[FAT]], [[FAT|exFAT]]
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* [[NTFS]]
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* [[Resilient File System (ReFS) | ReFS]]
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=== Recycle Bin ===
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==== RECYCLER ====
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Used by Windows 2000, XP.
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Uses INFO2 file.
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See: [http://www.cybersecurityinstitute.biz/downloads/INFO2.pdf]
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==== $RECYCLE.BIN ====
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Used by Windows Vista.
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Uses $I and $R files.
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See: [http://www.forensicfocus.com/downloads/forensic-analysis-vista-recycle-bin.pdf]
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=== Registry ===
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The [[Windows Registry]] is a database of keys and values that provides a wealth of information to forensic [[investigator]]s.
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=== Thumbs.db Files ===
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[[Thumbs.db]] files can be found on many Windows systems. They contain thumbnails of images or documents and can be of great value for the [[investigator]].
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See also: [[Vista thumbcache]].
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=== Browser Cache ===
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=== Browser History ===
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The [[Web Browser History]] files can contain significant information. The default [[Web browser|web browser]] that comes with Windows is [[Internet Explorer|Microsoft Internet Explorer]] but other common browsers on Windows are [[Apple Safari]], [[Google Chrome]], [[Mozilla Firefox]] and [[Opera]].
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=== Search ===
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See [[Windows Desktop Search]]
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=== Setup log files (setupapi.log) ===
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Windows Vista introduced several setup log files [http://support.microsoft.com/kb/927521].
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=== Sleep/Hibernation ===
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After (at least) Windows 7 recovers from sleep/hibernation there often is a system time change event (event id 1) in the event logs.
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=== Users ===
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Windows stores a users Security identifiers (SIDs) under the following registry key:
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<pre>
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HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList
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</pre>
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The %SID%\ProfileImagePath value should also contain the username.
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== Advanced Format (4KB Sector) Hard Drives ==
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Windows XP does not natively handle drives that use the new standard of 4KB sectors. For information on this, see [[Advanced Format]].
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== %SystemRoot% ==
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The actual value of %SystemRoot% is store in the following registry value:
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<pre>
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Key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\
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Value: SystemRoot
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</pre>
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== See Also ==
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* [[Windows Event Log (EVT)]]
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* [[Windows XML Event Log (EVTX)]]
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== External Links ==
 
== External Links ==
 +
* [http://www.basistech.com/digital-forensics/aff.html Basis Technology's AFF website]
 +
* [http://www.osforensics.com/tools/mount-disk-images.html OSFMount - 3rd party tool for mounting AFF disk images with a drive letter]
  
* [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Windows Wikipedia: Microsoft Windows]
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[[Category:Forensics File Formats]]
* [http://support.microsoft.com/kb/927521 Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, and Windows Vista setup log file locations]
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[[Category:Open Source Tools]]
* [http://www.forensicfocus.com/downloads/forensic-analysis-vista-recycle-bin.pdf The Forensic Analysis of the Microsoft Windows Vista Recycle Bin], by [[Mitchell Machor]], 2008
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* [http://www.ericjhuber.com/2013/02/microsoft-file-system-tunneling.html?m=1 Microsoft Windows File System Tunneling], by [[Eric Huber]], February 24, 2013
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=== Under the hood ===
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* [http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/aa366533(v=vs.85).aspx MSDN: Comparing Memory Allocation Methods], by [[Microsoft]]
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* [http://blogs.msdn.com/b/ntdebugging/archive/2007/06/28/how-windows-starts-up-part-the-second.aspx How Windows Starts Up (Part the second)]
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* [http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa375142.aspx DLL/COM Redirection]
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* [http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/ms682586(v=vs.85).aspx Dynamic-Link Library Search Order]
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* [http://blogs.msdn.com/b/junfeng/archive/2004/04/28/121871.aspx Image File Execution Options]
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=== Side-by-side (WinSxS) ===
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* [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Side-by-side_assembly Wikipedia: Side-by-side assembly]
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* [http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa374224.aspx Assembly Searching Sequence]
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* [http://blogs.msdn.com/b/junfeng/archive/2007/06/26/rt-manifest-resource-and-isolation-aware-enabled.aspx RT_MANIFEST resource, and ISOLATION_AWARE_ENABLED]
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* [http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/dd408052(v=vs.85).aspx Isolated Applications and Side-by-side Assemblies]
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* [http://blogs.msdn.com/b/junfeng/archive/2006/01/24/517221.aspx#531208 DotLocal (.local) Dll Redirection], by [[Junfeng Zhang]], January 24, 2006
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* [http://blogs.msdn.com/b/junfeng/archive/2006/04/14/576314.aspx Diagnosing SideBySide failures], by [[Junfeng Zhang]], April 14, 2006
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* [http://omnicognate.wordpress.com/2009/10/05/winsxs/ EVERYTHING YOU NEVER WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT WINSXS]
+
 
+
=== Application Compatibility Database ===
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* [http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd837644(v=ws.10).aspx Technet: Understanding Shims], by [[Microsoft]]
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* [http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb432182(v=vs.85).aspx MSDN: Application Compatibility Database], by [[Microsoft]]
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* [http://www.alex-ionescu.com/?p=39 Secrets of the Application Compatilibity Database (SDB) – Part 1], by [[Alex Ionescu]], May 20, 2007
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* [http://www.alex-ionescu.com/?p=40 Secrets of the Application Compatilibity Database (SDB) – Part 2], by [[Alex Ionescu]], May 21, 2007
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* [http://fred.mandiant.com/Whitepaper_ShimCacheParser.pdf Leveraging the Application Compatibility Cache in Forensic Investigations], by [[Andrew Davis]], May 4, 2012
+
 
+
=== System Restore (Restore Points) ===
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* [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/System_Restore Wikipedia: System Restore]
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* [http://www.stevebunting.org/udpd4n6/forensics/restorepoints.htm Restore Point Forensics], by [[Steve Bunting]]
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* [http://windowsir.blogspot.ch/2007/06/restore-point-analysis.html Restore Point Analysis], by [[Harlan Carvey]],  June 16, 2007
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* [http://windowsir.blogspot.ch/2006/10/restore-point-forensics.html Restore Point Forensics], by [[Harlan Carvey]], October 20, 2006
+
* [http://www.ediscovery.co.nz/wip/srp.html System Restore Point Log Decoding]
+
 
+
=== Windows Firewall ===
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* [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Firewall Wikipedia: Windows Firewall]
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* [http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc737845(v=ws.10).aspx#BKMK_log Windows Firewall Tools and Settings]
+
 
+
=== Windows XP ===
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* [http://support.microsoft.com/kb/q308549 Description of Windows XP System Information (Msinfo32.exe) Tool]
+
 
+
=== Windows 8 ===
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* [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Features_new_to_Windows_8 Features new to Windows 8], Wikipedia
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* [http://computerforensics.champlain.edu/blog/windows-8-forensics Windows 8 Forensics - part 1]
+
* [http://computerforensics.champlain.edu/blog/windows-8-forensics-part-2 Windows 8 Forensics - part 2]
+
* [http://computerforensics.champlain.edu/blog/windows-8-forensics-part-3 Windows 8 Forensics - part 3]
+
* [http://propellerheadforensics.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/thomson_windows-8-forensic-guide2.pdf Windows 8 Forensic Guide], by [[Amanda Thomson|Amanda C. F. Thomson]], 2012
+
* [http://forensicfocus.com/Forums/viewtopic/t=9604/ Forensic Focus: Windows 8 Forensics - A First Look], [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uhCooEz9FQs&feature=youtu.be Presentation], [http://www.forensicfocus.com/downloads/windows-8-forensics-josh-brunty.pdf Slides], by [[Josh Brunty]], August 2012
+
* [http://dfstream.blogspot.ch/2013/03/windows-8-tracking-opened-photos.html Windows 8: Tracking Opened Photos], by [[Jason Hale]], March 8, 2013
+
 
+
[[Category:Operating systems]]
+

Revision as of 08:04, 8 April 2013

The Advanced Forensics Format (AFF) is an extensible open format for the storage of disk images and related forensic metadata. It was originally developed by Simson Garfinkel and Basis Technology. The last version of AFF is implemented in the AFFLIBv3 library, which can be found on github. AFF4 builds upon many of the concepts developed in AFF. AFF4 was developed by Michael Cohen, Simson Garfinkel and Bradley Schatz. That version can be downloaded from Google Code.

Sleuthkit, Autopsy , OSFMount, Xmount, FTK Imager and FTK support the AFFv3 image format.

AFF Background

AFF was created to be an open and extensible file format to store disk images and associated metadata. The goal was to create a disk imaging format that would not lock users into a proprietary format that may limit how he or she may analyze it. An open standard enables investigators to quickly and efficiently use their preferred tools to solve crimes, gather intelligence, and resolve security incidents. The format was implemented in AFFLIB which was distributed with an open source license.

After AFFLIB was published, Joachim Metz published libewf, an open source implementation of the EnCase Expert Witness format. Later, Guidance Software modified its format to allow single disk volumes larger than 4GiB. Together these two changes significantly decreased the need for AFF and AFFLIB.

In 2009 Cohen, Garfinkel and Schatz published an article on AFF4, a new file format that incorporated and expanded on the underlying AFF ideas. AFF4 provides for multiple data views within a single data archives and allows links between archives. As a result, AFF4 natively supports selective imaging, logical file volumes, hash-based imaging, and a variety of case-management scenarios.

AFFv3 Extensions

The original AFF format is a single file that contains segments with drive data and metadata. Its contents can be compressed, but it can be quite large as the data on modern hard disks often reach 100GB in size. AFFv3 supported three file extensions --– AFF, AFD and AFM –-- and provided a tool to easily convert between the variations.

For ease of transfer, large AFF files can be broken into multiple AFD format files. The smaller AFD files can be readily moved around a FAT32 file system which limits files to 2GB or stored on DVDs, which have similar size restrictions. The AFM format stores the metadata in an AFF file, and the disk data in a separate raw file. This format allows analysis tools that support the raw format to access the data, but without losing the metadata.

Compression and Encryption

AFF supports two compression algorithms: zlib, which is fast and reasonably efficient, and LZMA, which is slower but dramatically more efficient. zlib is the same compression algorithm used by EnCase. As a result, AFF files compressed with zlib are roughly the same size as the equivalent EnCase file. AFF files can be recompressed using the LZMA algorithm. These files are anywhere from 1/2 to 1/10th the size of the original AFF/EnCase file.

AFF2.0 supports encryption of disk images. Unlike the password implemented by EnCase, encrypted images cannot be accessed without the necessary encryption key. FTK Imager/FTK added support for this encryption in version 3.0 and are able to create and access AFF encrypted images.

AFFLIBv3 Tools

See Also

External Links