Difference between revisions of "Windows"

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'''Windows''' is a widely-spread [[operating system]] from [[Microsoft]].
 
'''Windows''' is a widely-spread [[operating system]] from [[Microsoft]].
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* [[NTFS]]
 
* [[NTFS]]
 
* [[Resilient File System (ReFS) | ReFS]]
 
* [[Resilient File System (ReFS) | ReFS]]
 +
 +
=== Hosts information ===
 +
<pre>
 +
C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts
 +
C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\lmhosts.sam
 +
</pre>
  
 
=== Recycle Bin ===
 
=== Recycle Bin ===
 +
The Recycle Bin contains "Recycled" files. Moving files and directories to the Recycle Bin is also referred to as soft deletion, since the files are not removed from the file system.
  
 
==== RECYCLER ====
 
==== RECYCLER ====
Used by Windows 2000, XP.
+
The Recycler format is used by Windows 2000, XP.
Uses INFO2 file.
+
  
See: [http://www.cybersecurityinstitute.biz/downloads/INFO2.pdf]
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Per user Recycle Bin folder in the form:
 +
<pre>
 +
C:\Recycler\%SID%\
 +
</pre>
 +
 
 +
Which contains:
 +
* INFO2 file; "Recycled" files metadata
  
 
==== $RECYCLE.BIN ====
 
==== $RECYCLE.BIN ====
Used by Windows Vista.
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The $Recycle.Bin is used as of Windows Vista.
Uses $I and $R files.
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 +
Per user Recycle Bin folder in the form:
 +
<pre>
 +
C:\$Recycle.Bin\%SID%\
 +
</pre>
  
See: [http://www.forensicfocus.com/downloads/forensic-analysis-vista-recycle-bin.pdf]
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Which contains:
 +
* $I files; "Recycled" file metadata
 +
* $R files; the original data
  
 
=== Registry ===
 
=== Registry ===
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See [[Windows Desktop Search]]
 
See [[Windows Desktop Search]]
  
=== Setup log files (setupapi.log) ===
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=== Setup API Logs ===
Windows Vista introduced several setup log files [http://support.microsoft.com/kb/927521].
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Windows Vista introduced several new [[Setup API Logs|Setup API Log files]].
 +
 
 +
Also see [http://support.microsoft.com/kb/927521].
 +
 
 +
=== Scheduled Tasks ===
 +
In Windows the Scheduled Tasks can be found in:
 +
<pre>
 +
C:\Windows\Tasks
 +
</pre>
 +
 
 +
This directory contains .job files which are in the [[Windows Job File Format]].
 +
 
 +
In later versions of Windows (at least Windows 7) XML-based equivalents can be found in the following locations:
 +
<pre>
 +
C:\Windows\System32\Tasks
 +
C:\Windows\SysWow64\Tasks
 +
</pre>
  
 
=== Sleep/Hibernation ===
 
=== Sleep/Hibernation ===
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The %SID%\ProfileImagePath value should also contain the username.
 
The %SID%\ProfileImagePath value should also contain the username.
 +
 +
=== Crash and minidumps ===
 +
<pre>
 +
C:\Windows\Minidump
 +
</pre>
  
 
=== Windows Error Reporting (WER) ===
 
=== Windows Error Reporting (WER) ===
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== See Also ==
 
== See Also ==
 +
* [[Prefetch]]
 +
* [[Setup API Logs]]
 +
* [[SuperFetch]]
 +
* [[Windows Application Compatibility]]
 +
* [[Windows Desktop Search]]
 
* [[Windows Event Log (EVT)]]
 
* [[Windows Event Log (EVT)]]
 +
* [[Windows Job File Format]]
 
* [[Windows XML Event Log (EVTX)]]
 
* [[Windows XML Event Log (EVTX)]]
 
* [[Windows Vista]]
 
* [[Windows Vista]]
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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
 
* [http://www.ericjhuber.com/2013/02/microsoft-file-system-tunneling.html?m=1 Microsoft Windows File System Tunneling], by [[Eric Huber]], February 24, 2013
 
* [http://www.nsa.gov/ia/_files/app/Spotting_the_Adversary_with_Windows_Event_Log_Monitoring.pdf Spotting the Adversary with Windows Event Log Monitoring], by National Security Agency/Central Security Service, February 28, 2013
 
* [http://www.nsa.gov/ia/_files/app/Spotting_the_Adversary_with_Windows_Event_Log_Monitoring.pdf Spotting the Adversary with Windows Event Log Monitoring], by National Security Agency/Central Security Service, February 28, 2013
 +
* [http://www.swiftforensics.com/2014/04/search-history-on-windows-8-and-81.html Search history on Windows 8 and 8.1], by [[Yogesh Khatri's]], April 1, 2014
 +
* [http://www.swiftforensics.com/2014/04/search-history-on-windows-81-part-2.html Search history on windows 8.1 - Part 2], by [[Yogesh Khatri's]], April 21, 2014
 +
 +
=== Recycle Bin ===
 +
* [http://www.cybersecurityinstitute.biz/downloads/INFO2.pdf Lesson 3 – The Recycle Bin], by Steve Hailey
 +
* [http://www.forensicfocus.com/downloads/forensic-analysis-vista-recycle-bin.pdf The Forensic Analysis of the Microsoft Windows Vista Recycle Bin], by Mitchell Machor, January 22, 2008
  
 
=== Malware/Rootkits ===
 
=== Malware/Rootkits ===
 
* [http://forensicmethods.com/inside-windows-rootkits Inside Windows Rootkits], by [[Chad Tilbury]], September 4, 2013
 
* [http://forensicmethods.com/inside-windows-rootkits Inside Windows Rootkits], by [[Chad Tilbury]], September 4, 2013
 
=== Program execution ===
 
* [http://windowsir.blogspot.com/2013/07/howto-determine-program-execution.html HowTo: Determine Program Execution], by [[Harlan Carvey]], July 06, 2013
 
* [http://journeyintoir.blogspot.com/2014/01/it-is-all-about-program-execution.html It Is All About Program Execution], by [[Corey Harrell]], January 14, 2014
 
  
 
=== Tracking removable media ===
 
=== Tracking removable media ===
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* [http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/ms682586(v=vs.85).aspx Dynamic-Link Library Search Order]
 
* [http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/ms682586(v=vs.85).aspx Dynamic-Link Library Search Order]
 
* [http://blogs.msdn.com/b/junfeng/archive/2004/04/28/121871.aspx Image File Execution Options]
 
* [http://blogs.msdn.com/b/junfeng/archive/2004/04/28/121871.aspx Image File Execution Options]
 +
* [http://blogs.technet.com/b/srd/archive/2014/05/13/load-library-safely.aspx Load Library Safely], by Swamy Shivaganga Nagaraju, 13 May 2014
 +
 +
==== Windows File Protection (WFP) ====
 +
* [http://support.microsoft.com/kb/222193/EN-US Description of the Windows File Protection feature]
 +
* [http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=310747 Description of Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 System File Checker (Sfc.exe)]
  
 
==== MSI ====
 
==== MSI ====
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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
 
* [http://blogs.msdn.com/b/junfeng/archive/2006/04/14/576314.aspx Diagnosing SideBySide failures], by [[Junfeng Zhang]], April 14, 2006
 
* [http://omnicognate.wordpress.com/2009/10/05/winsxs/ EVERYTHING YOU NEVER WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT WINSXS]
 
* [http://omnicognate.wordpress.com/2009/10/05/winsxs/ EVERYTHING YOU NEVER WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT WINSXS]
 
+
* [http://www.fireeye.com/resources/pdfs/fireeye-dll-sideloading.pdf DLL Side-loading: A Thorn in the Side of the Anti-Virus Industry], by Amanda Stewart, April 2014
==== Application Experience and Compatibility ====
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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
+
* [http://journeyintoir.blogspot.ch/2013/12/revealing-recentfilecachebcf-file.html Revealing the RecentFileCache.bcf File], by [[Corey Harrell]], December 2, 2013
+
* [http://journeyintoir.blogspot.ch/2013/12/revealing-program-compatibility.html Revealing Program Compatibility Assistant HKCU AppCompatFlags Registry Keys], by [[Corey Harrell]], December 17, 2013
+
  
 
==== System Restore (Restore Points) ====
 
==== System Restore (Restore Points) ====
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* [http://blogs.technet.com/b/yongrhee/archive/2010/12/29/drwtsn32-on-windows-vista-windows-server-2008-windows-7-windows-server-2008-r2.aspx Technet: Drwtsn32 on Windows Vista/Windows Server 2008/Windows 7/Windows Server 2008 R2], by Yong Rhee, December 29, 2010
 
* [http://blogs.technet.com/b/yongrhee/archive/2010/12/29/drwtsn32-on-windows-vista-windows-server-2008-windows-7-windows-server-2008-r2.aspx Technet: Drwtsn32 on Windows Vista/Windows Server 2008/Windows 7/Windows Server 2008 R2], by Yong Rhee, December 29, 2010
 
* [http://support.microsoft.com/kb/315263 MSDN: How to read the small memory dump file that is created by Windows if a crash occurs], by [[Microsoft]]
 
* [http://support.microsoft.com/kb/315263 MSDN: How to read the small memory dump file that is created by Windows if a crash occurs], by [[Microsoft]]
 +
 +
==== Kerberos ====
 +
* [http://cert.europa.eu/static/WhitePapers/CERT-EU-SWP_14_07_PassTheGolden_Ticket_v1_1.pdf Protection from Kerberos Golden Ticket - Mitigating pass the ticket on Active Directory], CERT-EU, July 2014
 +
 +
==== Reliability Monitoring ====
 +
* [http://secureartisan.wordpress.com/2011/01/17/stability-index-and-reliability/ Stability Index and Reliability], by Paul Bobby, January 17, 2011
 +
* [http://phx4n6.wordpress.com/2014/01/03/windows-7-reliability-monitor-forensic-artifacts/ Windows 7 Reliability Monitor Forensic Artifacts], by phx4n6, January 3, 2014
  
 
==== RPC ====
 
==== RPC ====
 
* [http://blogs.technet.com/b/networking/archive/2008/10/24/rpc-to-go-v-1.aspx RPC to Go v.1], by Michael Platts, October 24, 2008
 
* [http://blogs.technet.com/b/networking/archive/2008/10/24/rpc-to-go-v-1.aspx RPC to Go v.1], by Michael Platts, October 24, 2008
 
* [http://blogs.technet.com/b/networking/archive/2008/12/04/rpc-to-go-v-2.aspx RPC to Go v.2], by Michael Platts, December 4, 2008
 
* [http://blogs.technet.com/b/networking/archive/2008/12/04/rpc-to-go-v-2.aspx RPC to Go v.2], by Michael Platts, December 4, 2008
 +
 +
==== User Account Control (UAC) ====
 +
* [http://blog.strategiccyber.com/2014/03/20/user-account-control-what-penetration-testers-should-know/ User Account Control – What Penetration Testers Should Know], by Raphael Mudge, March 20, 2014
 +
 +
==== Windows Event Logs ====
 +
* [http://journeyintoir.blogspot.ch/2014/03/exploring-program-inventory-event-log.html Exploring the Program Inventory Event Log], by [[Corey Harrell]], March 24, 2014
 +
 +
==== Windows Scripting Host ====
 +
* [https://www.mandiant.com/blog/ground-windows-scripting-host-wsh/ Going To Ground with The Windows Scripting Host (WSH)], by Devon Kerr, February 19, 2014
  
 
==== USB ====
 
==== USB ====
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==== Windows Error Reporting (WER) ====
 
==== Windows Error Reporting (WER) ====
 
* [http://blogs.technet.com/b/yongrhee/archive/2010/12/29/drwtsn32-on-windows-vista-windows-server-2008-windows-7-windows-server-2008-r2.aspx Drwtsn32 on Windows Vista/Windows Server 2008/Windows 7/Windows Server 2008 R2], by Yong Rhee, December 29, 2010
 
* [http://blogs.technet.com/b/yongrhee/archive/2010/12/29/drwtsn32-on-windows-vista-windows-server-2008-windows-7-windows-server-2008-r2.aspx Drwtsn32 on Windows Vista/Windows Server 2008/Windows 7/Windows Server 2008 R2], by Yong Rhee, December 29, 2010
 +
* [http://journeyintoir.blogspot.ch/2014/02/exploring-windows-error-reporting.html Exploring Windows Error Reporting], by [[Corey Harrell]], February 24, 2014
  
 
==== Windows Firewall ====
 
==== Windows Firewall ====
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=== Windows XP ===
 
=== Windows XP ===
 
* [http://support.microsoft.com/kb/q308549 Description of Windows XP System Information (Msinfo32.exe) Tool]
 
* [http://support.microsoft.com/kb/q308549 Description of Windows XP System Information (Msinfo32.exe) Tool]
 +
 +
=== Windows Scheduler ===
 +
* [http://digital-forensics.sans.org/blog/2009/09/16/windows-scheduler-at-job-forensics Windows Scheduler (at job) Forensics], by johnmccash, September 16, 2009
  
 
[[Category:Operating systems]]
 
[[Category:Operating systems]]
 +
[[Category:Windows]]

Latest revision as of 07:36, 27 August 2014

Information icon.png

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

Windows is a widely-spread operating system from Microsoft.

There are 2 main branches of Windows:

  • the DOS-branch: i.e. Windows 95, 98, ME
  • the NT-branch: i.e. Windows NT 4, XP, Vista

Features

  • Basic and Dynamic Disks, see: [1]

Introduced in Windows NT

Introduced in Windows 2000

Introduced in Windows XP

  • Prefetch
  • System Restore (Restore Points); also present in Windows ME

SP2

  • Windows Firewall

Introduced in Windows Server 2003

  • Volume Shadow Copies

Introduced in Windows Vista

Introduced in Windows Server 2008

Introduced in Windows 7

Introduced in Windows 8

Introduced in Windows Server 2012

Forensics

Partition layout

Default partition layout, first partition starts:

  • at sector 63 in Windows 2000, XP, 2003
  • at sector 2048 in Windows Vista, 2008, 7

Filesystems

Hosts information

C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts
C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\lmhosts.sam

Recycle Bin

The Recycle Bin contains "Recycled" files. Moving files and directories to the Recycle Bin is also referred to as soft deletion, since the files are not removed from the file system.

RECYCLER

The Recycler format is used by Windows 2000, XP.

Per user Recycle Bin folder in the form:

C:\Recycler\%SID%\

Which contains:

  • INFO2 file; "Recycled" files metadata

$RECYCLE.BIN

The $Recycle.Bin is used as of Windows Vista.

Per user Recycle Bin folder in the form:

C:\$Recycle.Bin\%SID%\

Which contains:

  • $I files; "Recycled" file metadata
  • $R files; the original data

Registry

The Windows Registry is a database of keys and values that provides a wealth of information to forensic investigators.

Thumbs.db Files

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.

See also: Vista thumbcache.

Browser Cache

Browser History

The Web Browser History files can contain significant information. The default web browser that comes with Windows is Microsoft Internet Explorer but other common browsers on Windows are Apple Safari, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Opera.

Search

See Windows Desktop Search

Setup API Logs

Windows Vista introduced several new Setup API Log files.

Also see [2].

Scheduled Tasks

In Windows the Scheduled Tasks can be found in:

C:\Windows\Tasks

This directory contains .job files which are in the Windows Job File Format.

In later versions of Windows (at least Windows 7) XML-based equivalents can be found in the following locations:

C:\Windows\System32\Tasks
C:\Windows\SysWow64\Tasks

Sleep/Hibernation

After (at least) Windows 7 recovers from sleep/hibernation there often is a system time change event (event id 1) in the event logs.

Users

Windows stores a users Security identifiers (SIDs) under the following registry key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList

The %SID%\ProfileImagePath value should also contain the username.

Crash and minidumps

C:\Windows\Minidump

Windows Error Reporting (WER)

As of Vista, for User Access Control (UAC) elevated applications WER reports can be found in:

C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\WER\

As of Vista, for non-UAC elevated applications (LUA) WER reports can be found in:

C:\Users\%UserName%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\WER\

Corresponding registry key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\Windows Error Reporting

Advanced Format (4KB Sector) Hard Drives

Windows XP does not natively handle drives that use the new standard of 4KB sectors. For information on this, see Advanced Format.

%SystemRoot%

The actual value of %SystemRoot% is store in the following registry value:

Key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\
Value: SystemRoot

See Also

External Links

Recycle Bin

Malware/Rootkits

Tracking removable media

Under the hood

Windows File Protection (WFP)

MSI

Side-by-side (WinSxS)

System Restore (Restore Points)

Crash dumps

Kerberos

Reliability Monitoring

RPC

User Account Control (UAC)

Windows Event Logs

Windows Scripting Host

USB

WMI

Windows Error Reporting (WER)

Windows Firewall

Windows 32-bit on Windows 64-bit (WoW64)

Windows XP

Windows Scheduler