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Digital Forensics, Part 2: Live Memory Acquisition and Analysis

Digital Forensics, Part 2: Live Memory Acquisition and AnalysisIn a few cases, the forensic investigator will want to grab an image of the live memory.

RAM is risky and once the gadget Digital Forensics, Part 2: Live Memory Acquisition and Analysis:

is grew to become off, any data in RAM might be likely misplaced. This information might also encompass passwords, processes strolling, sockets open, clipboard contents, etc. All of this facts have to be captured earlier than powering down the machine or transporting it.

further, many hard drives are encrypted with things like TrueCrypt and the password for those encryption regimes is living in RAM. If the hard pressure is encrypted, then shooting unstable statistics is even extra critical as the tough force statistics can be unavailable to the forensic investigator without i t Digital Forensics, Part 2: Live Memory Acquisition and Analysis.

Digital Forensics, Part 2: Live Memory Acquisition and Analysis
Digital Forensics, Part 2: Live Memory Acquisition and Analysis 2023


there are numerous gear for shooting statistics from reminiscence, however one employer, get right of entry to records, has been presenting their FTK (Forensic device package) Imager for years at no cost and, as a result, it has become the de-facto popular in image taking pictures. you may the FTK Imager at access records’s website Digital Forensics, Part 2: Live Memory Acquisition and Analysis.

Ste 1: using the FTK Imager to capture memory

nce we’ve downloaded and set up FTK Imager, we have to be greeted by using a screen like that under.

ubsequent, click at the “report” pull down menu and visit the “capture reminiscence” selection.

t will open a window like that beneath. you’ll must pick wherein to shop your memory sell off, what to name the report, whether you want to include the web page record (digital memory), and whether or not you need to create an AD1 record (AccessData’s proprietary records kind) Digital Forensics, Part 2: Live Memory Acquisition and Analysis.

In my case, I created a directory known as “reminiscence dumps”, named the report memdump.mem, protected the digital memory or pagefile, but did now not create an AD1 record. I recommend you do something comparable.

when you finished each of those, click the “seize reminiscence” button.

this could begin a window that will track the progress of your seize. If the system has a number of memory, that might take awhile.

Step 2: Volatility reminiscence analysis device

reading a memory seize is a bit distinct from a difficult force analysis. one of the beauties of memory evaluation is the capability to certainly recreate what the suspect changed into doing at the time of the device capture Digital Forensics, Part 2: Live Memory Acquisition and Analysis.

the various most extensively used gear for memory evaluation is the open-supply device as it should be named Volatility. it’s miles built into Kali Linux, so there is no need to download it. truely switch the memory image you captured for your Kali gadget and we are able to begin our evaluation.

in case you aren’t the use of Kali, you can down load volatility from it has been ported for Window, Linux, and Mac OS X, so it will paintings on nearly any platform.


Step three: using Volatility for evaluation

to use Volatility, navigate to /usr/share/volatility

kali > cd /usr/proportion/volatility Digital Forensics, Part 2: Live Memory Acquisition and Analysis


for the reason that Volatility is a python script, you will need to preface the command with the key-word python. To view the help page, kind:

kali >python -h

this can show an extended list a command alternatives Digital Forensics, Part 2: Live Memory Acquisition and Analysis.

And plugins.

earlier than we can do any work on this reminiscence image, we first need to get the profile of the image. this may retrieve key facts from the photo. This profile will then assist volatility to decide where within the reminiscence seize key records is living, as each operating system places records in different deal with areas.

To get the profile, kind Digital Forensics, Part 2: Live Memory Acquisition and Analysis:

ali > python imageinfo -f /vicinity of your imagefile

for example, I placed my photograph on my laptop, so my command might be:

kali > python imageinfo -f /root/desktop/memdump.mem

This command will observe the memory report for proof of the running device and different key information.

As you may see in the screenshot above, Volatility diagnosed the OS as Win7SP0x64 (windows 7, no service %, sixty four-bit). It also identifies AS layer1 and a pair of, the variety of processors, the carrier p.c., and the bodily cope with space for each processor, amongst many different matters.

Step 4: using the Profile Digital Forensics, Part 2: Live Memory Acquisition and Analysis

Now that we’ve got recovered the profile of this reminiscence unload, we can begin to use a number of the opposite functionality of Volatility. for instance, if we desired to listing the registry hives along with SAM, we may want to use the hiveinfo plugin by means of typing:

kali > python –profile Win7SP1x64 hivelist -f /area of your picture/

observe that Volatility changed into able to list all the hives including their digital and bodily region in RAM.

Parsing out the photograph profile is critical, as each operating gadget stores information in extraordinary places in RAM. Volatility desires to know the profile (OS, carrier percent, and architecture) to know wherein to appearance inside the memory picture for the important statistics. in case you positioned inside the incorrect profile records, Volatility will throw errors telling you it can’t parse the records well. in that case, strive another photograph profile. unfortunately, the profile photo that this device gives isn’t always usually accurate.

Step 5: Getting the list of methods Digital Forensics, Part 2: Live Memory Acquisition and Analysis

As our subsequent step, let’s have a look at if we are able to discover the techniques that the suspect had strolling whilst we captured the RAM photo. we can do that via typing:

kali > python –profile Win7SP1x64 pslist -f /root/desktop/memdump.mem

permit’s spoil that down Digital Forensics, Part 2: Live Memory Acquisition and Analysis:

python is the interpreter. is the call of the Volatility script.

–profile Win7SP1x64 is the profile of the system the memory picture was captured from.

pslist is the plugin to parse out the going for walks processes.

-f /root/laptop/memdump.mem is the area of the image report.

As you can see, Volatility has parsed out all the strolling strategies. To collect even greater facts from the RAM photo, we will use exactly the same command as above aside from converting the name of the plugin.

To get a list of available plugins you may use, kind Digital Forensics, Part 2: Live Memory Acquisition and Analysis:

kali > python -h

Step 6: Getting the jogging DLLs

To view the jogging DLLs on the machine, we really use the dlllist plugin like beneath:

kali > python –profile Win7SP1x64 dlllist -f /root/computer/memdump.mem

s you could see, Volatility parsed out a list of all of the jogging DLLs.

ep 7: Getting the Contents of the device’s Clipboard

now and again, what the suspect had in their clipboard may be incriminating. we are able to retrieve the facts from the suspect’s RAM with the aid of using the clipboard plugin like below.

kali > python –profile Win7SP1x64 clipboard -f /root/laptop/memdump.mem

alas, all this facts is in hexadecimal and should be translated to ASCII.

Step 8: Getting a Timeline of activities Digital Forensics, Part 2: Live Memory Acquisition and Analysis

regularly instances, to prove that a suspect in reality committed the motion they are accused of, we may also need a timeline of activities that came about on that gadget. we can retrieve this timeline statistics from the reminiscence photograph with the aid of the usage of the timeliner plugin like below.

ali > python –profile Win7SP1x64 timeliner -f /root/desktop/memdump.mem

word that every procedure is time stamped.

Step 9: seeking out Malware within the memory

lastly, allow’s look for any malware running in the memory of the suspect system. Volatility has a plugin in particular designed for this purpose, accurately named malfind. we will use it like some other Volatility plugin. clearly kind the identical command as above but update the name of the plugin with malfind.

kali > python –profile Win7SP1x64 malfind -f /root/laptop/memdump.mem

As you could see, this suspect had severa pieces of malware walking on their machine. This data might also surely be exculpating as the presence of malware could suggest that a person else had control of the system and can have committed the moves the suspect is accused of.

Volatility is a powerful memory evaluation tool with tens of plugins that enable us to locate evidence of what the suspect became doing at the time of laptop seizure.

Digital Forensics, Part 2: Live Memory Acquisition and Analysis
Digital Forensics, Part 2: Live Memory Acquisition and Analysis 2023


problems whilst carrying out memory Acquisition and analysis
memory analysis is turning into extra essential and common on walking structures. specially as structures can be compromised without ever having access to the disk, the best artifact may be in memory. business products along with middle effect do it, so it is conceivable that the product or its technology can be used for nefarious functions.

a couple of examples of malware, which includes the Witty worm, are memory-resident most effective. This and other potentially precious pieces of investigative records might be overlooked if we hold to study handiest systems which have been close down. The quantity of data this is memory-resident today is greater than one hundred times larger than an entire difficult power from the Nineteen Eighties. it’s every other example where the accepted techniques and nice practices are lagging at the back of the generation curve.


An terrific paper on reminiscence acquisition and evaluation, through Mariusz Burdach, is to be had on his web site, at Digital Forensics, Part 2: Live Memory Acquisition and Analysis

avoid calling a reminiscence acquisition an “photograph.” It isn’t a true photo inside the traditional forensic feel. this is because without specialized hardware, it isn’t always actually viable to create a chunk-by way of-bit photo of the machine reminiscence with out affecting some a part of it. In a way, it is similar in idea to the Heisenberg uncertainty principle: while an electron’s place is measured, it’s far moved. whilst reminiscence is received, it’s far typically changed.

most *nixes allow the acquisition of memory fairly effortlessly, due to the fact the device sees reminiscence as a report like everything else. you could use dd or any of its forensic variations, such as dcfldd, to create a reminiscence acquisition. windows allows get right of entry to to the bodily memory item, but calls for administrative privileges to get admission to it. tools are available that permit the memory to be acquired; the versions of dd compiled for home windows are the maximum common. tools and scripts are also available to help in reading the dump.

windows XP sixty four-bit, home windows 2003 Server SP 1, and home windows Vista function a number of protection enhancements. those variations of the home windows working gadget block all person mode get admission to to the physical reminiscence.

The future seems to be on hardware-primarily based devices including dedicated PCI playing cards.

or through the IEEE 1394 FireWire interface, however even though the principles and prototypes have existed for years there are no comfortably to be had business products.1, 2 the apparent advantage of hardware solutions is the reduced impact on the walking gadget. for that reason, hardware solutions will most probably become the popular technique. there is currently a debate, and there will stay so for a while, concerning the practice of reminiscence acquisition. it’s miles visible by means of many as contaminating the evidence. Others see it as acquiring all the records and evidence this is available. The often-used shielding analogy is that of a physical crime scene wherein the crime scene unit enters the place to recover fibers and fingerprints. Their moves and actions are documented to prove they contaminated the scene as low as feasible. in the virtual realm, many sense that if the same care is used to report all of the moves taken, contamination is controlled and documented.

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Case Processing
David Watson, Andrew Jones, in digital Forensics Processing and tactics, 2013

Appendix 25 some proof found in volatile reminiscence
The proof recovered from risky reminiscence acquisition will range depending on the tool being received, however relying at the tool being received will include, but now not restricted to:

available physical memory;

BIOS facts;

clipboard data;

command history;

cron jobs;

current system uptime;

driver information;

hot fixes installed;

set up packages;

interface configurations;

listening ports;

local users;

logged on users;

malicious code this is run from memory rather than disk;

community playing cards;

community information;

community passwords;

community reputation;

open DLL documents;

open documents and registry handles;

open documents;

open community connections;

running system and version;

pagefile place;

passwords and crypto keys;

plaintext versions of encrypted cloth;

process reminiscence;

system to port mapping;

techniques going for walks;

registered employer;

registered owner;

remote users;

routing statistics;

carrier statistics;


system installation date;

device time;

the memory map;

the VAD tree;

time quarter;

overall amount of bodily reminiscence;

unsaved files;

consumer IDs and passwords.

study more
Malware Incident reaction
Cameron H. Malin, … James M. Aquilina, in Malware Forensics discipline guide for home windows structures, 2012

Extracting Suspicious documents
► As discussed formerly inside the memory Acquisition section of this bankruptcy, Agile threat management’s Nigilant3267 is a GUI-primarily based incident reaction device useful for extracting and studying suspicious files. precious information about those suspicious documents may be obtained using the Nigilant32 document gadget review functionality.

to use this feature, pick the “Preview Disk” feature inside Nigilant32, accessible from the user console.

After deciding on this feature, select the partition of the situation difficult force to explore, as displayed in discern 1.31.

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figure 1.31. Previewing the tough drive of the concern gadget with Nigilant32

The Preview Disk characteristic makes use of code68 from Brian provider’s forensic evaluation framework, the Sleuth package,69 to have a look at the energetic report gadget and decrease any capability modifications due to the native home windows API.

Use this selection on a subject pc to explore its file machine, find hidden files or folders or these days deleted content, or extract documents for additional analysis.

Double click on on a folder of interest, double click on on a report of hobby, and assessment the populated file contents show panels located beneath the main display pane, as seen in determine 1.32.

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determine 1.32. analyzing document contents with Nigilant32

each show panel presents different statistics referring to the selected record.

the first panel shows the hexadecimal offset for every line inside the file.

the second one panel indicates the contents of the report in hexadecimal format.

The 0.33 and final panel reveals the contents of the document in ASCII layout, similar to the usage of a application to show embedded strings.

After coming across documents of interest, you could extract the documents to an outside supply, which include a USB ThumbDrive or external difficult force, the use of the Nigitlant32 “Extract file” feature proven in figure 1.33. the use of this function, you may select the location and name of the suspect report you want to extract, and in flip, the place wherein you want to shop the extracted record specimen.

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discern 1.33. Extracting our suspect document the usage of the Nigilant32 Extract document feature

study extra


M. Moscovitch, in international Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences, 2004

four Retrograde Amnesia and reminiscence Consolidation: in which and while Are memories stored?
whereas research of anterograde amnesia tell us approximately memory acquisition, studies of retrograde amnesia provide clues approximately the time direction concerned in consolidating long-time period recollections and the physiological processes and neural substrates which make a contribution to consolidation and storage. till lately, it became extensively believed that retrograde amnesia associated with medial temporal and diencephalic harm changed into short-lasting and temporally graded, such that reminiscence loss became extra extreme for information obtained close to the time of amnesia onset than for that which became received long earlier than (see Sect. 2.2 above). as a result, the medial temporal lobes Digital Forensics, Part 2: Live Memory Acquisition and Analysis,

specially the hippocampus, and probable the diencephalon, have been taken into consideration to be temporary reminiscence systems, needed only for reminiscence retention and retrieval till recollections have been consolidated in neocortex and other structures. They had been then completely saved there and may be retrieved without delay from the ones areas.

Nadel and Moscovitch (1997) and Nadel et al. (2000) mentioned some of troubles with the time-honored view. even though the period of retrograde amnesia once in a while is brief, more regularly retrograde amnesia for information of autobiographical occasions after large medial temporal (or diencepahlic) lesions can expand for many years, or maybe an entire life (Warrington and Sanders 1971), a ways longer than it would be biologically possible for the consolidation technique to ultimate. Retrograde amnesia for public events and personalities, however, is much less vast and frequently is temporally graded; this is truer nonetheless of semantic memory which incorporates know-how of recent vocabulary and records about the sector and ourselves (our address,

the names of our friends, our process), what a few have known as personal semantics to differentiate them from autobiographical episodes (see Fig. 4. The distinction between temporally huge and temporally restricted retrograde amnesia additionally applies to spatial reminiscence. Schematic cognitive maps of vintage neighborhoods that are ok for navigation are retained however they lack topographical info and nearby environmental functions, which includes the arrival and vicinity of particular homes, that could permit the individual to have specific cognitive maps in their locale (see Nadel et al. 2000 Digital Forensics, Part 2: Live Memory Acquisition and Analysis).

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discern 4. instance of (a) temporally-graded retrograde amnesia and (b) temporally-extended retrograde amnesia for autobiographical incidents and personal semantics in sufferers with bilateral scientific temporal-lobe, hippocampal, and other lesions (modified from Kopelman et al. 1999 and Cipilotti et al. 2001)

based totally on this proof, Nadel and Moscovitch concluded, opposite to the conventional consolidation version, that the function of the medial temporal device isn’t always temporally constrained however that it’s far had to constitute even old memories in wealthy, multifaceted detail, be it autobiographical or spatial, for so long as the reminiscence exists. Neocortical structures, alternatively, are sufficient to form area-precise and semantic representations based totally on regularities extracted from repeated stories with phrases, objects, human beings, environments, or even of autobiographical episodes that one remembers time and again, growing a gist of each episode Digital Forensics, Part 2: Live Memory Acquisition and Analysis.

The medial temporal lobe machine might also useful resource in the initial formation of those neocortical representations, however once fashioned they could exist on their personal. latest proof from research of youngsters whose hippocampus become broken at start or shortly thereafter supports this view. Vargha-Khadem et al. (1997) determined that they obtained enough wellknown know-how (semantic memories) to complete high faculty even though their reminiscence for autobiographical episodes changed into impaired. Corroborating proof is likewise supplied by using neuroimaging studies of new and far off autobiographical and semantic memory. these studies determined that the hippocampus is activated similarly during retrieval of new and far off autobiographical reminiscences, but now not of memory for public events or personal semantics (Ryan et al. in press, Maguire 2001)(see Fig. five

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discern 5. Hemodynamic response of the hippocampus at some point of don’t forget of new and far flung reminiscences, and baseline situations (rest and sentence crowning glory) (Ryan et al. in press).

To account for this evidence, Nadel and Moscovitch (1997) and Nadel et al. (2000) proposed a a couple of trace idea (MTT) in keeping with which a reminiscence hint of an episode consists of a certain ensemble of neocortical and hippocampal/medial temporal lobe (and probable diencephalic) neurons which constitute a memory of the consciously skilled occasion. Formation and consolidation of those strains, or brotherly love (Moscovitch 1995), is exceptionally fast, lasting on the order of seconds or at maximum days. each time an vintage memory is retrieved, a brand new hippocampally mediated hint is created in order that vintage memories are represented through extra or more potent strains than are new ones, and therefore are much less prone to disruption from mind harm than extra latest ones.

With admire to autobiographical episodes, the volume and severity of retrograde amnesia and possibly the slope of the gradient are related to the amount and vicinity of damage to the prolonged hippocampal complicated. remote recollections for the gist of occasions, and for non-public and public semantics, are not in addition depending on the continuing feature of the hippocampal complex (see McClelland et al. 1995 for a computational account for the usefulness of getting complementary hippocampal and neocortical learning and reminiscence systems Digital Forensics, Part 2: Live Memory Acquisition and Analysis).

Proponents of the same old consolidation version, but, argue that severe and temporally considerable retrograde amnesia is determined simplest whilst the lesion extends past the hippocampus to include neocortical systems wherein far flung reminiscences, both autobiographical and semantic, are represented (Squire and Zola 1998, but see Cipilotti et al. 2001). It stays to be decided what unique contributions the one-of-a-kind areas of the medial temporal lobes and diencephalon make, and how they act in live performance with the neocortex and different brain regions, to form and maintain each specific, contextually rich representations and context-unbiased understanding (McDonald et al. 1999, Rosenbaum et al. in press Digital Forensics, Part 2: Live Memory Acquisition and Analysis).

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risky data analysis
Joe Fichera, Steven Bolt, in network Intrusion evaluation, 2013


This phase will discuss the importance of evaluation of accrued memory acquisitions, additionally known as reminiscence dumps. before leaping proper into the analysis, there are some issues that should be addressed or revisited prior to the technical discussions.

First, there is a large trouble close to training for the incident responder. This loss of education could have a severe adverse effect on any community intrusion analysis. i am certain that preceding chapters have addressed this problem to a degree, but it’s far really worth bringing up once more. Incident responders are fairly of the jack of all trades for the IT protection industry. a great incident responder is well worth their weight in gold, as they have got worked with community administrators and have been capable of work through technical and professional problems to triumph over limitations and accumulate the important records sets from network witness devices and conduct a initial analysis Digital Forensics, Part 2: Live Memory Acquisition and Analysis.

This initial analysis, a community intrusion triage, so to speak, should keep time, and cash, perhaps even reputations and careers. but, earlier than even advancing to the level of facts collection, the IR, Incident Responder, wishes to be trained in what questions to ask the ones who have pronounced the incident and who’re in rate of the network in which the compromise has occurred. this could not be more true in terms of the collection of RAM, mostly due to the volatile nature of the records that resides inside RAM and the community gadgets that include this facts. Many incident responses occur hours, if now not days, after the incident has befell Digital Forensics, Part 2: Live Memory Acquisition and Analysis. with out this, and different schooling on how to cope with a computer crime scene, many important data units can be ignored, leaving the analyst with an incomplete picture.

the second one location of attention that the analyst and responder .

have to deal with is the characteristic of the device this is under scrutiny. is this device a piece station, if so, wherein within the enterprise does the work station rest, is that this a gadget that is inside the Human assets department? in that case, then there can be extra concerns with regards to urgency and downstream legal responsibility that need to be taken into consideration.

a third consideration with the evaluation of RAM is that that is an ever converting and evolving discipline within a discipline this is nonetheless maturing and finding its very own professional direction. The equipment that are being leveraged to assist in the evaluation of this unique data set continue to be co-opted from other disciplines, advanced by means of the open source community in addition to created via commercial carriers Digital Forensics, Part 2: Live Memory Acquisition and Analysis. The word of warning right here is that any of the programs that an analyst might also leverage in their expert endeavors should go through a vetting of kinds so as to obtain a level of self belief that the utility does what’s expected and that there are not any different “undocumented functions.” by carrying out this vetting, the analyst may be in a much better defensible role if want be and could be capable to talk authoritatively on the utility whilst referred to as upon Digital Forensics, Part 2: Live Memory Acquisition and Analysis.

Digital Forensics, Part 2: Live Memory Acquisition and Analysis
Digital Forensics, Part 2: Live Memory Acquisition and Analysis 2023

A very last factor to say, and sincerely no longer the final, is that RAM, via its very nature, is volatile. As such, a RAM capture is just like taking a image of a point in time, the event, irrespective of how hard someone attempts, will by no means exist in those circumstances once more. The machine from which the RAM is taken has procedures running, occasions logging and a plethora of other records activities which can be in various tiers. despite the fact that the system will exist on this kingdom for that second in time most effective, the responder must learn to generate a hash cost of the capture once it is taken, ensuring a benchmark so that the analyst has a verification of proof integrity Digital Forensics, Part 2: Live Memory Acquisition and Analysis.



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