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Forensic Discovery

by and

Forensic Discovery Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Please note that used books may not include additional media (study guides, CDs, DVDs, solutions manuals, etc.) as described in the publisher comments.

Publisher Comments:

Computer forensics; the art and science of gathering and analyzing digital evidence, reconstructing data and attacks, and tracking perpetrators, is becoming ever more important as IT and law enforcement professionals face an epidemic in computer crime. In Forensic Discovery, two internationally recognized experts present a thorough and realistic guide to the subject.

Dan Farmer and Wietse Venema cover both theory and hands-on practice, introducing a powerful approach that can often recover evidence considered lost forever.

The authors draw on their extensive firsthand experience to cover everything from file systems, to memory and kernel hacks, to malware. They expose a wide variety of computer forensics myths that often stand in the way of success. Readers will find extensive examples from Solaris, FreeBSD, Linux, and Microsoft Windows, as well as practical guidance for writing one's own forensic tools. The authors are singularly well-qualified to write this book: They personally created some of the most popular security tools ever written, from the legendary SATAN network scanner to the powerful Coroner's Toolkit for analyzing UNIX break-ins.

After reading this book you will be able to:
  • Understand essential forensics concepts: volatility, layering, and trust
  • Gather the maximum amount of reliable evidence from a running system
  • Recover partially destroyed information, and make sense of it
  • Timeline your system: understand what really happened when
  • Uncover secret changes to everything from system utilities to kernel modules
  • Avoid cover-ups and evidence traps set by intruders
  • Identify the digital footprints associated with suspicious activity
  • Understand file systems from a forensic analyst's point of view
  • Analyze malware without giving it a chance to escape
  • Capture and examine the contents of main memory on running systems
  • Walk through the unraveling of an intrusion, one step at a time
The book's companion Web site contains complete source and binary code for open source software discussed in the book, plus additional computer forensics case studies and resource links.

About the Author

Dan Farmer is author of a variety of security programs and papers. He is currently chief technical officer of Elemental Security, a computer security software company. Together he and Wietse Venema, have written many of the world's leading information security and forensics packages, including the SATAN network security scanner and the Coroner's Toolkit.

Wietse Venema has written some of the world's most widely used software, including TCP Wrapper and the Postfix mail system. He is currently a research staff member at IBM Research. Together, he and Dan Farmer have written many of the world's leading information security and forensics packages, including the SATAN network security scanner and the Coroner's Toolkit.

Table of Contents


About the Authors.


1. The Spirit of Forensic Discovery.


    Unusual Activity Stands Out.

    The Order of Volatility (OOV).

    Layers and Illusions.

    The Trustworthiness of Information.

    The Fossilization of Deleted Information.

    Archaeology vs. Geology.

2. Time Machines.


    The First Signs of Trouble.

    What's Up, MAC? An Introduction to MACtimes.

    Limitations of MACtimes.

    Argus: Shedding Additional Light on the Situation.

    Panning for Gold: Looking for Time in Unusual Places.

    DNS and Time.

    Journaling File Systems and MACtimes.

    The Foibles of Time.



3. File System Basics.


    An Alphabet Soup of File Systems.

    UNIX File Organization.

    UNIX File Names.

    UNIX Pathnames.

    UNIX File Types.

    A First Look Under the Hood: File System Internals.

    UNIX File System Layout.

    I've Got You Under My Skin: Delving into the File System.

    The Twilight Zone, or Dangers Below the File System Interface.


4. File System Analysis.


    First Contact.

    Preparing the Victim's File System for Analysis.

    Capturing the Victim's File System Information.

    Sending a Disk Image Across the Network.

    Mounting Disk Images on an Analysis Machine.

    Existing File MACtimes.

    Detailed Analysis of Existing Files.

    Wrapping Up the Existing File Analysis.

    Intermezzo: What Happens When a File Is Deleted?

    Deleted File MACtimes.

    Detailed Analysis of Deleted Files.

    Exposing Out-of-Place Files by Their Inode Number.

    Tracing a Deleted File Back to Its Original Location.

    Tracing a Deleted File Back by Its Inode Number.

    Another Lost Son Comes Back Home.

    Loss of Innocence.


5. Systems and Subversion.


    The Standard Computer System Architecture.

    The UNIX System Life Cycle, from Start-up to Shutdown.

    Case Study: System Start-up Complexity.

    Kernel Configuration Mechanisms.

    Protecting Forensic Information with Kernel Security Levels.

    Typical Process and System Status Tools.

    How Process and System Status Tools Work.

    Limitations of Process and System Status Tools.

    Subversion with Rootkit Software.

    Command-Level Subversion.

    Command-Level Evasion and Detection.

    Library-Level Subversion.

    Kernel-Level Subversion.

    Kernel Rootkit Installation.

    Kernel Rootkit Operation.

    Kernel Rootkit Detection and Evasion.


6. Malware Analysis Basics.


    The Dangers of Dynamic Program Analysis.

    Program Confinement with Hard Virtual Machines.

    Program Confinement with Soft Virtual Machines.

    The Dangers of Confinement with Soft Virtual Machines.

    Program Confinement with Jails and chroot().

    Dynamic Analysis with System-Call Monitors.

    Program Confinement with System-Call Censors.

    Program Confinement with System-Call Spoofing.

    The Dangers of Confinement with System Calls.

    Dynamic Analysis with Library-Call Monitors.

    Program Confinement with Library Calls.

    The Dangers of Confinement with Library Calls.

    Dynamic Analysis at the Machine-Instruction Level.

    Static Analysis and Reverse Engineering.

    Small Programs Can Have Many Problems.

    Malware Analysis Countermeasures.



7. The Persistence of Deleted File Information.


    Examples of Deleted Information Persistence.

    Measuring the Persistence of Deleted File Contents.

    Measuring the Persistence of Deleted File MACtimes.

    The Brute-Force Persistence of Deleted File MACtimes.

    The Long-Term Persistence of Deleted File MACtimes.

    The Impact of User Activity on Deleted File MACtimes.

    The Trustworthiness of Deleted File Information.

    Why Deleted File Information Can Survive Intact.


8. Beyond Processes.


    The Basics of Virtual Memory.

    The Basics of Memory Pages.

    Files and Memory Pages.

    Anonymous Memory Pages.

    Capturing Memory.

    The savecore Command.

    Static Analysis: Recognizing Memory from Files.

    Recovering Encrypted File Contents Without Keys.

    File System Blocks vs. Memory Page Technique.

    Recognizing Files in Memory.

    Dynamic Analysis: The Persistence of Data in Memory.

    File Persistence in Memory.

    The Persistence of Nonfile, or Anonymous, Data.

    Swap Persistence.

    The Persistence of Memory Through the Boot Process.

    The Trustworthiness and Tenacity of Memory Data.


Appendix A. The Coroner's Toolkit and Related Software.


    Data Gathering with grave-robber.

    Time Analysis with mactime.

    File Reconstruction with lazarus.

    Low-Level File System Utilities.

    Low-Level Memory Utilities.

Appendix B. Data Gathering and the Order of Volatility.


    The Basics of Volatility.

    The State of the Art.

    How to Freeze a Computer.





Product Details

Dan Farmer and Wietse Venema
Addison Wesley Publishing Company
Venema, Wietse
Farmer, Dan
Security - General
Internet - Security
Networking-Computer Security
Edition Description:
Addison-Wesley Professional Computing Series
Publication Date:
January 2005
Grade Level:
Professional and scholarly
9.54x7.24x.81 in. 1.43 lbs.

Related Subjects

Computers and Internet » Networking » Computer Security
History and Social Science » Crime » General

Forensic Discovery Used Hardcover
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