File System Forensic Analysis

File System Forensic Analysis

5.0 4
by Brian Carrier
     
 

ISBN-10: 0321268172

ISBN-13: 9780321268174

Pub. Date: 03/18/2005

Publisher: Addison-Wesley

The Definitive Guide to File System Analysis: Key Concepts and Hands-on Techniques

Most digital evidence is stored within the computer's file system, but understanding how file systems work is one of the most technically challenging concepts for a digital investigator because there exists little documentation. Now, security expert Brian

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Overview

The Definitive Guide to File System Analysis: Key Concepts and Hands-on Techniques

Most digital evidence is stored within the computer's file system, but understanding how file systems work is one of the most technically challenging concepts for a digital investigator because there exists little documentation. Now, security expert Brian Carrier has written the definitive reference for everyone who wants to understand and be able to testify about how file system analysis is performed.

Carrier begins with an overview of investigation and computer foundations and then gives an authoritative, comprehensive, and illustrated overview of contemporary volume and file systems: Crucial information for discovering hidden evidence, recovering deleted data, and validating your tools. Along the way, he describes data structures, analyzes example disk images, provides advanced investigation scenarios, and uses today's most valuable open source file system analysis tools—including tools he personally developed. Coverage includes

  • Preserving the digital crime scene and duplicating hard disks for "dead analysis"
  • Identifying hidden data on a disk's Host Protected Area (HPA)
  • Reading source data: Direct versus BIOS access, dead versus live acquisition, error handling, and more
  • Analyzing DOS, Apple, and GPT partitions; BSD disk labels; and Sun Volume Table of Contents using key concepts, data structures, and specific techniques
  • Analyzing the contents of multiple disk volumes, such as RAID and disk spanning
  • Analyzing FAT, NTFS, Ext2, Ext3, UFS1, and UFS2 file systems using key concepts, data structures, and specific techniques
  • Finding evidence: File metadata, recovery of deleted files, data hiding locations, and more
  • Using The Sleuth Kit (TSK), Autopsy Forensic Browser, and related open source tools

When it comes to file system analysis, no other book offers this much detail or expertise. Whether you're a digital forensics specialist, incident response team member, law enforcement officer, corporate security specialist, or auditor, this book will become an indispensable resource for forensic investigations, no matter what analysis tools you use.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780321268174
Publisher:
Addison-Wesley
Publication date:
03/18/2005
Pages:
600
Sales rank:
182,548
Product dimensions:
7.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.30(d)

Table of Contents

Foreword.

Preface.

Acknowledgments.

I. FOUNDATIONS.

1. Digital Investigation Foundations.

Digital Investigations and Evidence.

Digital Crime Scene Investigation Process.

Data Analysis.

Overview of Toolkits.

Summary.

Bibliography.

2. Computer Foundations.

Data Organization.

Booting Process.

Hard Disk Technology.

Summary.

Bibiography.

3. Hard Disk Data Acquisition.

Introduction.

Reading the Source Data.

Writing the Output Data.

A Case Study Using dd.

Summary.

Bibliography.

II. VOLUME ANALYSIS.

4. Volume Analysis.

Introduction.

Background.

Analysis Basics.

Summary.

5. PC-based Partitions.

DOS Partitions.

Analysis Considerations.

Apple Partitions.

Removable Media.

Bibliography 109

6. Server-based Partitions.

BSD Partitions.

Sun Solaris Slices.

GPT Partitions.

Summary 145

Bibliography 145

7. Multiple Disk Volumes.

RAID.

Disk Spanning.

Bibliography.

III. FILE SYSTEM ANALYSIS.

8. File System Analysis.

What Is a File System?.

File System Category.

Content Category.

Metadata Category.

File Name Category.

Application Category.

Application-level Search Techniques.

Specific File Systems.

Summary.

Bibliography.

9. FAT Concepts and Analysis.

Introduction.

File System Category.

Content Category.

Metadata Category.

File Name Category.

The Big Picture.

Other Topics.

Summary.

Bibliography.

10. FAT Data Structures.

Boot Sector.

FAT32 FSINFO.

FAT.

Directory Entries.

Long File Name Directory Entries.

Summary.

Bibliography.

11. NTFS Concepts.

Introduction.

Everything is a File.

MFT Concepts.

MFT Entry Attribute Concepts.

Other Attribute Concepts.

Indexes.

Analysis Tools.

Summary.

Bibliography.

12. NTFS Analysis.

File System Category.

Content Category.

Metadata Category.

File Name Category.

Application Category.

The Big Picture.

Other Topics.

Summary.

Bibliography.

13. NTFS Data Structures.

Basic Concepts.

Standard File Attributes.

Index Attributes and Data Structures.

File System Metadata Files.

Summary.

Bibliography.

14. Ext2 and Ext3 Concepts and Analysis.

Introduction.

File System Category.

Content Category.

Metadata Category.

File Name Category.

Application Category.

The Big Picture.

Other Topics.

Summary.

Bibliography.

15. Ext2 and Ext3 Data Structures.

Superblock.

Group Descriptor Tables.

Block Bitmap.

Inodes.

Extended Attributes.

Directory Entry.

Symbolic Link.

Hash Trees.

Journal Data Structures.

Summary.

Bibliography.

16. UFS1 and UFS2 Concepts and Analysis.

Introduction.

File System Category.

Content Category.

Metadata Category.

File Name Category.

The Big Picture.

Other Topics.

Summary.

Bibliography.

17. UFS1 and UFS2 Data Structures.

UFS1 Superblock.

UFS2 Superblock.

Cylinder Group Summary.

UFS1 Group Descriptor.

UFS2 Group Descriptor.

Block and Fragment Bitmaps.

UFS1 Inodes.

UFS2 Inodes.

UFS2 Extended Attributes.

Directory Entries.

Summary.

Bibliography.

Appendix A. The Sleuth Kit and Autopsy.

The Sleuth Kit.

Autopsy.

Bibliography.

Index.

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5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
pinpointAR More than 1 year ago
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Brian Carrier has written a solid book that should be on the reference shelf of anyone in the Digital Forensics field that conducts analysis of file systems. The book is well organized into three parts, each with multiple chapters. The first part discusses the foundations necessary to understand digital evidence, computer functions and acquiring data for analysis. This part is intentionally at a higher level, yet still provides the necessary foundations for the subsequent parts. A good explanation of host protected area (HPA) and device configuration overlays (DCO) is included, as well as methods by which one can test for such areas on volumes. The second part discusses volume analysis. Brian takes this topic and divides it into four chapters addressing basic volumes, personal computer volumes, server volumes and finally multiple disk volumes. He provides detailed information on a variety of common partition types, even including both SPARC and i386 partition information for Sun Solaris. Finally the third part discusses file system analysis, and the last 10 chapters are dedicated to covering general information, and then detailed descriptions of concepts, analysis and data structures for FAT, NTFS, Ext2, Ext3, UFS1 and UFS2 file systems. The detailed information provided well-documented explanations and included analysis scenarios. For instance, in his discussion of NTFS analysis, an image of a damaged disk is evaluated, and he provides meaningful explanations of reconstructing the damaged tables to allow analysis of the data. He provides many such examples throughout. An additional positive attribute to this work is the thorough bibliography placed after each chapter, which quickly provides the reader with other data sources, should they be needed. Overall, this is an excellent reference for anyone that must conduct analysis of file systems for investigative purposes. He provides clear information that is valuable, regardless of what tools an examiner may use to conduct analysis. This is definitely worth having on your bookshelf.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Carrier's book is rare in its comprehensive coverage of how computers actually store data on disks. Other books might give lesser amounts of detail. And then, a particular book usually describes only how a given operating system does its storage. Carrier goes further on both counts. He describes how Microsoft, Apple, BSD, linux and Sun do their disks. Though Microsoft's FAT and NTFS get the most extensive coverage, due to the prevalence of disks using these formats. Hierarchies of disks are also covered, like the RAID levels. Plus logical volumes of disks, which span actual sets of disks. The cutting edge topic is forensics. It is to this end that he explains throughout the book how knowing certain details might aid you in recovering data. Consider his discussion of slack space as one example. He shows how if an operating system does not overwrite this, then a post mortem can reveal fragments of an earlier, supposedly deleted file. (Gosh!) Similar to how an operating system might delete a file by erasing the pointer to the file, but not the actual contents. I'm simplifying here. But perhaps you can see the utility in knowing exactly how files are kept and removed.