Saturday, 25 April 2009

Tableau T9 Firewire write-blocker

Most forensic practitioners will prefer to use hardware write-blockers over software. However when the device you wished to image only had a firewire interface the choice was limited. Hardware write-blockers for firewire didn't exist. Now somewhat late in the day Tableau have introduced the Tableau T9. This write-blocker will allow you to image firewire external storage drives as well as Apple Macs booted into target disk mode. Given the increase of Macs submitted to our lab I can see the T9 becoming very useful. Data Duplication will sell the T9 in the UK for around £240.

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Facebook revisited and other chat related stuff

My blog post about facebook chat generated a lot more email than usual.

In particular Jad Saliba wrote about a program he has written to search for and report on facebook chat. Jad's program is called Internet Evidence Finder and essentially at this time it searches for Facebook chat, Facebook pages, Yahoo chat and MSN chat. Jad points out that the program may be useful in a non Encase shop and I agree. In fact it will be useful anywhere as it did a very good job.

I have had some fun testing it today and found that it parses all the messages that my two previously documented methods had found. I used the program by mounting the drive image I wished to search with Encase PDE and then running the program across the mounted drive. On my box the search ran at a speed of about 27 MB/sec. The resulting spreadsheet was nicely formatted and gave the Physical Sector of each hit. Jad's program is freeware and can be found at

With respect to MSN chat and the other chat clients Jad's website deal with what can be achieved. In testing I am running right now with MSN a large number of false positives have been found however this is probably the nature of the beast.

Now before someone mentions tool validation my view is that I don't validate my tools - I validate my results. Generally I do this with dual tool verification as in the example above.

Till next time...

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Adobe Flash Player Local Shared Objects

The value of cookies and other internet history related artifacts is well known. Not as widely commentated on are Local Shared Objects created by Adobe Flash Player. They have a .sol file extension and on the vista box I am looking at at least they are stored at:

\Users\your user\AppData\Roaming\Macromedia\Flash Player\#SharedObjects\

These Local Shared Objects are data files that can be created on a computer by visited websites and in many respects are similar to cookies. It appears however that the conventional forensic software I use to analyse internet history ignores these files (I use Netanalysis and Encase v6 Comprehensive Internet History search).

To parse .sol files into a more readable form I use the SharedObject Reader plugin of FlashDevelop3.


Friday, 3 April 2009

Garmin nüvi 200 Sat Nav device

This device has two memory chips hard wired onto the internal pcb, therefore the only regular means of accessing this memory is via the USB port. These sat nav devices will act as mass storage devices when connected via USB. I imaged one whilst connected to a Tableau USB write blocker. Please note that the time the device is switched on is recorded within current.gpx referred to below.

There are few human readable files most notably current.gpx. This file contains the users home location and user selected favourites along with the location of a number of Garmin offices. If a user saves a favourite from a location on a map the favourite will be entitled 001, 002 and so on.

There are a number of ways to investigate the contents of current.gpx. Effectively it is an xml formatted file which I use Microsoft XML Notepad 2007 to review. You can also use a utility such as EasyGPS or open the file with Google Earth.

To report the contents of current.gpx I use Microsoft Excel 2007. In order to do this successfully change the file extension to xml and use the xml data import facility (Data/ From Other Sources/ From XML Data Import) allowing Excel to create the schema. You will end up with a nicely formatted table.

Recently Found locations unfortunately do not appear to be saved within the user accessible memory.

The hidden service menu of the device can be accessed by turning on and then holding a finger on battery symbol on screen for 10 seconds. It is possible once in this menu to interface with the device via USB without it behaving as a mass storage device. Garmin USB drivers are required to do this. I am not sure whether this will be useful forensically at any stage.

A later post relating to a StreetPilot C510 may be some help.

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