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Cyber Forensics


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Table of Contents

Preface xiii Acknowledgments xvii Chapter 1: The Fundamentals of Data 1 Base 2 Numbering System: Binary and Character Encoding 2 Communication in a Two-State Universe 3 Electricity and Magnetism 3 Building Blocks: The Origins of Data 4 Growing the Building Blocks of Data 5 Moving Beyond Base 2 7 American Standard Code for Information Interchange 7 Character Codes: The Basis for Processing Textual Data 10 Extended ASCII and Unicode 10 Summary 12 Notes 13 Chapter 2: Binary to Decimal 15 American Standard Code for Information Interchange 16 Computer as a Calculator 16 Why Is This Important in Forensics? 18 Data Representation 18 Converting Binary to Decimal 19 Conversion Analysis 20 A Forensic Case Example: An Application of the Math 20 Decimal to Binary: Recap for Review 22 Summary 23 Chapter 3: The Power of HEX: Finding Slivers of Data 25 What the HEX? 26 Bits and Bytes and Nibbles 27 Nibbles and Bits 29 Binary to HEX Conversion 30 Binary (HEX) Editor 34 The Needle within the Haystack 39 Summary 41 Notes 42 Chapter 4: Files 43 Opening 44 Files, File Structures, and File Formats 44 File Extensions 45 Changing a File?s Extension to Evade Detection 47 Files and the HEX Editor 53 File Signature 55 ASCII Is Not Text or HEX 57 Value of File Signatures 58 Complex Files: Compound, Compressed, and Encrypted Files 59 Why Do Compound Files Exist? 60 Compressed Files 61 Forensics and Encrypted Files 64 The Structure of Ciphers 65 Summary 66 Notes 67 Appendix 4A: Common File Extensions 68 Appendix 4B: File Signature Database 73 Appendix 4C: Magic Number Defi nition 77 Appendix 4D: Compound Document Header 79 Chapter 5: The Boot Process and the Master Boot Record (MBR) 85 Booting Up 87 Primary Functions of the Boot Process 87 Forensic Imaging and Evidence Collection 90 Summarizing the BIOS 92 BIOS Setup Utility: Step by Step 92 The Master Boot Record (MBR) 96 Partition Table 102 Hard Disk Partition 103 Summary 110 Notes 111 Chapter 6: Endianness and the Partition Table 113 The Flavor of Endianness 114 Endianness 116 The Origins of Endian 117 Partition Table within the Master Boot Record 117 Summary 125 Notes 127 Chapter 7: Volume versus Partition 129 Tech Review 130 Cylinder, Head, Sector, and Logical Block Addressing 132 Volumes and Partitions 138 Summary 142 Notes 144 Chapter 8: File Systems?FAT 12/16 145 Tech Review 145 File Systems 147 Metadata 149 File Allocation Table (FAT) File System 153 Slack 157 HEX Review Note 160 Directory Entries 161 File Allocation Table (FAT) 163 How Is Cluster Size Determined? 167 Expanded Cluster Size 169 Directory Entries and the FAT 170 FAT Filing System Limitations 174 Directory Entry Limitations 176 Summary 177 Appendix 8A: Partition Table Fields 179 Appendix 8B: File Allocation Table Values 180 Appendix 8C: Directory Entry Byte Offset Description 181 Appendix 8D: FAT 12/16 Byte Offset Values 182 Appendix 8E: FAT 32 Byte Offset Values 184 Appendix 8F: The Power of 2 186 Chapter 9: File Systems?NTFS and Beyond 189 New Technology File System 189 Partition Boot Record 190 Master File Table 191 NTFS Summary 195 exFAT 196 Alternative Filing System Concepts 196 Summary 203 Notes 204 Appendix 9A: Common NTFS System Defined Attributes 205 Chapter 10: Cyber Forensics: Investigative Smart Practices 207 The Forensic Process 209 Forensic Investigative Smart Practices 211 Step 1: The Initial Contact, the Request 211 Step 2: Evidence Handling 216 Step 3: Acquisition of Evidence 221 Step 4: Data Preparation 229 Time 238 Summary 239 Note 240 Chapter 11: Time and Forensics 241 What Is Time? 241 Network Time Protocol 243 Timestamp Data 244 Keeping Track of Time 245 Clock Models and Time Bounding: The Foundations of Forensic Time 247 MS-DOS 32-Bit Timestamp: Date and Time 248 Date Determination 250 Time Determination 254 Time Inaccuracy 258 Summary 259 Notes 260 Chapter 12: Investigation: Incident Closure 263 Forensic Investigative Smart Practices 264 Step 5: Investigation (Continued) 264 Step 6: Communicate Findings 265 Characteristics of a Good Cyber Forensic Report 266 Report Contents 268 Step 7: Retention and Curation of Evidence 269 Step 8: Investigation Wrap-Up and Conclusion 273 Investigator?s Role as an Expert Witness 273 Summary 279 Notes 280 Chapter 13: A Cyber Forensic Process Summary 283 Binary 284 Binary?Decimal?ASCII 285 Data Versus Code 287 HEX 288 From Raw Data to Files 288 Accessing Files 289 Endianness 290 Partitions 291 File Systems 291 Time 292 The Investigation Process 292 Summary 295 Appendix: Forensic Investigations, ABC Inc. 297 Glossary 303 About the Authors 327 Index 329

About the Author

Albert J. Marcella, Jr., PhD, CISA, CISM, is President of Business Automation Consultants, LLC, a global information technology and management consulting firm providing IT management consulting, audit and security reviews, and training. He is an internationally recognized public speaker, researcher, workshop and seminar leader, and an author of numerous articles and books on various IT, audit, and security related subjects. Frederic Guillossou, CISSP, CCE, is an Information Security Analyst with TALX, a division of Equifax. He regularly trains on intrusion prevention systems and has successfully led a number of forensic investigations in the field.

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