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Memory Forensics

Written by DFMag


Memory Forensics

Haider M. al-Khateeb recovers user credentials from Windows memory dumps.

Mandatory key disclosure laws are used to force a suspect to surrender passwords and cryptographic keys to unlock accounts or scrambled data to authorities. In the UK, this is maintained through the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA) but a technical investigation to bypass the authentication challenge is needed when an individual refuses to cooperate. Further, user credentials can objectively establish links to end-users of the system. This article continues the work published in Issue 19 of the Digital Forensics Magazine but this time we focus more on analysis methods. Memory dump files contain a real representation of the machine-state at the time of the memory dump; they can be used to recover user-related data such as usernames, passwords and encryption key-files relying on virtual addresses and/or content analysis. We examine and demonstrate the methods available to extract such data from a variety of end-user services running on Windows or accessible online via web browsers. Our analysis will be scoped further to target more applications, especially cryptographic keys and disk encryption software such as TrueCrypt and BitLocker in our consequent article.




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George Bailey is an IT security professional with over 15 years of experience

 

Coming up in the Next issue of Digital Forensics Magazine

Coming up in Issue 34 on sale from February 2018:


Device Forensics in the Internet of Things

As more businesses and consumers adopt IoT devices, privacy violations and cyber-attacks by malicious actors will become commonplace due to the insecure IoT infrastructure. Read More »

Data Destruction In Current Hard Disks & Data Destruction Techniques

Data destruction is a process traditionally applied using physical techniques, aiming at the completely destruction of the hard disk, however, there is an increasing interest in the use of logical techniques for data destruction, that allow reusing the physical device. Read More »

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Faster Searching For Known Illegal Content

Cryptographic (“MD5”) hash searching for known illegal material is one of the most thorough methods of digital forensic investigation. However, the technique is hampered by the ever-increasing size of media being examined, and the size of the hash list being searched. Read More »

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