Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Change Analysis Diagnostic Tool for Windows XP

Microsoft recently released this KB article, titled The Change Analysis Diagnostic Tool for Windows XP is available.

So, why is this interesting? Bear with me for just a moment. Reading the article, we see that the tool looks at programs, OS components, BHOs, drivers, ActiveX controls, and ASEPs (MS's term for autostart locations). Okay, so not entirely interesting, per se...there are tools that already do this, I know. However, the really interesting part is this:

The Change Analysis Diagnostic tool queries the System Restore data for the number of days that the user selects. The tool finds the changes to the registry and to the file system that are relevant to these categories. Then, the tool presents the changes together with contextual information.

Is that sweet or what? Tools like this generally require a baseline, such as when we're performing dynamic malware analysis (ie, snapshot the system, install malware, snapshot the system again, and compare the two). In this case, MS is using the Restore Points as the snapshots. Makes me glad that I took the time to address Restore Point analysis in my book!

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