Monday, February 08, 2010

MFT Analysis

As an aside to timeline analysis, I've been considering the relative confidence levels inherent to certain data sources, something I had discussed with Cory. One of the things we'd discussed was the relative confidence level of file system metadata, specifically the timestamps in the $STANDARD_INFORMATION attribute versus those in the $FILE_NAME attribute. Brian Carrier addresses some specifics along these lines in chapter 12 of his File System Forensic Analysis book.

So, I've been looking at the output of tools like Mark Menz's MFTRipper and David Kovar's tools. Based on the information in Brian's book and my chat with Cory, it occurred to me that quite a bit of analysis could be done automatically, using just the MFT and one of the two tools. One thing that could be done is to compare the timestamps in both attributes, as a means of possibly detecting the use of anti-forensics, similar to what Lance described here.

Another thing that could be done is to parse the output of the tools and build a bodyfile using the timestamps from the $FILE_NAME attribute only. However, this would require rebuilding the directory paths from just what's available in the MFT...that is, record numbers, and file references that include the parent record number for the file or folder. That's the part that I got working tonight...I rebuilt the directory paths from the output of David's tool...from there, it's a trivial matter to employ the same code with Mark's tool. And actually, that's the hardest part of the code...the rest is simply extracting timestamps and translating them, as necessary.

Also, I didn't want to miss mentioning that there's a tool for performing temporal analysis of the MFTRipper output from Mark McKinnon over at RedWolf Computer Forensics. I haven't tried it yet, but Mark's stuff is always promising.


Phil Rodokanakis said...


I know you're a big Perl guy and I love what you've done with RegRipper. However, I'm sure you're aware that there are several EnScripts that do a pretty good job parsing out MFT records and reporting on the SI and FB Attributes. I'm wondering whether it would be possible to improve on those EnScripts to do the time analysis you describe.

H. Carvey said...


I'm sure that's the case.

I don't have EnCase.