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Mastering Windows Network Forensics and Investigation Chapter 15: Forensic Analysis of Event Logs.

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Presentation on theme: "Mastering Windows Network Forensics and Investigation Chapter 15: Forensic Analysis of Event Logs."— Presentation transcript:

1 Mastering Windows Network Forensics and Investigation Chapter 15: Forensic Analysis of Event Logs

2 Chapter Topics: Using EnCase to Examine Windows Event Logs Files Understanding Internal Structures of Event Log Repairing corrupt event log files Finding & analyzing event log fragments

3 Using EnCase to Examine Windows Event Logs Files EnCase EnScript Windows Event Log Parser Parses raw data and does NOT rely upon Window API Output format –Bookmarks –Export to spreadsheet

4 EnCase Windows Event Log Parser User Interface

5 EnCase Windows Event Log Parser Spreadsheet Output

6 WinXP Event Log Internals Databases of event records Event types segregated into 3 files or database –SysEvent.evt –SecEvent.evt –AppEvent.evt

7 Event Log Internals Each file or database has three parts –Header –Records –Floating footer

8 Header

9 Event Log Record

10 Floating Footer

11 Repairing corrupt event log files Header byte offsets (16-19, 20-23, 24-27, & 28-31) represent: –Offset to oldest event –Offset to next event –Event ID of next event –Event ID of oldest event

12 Repairing corrupt event log files Floating footer byte offsets (20-23, 24-27, 28-31, & 32-35) represent: –Offset to oldest event –Offset to next event –Event ID of next event –Event ID of oldest event

13 Repairing corrupt event log files Floating footer contains “real-time” data while header is updated during normal shutdown of event log service Byte offset 36 of header contains an odd value (09, 0B, etc) if update has NOT occurred, while an even value (08, 00, etc) indicates update has occurred

14 Repairing corrupt event log files Event viewer (also other Windows API viewers) requires byte offset 36 be even, otherwise corrupt log message occurs. Pulling plug, copying live event logs result in a file with floating footer NOT being updated and odd value for byte offset 36, hence error message when opening such logs with Event Viewer

15 Error Message!

16 Repairing corrupt event log files The “fix” is to: –Copy floating footer byte offsets –Paste to header byte offsets –Change header byte offset 36 to even value such as 00 –Save –Open with event viewer!

17 Windows Vista + Event Log Internals

18 Windows Vista + Event Log Header

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20 Windows Vista + Event Chunk Header

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22 Windows Vista + Event Record

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24 Windows Vista+ Event Logs Do not corrupt like EVT files do No floating footer Chunks are standalone units

25 Finding & Recovering Event Logs When event log is cleared, data is NOT overwritten. In some cases, new data is written to a new starting cluster! Event logs are very recoverable Locate event records by their header

26 Finding & Recovering Event Logs (Win XP) Starting with the header, select block of contiguous event record data. Export this data out as a file with an “evt” extension and name of your choosing Bring into EnCase as a single file(s). Select those files Process them with EnCase Windows Event Log Parser

27 Finding & Recovering Event Logs (Win Vista +) Starting with the header, select block of contiguous event record data. Export this data out as a file with an “evtx” extension and name of your choosing Bring into EnCase as a single file(s). Select those files Process them with EnCase Windows Event Log Parser

28 Finding & Recovering Event Logs (Win Vista +) For incomplete files, you can use various tools available for free for parsing Event Log Chunks individually For a free application see: 11/11/evtx_parser_1_1_0.html 11/11/evtx_parser_1_1_0.html


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