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Digital Forensic Survival Podcast

Listen to talk about computer forensic analysis, techniques, methodology, tool reviews and more.
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Digital Forensic Survival Podcast
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Feb 27, 2024

This week, we're delving into the realm of fast flux, a cunning technique employed by attackers to cloak their true, malicious domains. Its effectiveness is the reason behind its widespread use, making it crucial for analysts to grasp its nuances and avoid chasing elusive ghosts during investigations. Stay tuned as I unravel the intricacies of fast flux, providing insights into what it entails and offering valuable tips on how to effectively detect it. All this and more coming your way!

Feb 20, 2024

In this week's exploration, I'm delving into the intricate realm of the Master File Table (MFT), a pivotal forensic artifact in Windows investigations. The MFT provides a valuable gateway to decode evidence across various scenarios. Join me in this episode as we unravel the forensic basics, explore diverse use cases, and discover a range of tools that empower you to unlock the full potential of this invaluable artifact.

Feb 13, 2024

This week I delve into the intriguing domain of Linux malware triage. The Linux platform presents forensic analysts with a unique opportunity to excel in performing malware triage effortlessly. The beauty of it lies in the fact that you don't require any specialized tools; all you need is a solid grasp of a few commands and the ability to decipher their output. With these skills in your arsenal, any analyst can swiftly and efficiently navigate through the process of malware triage. Stay tuned for more insights on this in the upcoming discussion!

Feb 6, 2024

This week I’m going to talk about New Service Installation details recorded in Windows event logs. These have a number of advantages for your triage methodology and I will have all the details coming up. 

Jan 30, 2024

Organizations leverage third-party services more and more for business advantages. For the security professional, this means the organizational data you're charged with protecting is under the control of a third-party in some way shape or form. In this episode, I cover third-party risk landscape for security professionals with a special focus on identifying scope and responsibility.

Jan 23, 2024

Cron become important and Linux forensics when you’re talking about persistence. Think scheduled tasks if you want a Windows equivalent. The artifact is not that difficult to analyze once you understand the elements to focus on and it is typically readily available. It’s something that you can check out a live system, gather with a collection script, and more and more security appliances are designed to access the artifact as well. I’ll...

Jan 16, 2024

Ransomware cases can be particularly challenging, especially during the initial response. They tend to be fast-paced and require the responder to simultaneously prioritize a number of tasks. Each of these tasks can have critical impact upon the outcome of the response and subsequent investigation. In this episode I am going to cover some immediate response actions. The goal here is to provide a framework that will allow responders to get off on the right foot…

Jan 9, 2024

Conhost, or the Console Application Host, often comes up during investigations. Understanding what it is, the evidence may contain and how to extract that information becomes important...

Jan 2, 2024

This week I'm talking about detecting evidence of lateral movement on Window systems using NTLM credential validation events. Much like the episode I did on Kerberos, NTLM events offer the same advantage of being concentrated on domain controllers, which allows you, as the analyst, leverage a great resource for user account analysis. I will have the background, artifact breakdown, and triage strategy coming up right after this…..

Dec 26, 2023

Temporary directories play a significant role in computer forensic investigations as they can potentially contain valuable digital evidence. When conducting a computer forensic investigation, these temporary directories can provide insights into user activities, application usage, and potentially malicious behavior...

Dec 19, 2023

This week I’m talking about Regsvcs /Regasm exploitation, which is a Windows tactic attackers use to evade defense mechanisms and execute code. Specifically, this technique can be used to bypass process whitelisting and digital certificate validation. I'll break down some interpretation methods that may be used to identify such exploitation....

Dec 12, 2023

This week I’m talking about Nested Groups and the risk they pose for security. Built-in to the functionality of Active Directory is the ability to attach a group to another group. While this has advantages for account administration across an organization, it also offers attackers opportunity if certain precautions are not taken. This week I’ll break down Nested Groups in DFIR terms, talk about how attackers take advantage of it and what analysts need to know for investigations.

Dec 5, 2023

This week it's more about lateral movement and kerberos events.

Nov 28, 2023

In a typical Linux "bin" directory, you can find various types of executable files and scripts that are used to perform different tasks. The confusing part is that there are a number of different BIN directories throughout the file system. What is the purpose and difference between these BIN directories? What do you need to know about them for forensic investigations? The answers to those questions and more are coming up...

Nov 21, 2023

Werfault is in interesting artifact in that there is not a lot of documentation on it but yet it may affect an investigation in different ways.  Its appearance in logs sometimes adds a bit of confusion to an investigation because it could mean different things. Add to that a layer of apparent obscurity as to exactly how to interpret the information makes it even more difficult for newer examiners. I took on the question...

Nov 14, 2023

Certutil, a powerful command-line utility, possesses the potential for misuse by malicious actors to establish illicit network connections. Therefore, it is crucial to familiarize oneself with its legitimate applications and recognize common indicators of misuse. In this episode, we will delve into the utility of Certutil and identify effective methods to promptly detect and address potential abuses. Stay tuned as we explore these topics in depth...

Nov 7, 2023

This week I'm going to cover an important Windows event that provides valuable information about authentication attempts and potential security breaches. The event may be used to identify compromised accounts, identify brute, force, attacks, or password spraying attacks. It may also be used to detect attack or probing activities. The artifact breakdown and triage methodology is coming up….

Oct 31, 2023

In Linux and Unix-based operating systems, the "root" account is the superuser or administrator account with the highest level of privileges. It has complete control over the system and can perform any action, including modifying system files, installing software, and managing user accounts. The root account is sometimes referred to as the "root user" or simply “root"....

Oct 24, 2023

This week we are taking a bit of a deep dive into an advanced attack technique to accomplish remote execution called “fetch and execute.” While there are different methods to accomplish the sort of thing what I am going to be focusing on is exploitation using a common Windows executable and installation file. Think of this as one of the touted “living off the land” attack techniques. It has value for compromise assessment methods as well as for threat hunting strategies...

Oct 17, 2023

This week I am going to focus on a specific remote execution technique that you may see in the wild. Remote execution is important for incident response investigations but also for file use and knowledge investigations, particularly those that conducted due diligence exams for evidence of malware. I have covered remote execution in the past from different angles and I have done so because it is one of the red flags that an analyst should be looking for. In order to be effective in recognizing either an actual malicious execution or the risk of an attempted remote execution you must be reversed in the clever ways attackers attempt to compromise a host using Microsoft applications. The highlight this week will be CMSTP.exe abuse...

Oct 10, 2023

Finding and analyzing failed logons sometimes is just as important as finding suspicious, actual logon activity. Like anything, context is important. Old logon records offer an opportunity to identify not only suspicious activity, but perhaps attempted activity by an attacker. A standard move in the attack chain is to compromise an account and use it to move within the breached environment. However, it doesn't always work as planned for the attacker, and you may find failed activity a valid signal for identifying, malicious actions. This episode, I'm going to take a look at failed logon events from an investigation point of you.

Oct 3, 2023

This week I will discuss the use of the OODA loop and JOHARI window in security incident response investigations. These two frameworks are designed to help organizations quickly and effectively respond to security incidents, and can be used in combination to enhance incident response capabilities....

Sep 26, 2023

This week I'm talking about the linux file system from the point of view of a forensic analyst. In general, it's a good idea to have a solid working knowledge of the linux file system so you understand what directories hold what artifacts… Or if you're looking for a specific category of artifact, you at least have an idea of where you may find it. I will cover the home directory this week and breakdown the typical forensic artifacts you find there……

Sep 19, 2023

This week I will talk about investigating data spill cases involving exposed URLs. This is a typical privacy investigation many incident response teams handle and I thought it would be useful to go over some standard guidelines for handling such cases. To be effective with these investigations you need to know how to determine liability and responsibility, a little Google foo, and a number of odds and ends concerning mitigation, containment and remediation strategies....

Sep 12, 2023

This week is on lateral movement detection techniques. Inspecting Domain Admin account logons is a key component to lateral movement triage. Admin accounts are sought after by attackers for their elevated privileges. Evidence is often left behind both on the targeted system and on the domain controller. Both these factors provide protection opportunity through Windows event log analysis. I’ll break down the method....

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