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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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Now displaying: 2022
Jun 21, 2022
In the past I’ve talked about fast triage from a high-level, addressing the different artifacts and some interesting elements in each of those artifacts. I decided to start going a bit deeper and focus on one or a few artifacts at a time and really talk about the important details they may record for your investigation and how to interpret that information quickly. I’m going to start with the 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.
Jun 14, 2022

Every so often I like to revisit certifications. Everyone seems to have their own opinion as to the value of one certification over another, whether or not certifications should carry as much weight as they do, or preference of certain certifications over others, and so on. In this episode I’m sharing my thoughts on the topic as well as how I would approach certifications if I were new in the field but also retained everything I have learned over the years about the impact certifications have or can have on your career.

Jun 7, 2022
This week is a back to basics episode where I cover Windows shell bags. This is a core Windows artifact that gets included in pretty much  every file use and knowledge investigation. Any investigation where you’re looking to tie a specific account to directory access activity. Like most Windows artifacts you must know how user interaction affects the artifact in order to properly interpreted as evidence and you must also be aware of any caveats or pitfalls that may affect your evidence. Spoiler alert, there is a huge one associated with Windows shell bags that I’ll cover at the end of the episode-it’s nothing new but if you’re unfamiliar with it you definitely need to know about it.
May 31, 2022

If you are accustomed to Windows forensics you may find you have to shift your way of thinking about executables when you are dealing with a Linux system. Unlike Windows, in Linux there is no fixed file extension to designate an executable. Everything on a Linux system of the file and any file can be executable, so where do you even begin? In this episode I am going to address how to approach Linux executables to help those newer to Linux exams deal with the nuances.

May 24, 2022

One of the first things attackers attempt to accomplish on a compromised system is to establish persistence. Unless you are dealing with a denial of service attack, most other attacker goals are centered on maintaining the degree of control over a compromise system in order to use system resources for things like cryptomining or to maintain a foothold to further an attack strategy. This week I am going to talk about a fast triage methodology for persistence, which is one of the first triage strategies I normally recommend for a compromise assessment. Because I am focusing on a fast triage methodology I am going to focus on the artifacts most examiners will have readily at hand and how to make the most of them during the initial pass.

May 17, 2022

This week I’m covering the Master file table as a core forensic artifact for Windows investigations. This artifact has value is both a primary and secondary artifact and offers opportunity to decode evidence in a number of different situations. In this episode I’m covering the forensic basics, some use cases and tools you can use to bring the value of the artifact to its full potential.

May 10, 2022

This week of talking malware fast triage. These are the techniques that are short of malware reverse engineering and allow analysts to identify malware and also get a sense of what it is does. This is a necessary skill set for all DFIR professionals as you typically deal with malware and you need a way to do some basic forensics on it for context to advance your investigation. This is going to be a two-part episode where I first go over the foundational information you need to have four common malware triage tasks and the second part will go over specific methods, tools, and indicators for different types of artifacts.

May 3, 2022

This week of talking malware fast triage. These are the techniques that are short of malware reverse engineering and allow analysts to identify malware and also get a sense of what it is does. This is a necessary skill set for all DFIR professionals as you typically deal with malware and you need a way to do some basic forensics on it for context to advance your investigation. This is going to be a two-part episode where I first go over the foundational information you need to have four common malware triage tasks and the second part will go over specific methods, tools, and indicators for different types of artifacts.

Apr 26, 2022

This week I’m talking about SRUM, a Windows artifact that you don’t hear that much about. It has a lot of great potential as evidence and it is something worth the time to check it out and see how it fits into your daily DFIR work.

Apr 19, 2022
This week is some thoughts on live evidence integrity. Years ago evidence validation was fairly standard with few exceptions. Nowadays it’s more of a challenge when considering live evidence collections either on scene, remotely or even in lab environments where physical level access to your evidence is becoming more the exception. It is something that needs to be part of your collection process as it may impact the reliability of your results. 
Apr 12, 2022
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 depending on what you are dealing with.
Apr 5, 2022

This week I’m going to cover detecting lateral movement using Windows event logs. This is not the Windows fast triage method I covered in previous episodes. This is more in-depth and focuses on specific attack tools and strategies seen in actual cases. Going into this level of detail is beyond the scope of a typical episode, however there is some research that has very granular details on the tools and methods you can use. I’ll have that coming up right after this.

Mar 29, 2022
This week is a back to basics episode where I am going to cover Windows shellbags. This is a core Windows artifact that gets included in pretty much most every file use and knowledge investigation or any investigation where you’re looking to tie a specific account to directory access activity. Like most Windows artifacts you must know how user interaction affects the artifact in order to properly interpreted it as evidence. You must also be aware of any caveats or pitfalls that may affect your evidence. Spoiler alert, there is a huge one associated with Windows shellbags that I’ll cover at the end of the episode-it’s nothing new but if you’re unfamiliar with it you definitely need to know about it.
Mar 22, 2022
This week I am talking about a program language called rust and the advantages it has for DFIR analyst. I’m also covering Chainsaw, a toolset that you can use for Windows event log analysis.
Mar 15, 2022
This week it’s back to basics with a Windows artifact for tracking program execution. I’m covering the user assist key which is a mainstay for both live triage and dead box forensics. This artifact is useful for profiling system usage, identifying malware, and general file use and knowledge applications. There are some caveats you need to be aware of and in this episode I’m covering  five different experiments to document the effects that different types of user activity had on the artifact. If you want to better understand this artifact and how to work with it stay tuned.
Mar 8, 2022
This week I am covering how different common protocols are secured in the cloud. Part of your effectiveness as a security analyst is your knowledge and understanding of how environments work in a typical scenario. I know that all environments are different but there is some foundational knowledge that you can learn that will be useful no matter what environment you’re working. My goal with this episode is to provide you with a better understanding of how insecure protocols are handled in cloud environments.
Mar 1, 2022

This we can talk about Arthir, an open source platform for windows incident response and threat hunting.

Feb 22, 2022
This week Max Lamothe-Brassard talks about the future of cyber security.
Feb 15, 2022

This week is a back to basic episode featuring Shimcache and Amcache. Learn what they are, why they are important to many investigations and the pitfalls to avoid.

Feb 8, 2022

This week is about Cloud Network Security Services.

Feb 1, 2022
This week we continue with the Windows fast triage series and talk about data spoliation detection.
Jan 25, 2022

This week is about cloud network segmentation. Network segmentation has security advantages, and that’s regardless of whether or not security is the intention. There are some big differences between traditional on-prem network segmentation and cloud infrastructure segmentation. As a DFIR practitioner, knowing the difference is vital for your incident response preparedness. This week I will break it down from a DFIR point of view and provide some necessary insight that will help you better structure your investigations involving cloud assets.

Jan 18, 2022

This week I cover insider threat, which is sort of a gray area between traditional investigations and DFIR investigations. 

Jan 11, 2022

This week I’m talking about identity access controls commonly encountered in cloud environments. These come up during DFIR investigations and high-level awareness, at the least, is necessary for analysts in order to be effective during investigations. These are the things that may be part of root cause, part of the attack escalation, or part of mitigation will remediation. This week all cover the basics to help with your incident response preparedness.

Jan 4, 2022

This week is my advice for conducting a career critique as well as to plan for the future - or at least for 2022. I do this episode every year at this time with the intention of helping newer analysts maximize their efforts to achieve the desired career goals in both the short term and long term.

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