File System Forensic Analysis


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File System Forensic Analysis. Brian Carrier. The Definitive Guide to File System Analysis: Key Concepts and Hands-on Techniques Most digital evidence is stored within the computer's file system, but understanding how file systems work is one of the most technically challenging concepts for a digital investigator because there exists little documentation.

File system forensic analysis brian carrier free download

FAT Data Structures. Hard Disk Data Acquisition. PCbased Partitions. Specific File Systems. FAT Concepts and Analysis.

File system forensic analysis brian carrier free download

In actual each file is stored in single or multiple clusters predefined disk spaces on the hard drive. The larger the size of the hard disk more will be its cluster size. The record can be used to locate the scattered clusters of the file. Moreover, when a volume is formatted with NTFS, several file systems are created as the result of this. The structure of the volume after being formatted by NTFS is shown as below:. NTFS has reserved the first 16 records of the table for storing the special information.


  • File System Forensic Analysis.
  • Chapter 4: File system analysis;
  • Part I: Foundations!

This mirror record tends to be useful in case the MFT record is corrupted. NTFS reads this mirror copy at such instance. MFT allocates a specific amount of storage space for every file record. The allocated space in the MFT stores the attributes of a file. The dataset identifies various generalized and common file system layouts and operations, specific node-balancing mechanisms triggered, logical addresses of various data structures, on-disk records, recovered-data as directory entries and extent data from leaf and internal nodes, and percentage of data recovered.

Linux operating system is most commonly and widely used operating system across all platforms and domains. Over a period of more than two decades, Linux file systems have evolved significantly. Ext4 is one of the most popular and last in the line of Linux extended file systems. It has been the default choice for most of the Linux distributions in recent years. Although it was a big improvement over its predecessors, its aging code base is unable to support evolving demands of data integrity, deduplication and survivability, disk diversity, fault isolation, light weight snapshots and clones, checksums for reliability, and online compression and defragmentation for performance.

Basically, the idea behind Ext4 design was to create a stop-gap solution until a stable version of Btrfs was ready [6].

Btrfs addresses these challenges of reliability, scalability and performance by providing simple administration, end-to-end data integrity, and immense scalability without loss of performance. Therefore, Btrfs delivers what Ext4 fails to, i. With such a diverse and sensitive workload to shoulder, Btrfs is at the spotlight of hackers, malicious-code writers and cyber criminals.

All file systems are vulnerable to breach [5] , [7] , [8] , and Btrfs is not an exception. Forensic investigators rely on file system forensic artefacts to analyze such breaches [9] , recreate digital crime-scene [10] , possibly unveil intruder intentions, and recover deleted or modified data [11].

Learning Computer Forensics Tutorial - File Systems: Windows-Based

Since file systems vary greatly in design, so do the forensic artefacts they yield and the data-recovery procedures to harvest them. The data-recovery procedures yield forensic datasets that allow forensic investigators to analyse the behavior of file systems, identify forensically important data structures, devise mechanisms for their extraction, and determine the probability of finding digital evidences. Therefore, the forensic datasets are of great interest and immense value to forensic investigators. And, with the inevitable adoption of Btrfs across wide platforms and diverse workloads, forensic dataset of Btrfs is of greater interest and bigger value to forensic community.

Based on the design of Btrfs and the state-change incurred by the file system during file and directory operations, we propose a 6-step data-recovery procedure for Btrfs as shown in Fig. The dataset generated by the proposed data-recovery procedure is shown in Table S1. The experiment employed a bit Fedora Core 23 Linux operating system running kernel v4. Btrfs was introduced in Linux mainline kernel v2.

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Since then Btrfs support has matured through various subsequent Linux kernel releases with v4. The proposed data-recovery procedure was implemented in C programming language. The program traverses the file system B-tree, and parses its data structures for internal and leaf nodes. When a node is identified, the program analyzes the node for Orphan-Items and extracts data only from those Orphan-Items that contain valid data as per a pre-defined valid-entry lookup table. Output of different stages of the proposed data-recovery procedure for one of the Use cases. The experiment comprised of carefully chosen Use-cases.

The Use-cases were constructed keeping in view the following:.

Associated Data

Transparency document Transparency data associated with this article can be found in the online version at Appendix A Supplementary data associated with this article can be found in the online version at National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. Journal List Data Brief v. Data Brief. Published online May 3. Author information Article notes Copyright and License information Disclaimer. Mohamad Ahtisham Wani: moc.

File System Forensic Analysis File System Forensic Analysis
File System Forensic Analysis File System Forensic Analysis
File System Forensic Analysis File System Forensic Analysis
File System Forensic Analysis File System Forensic Analysis
File System Forensic Analysis File System Forensic Analysis
File System Forensic Analysis File System Forensic Analysis
File System Forensic Analysis File System Forensic Analysis

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