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Basic Steps in Forensic Analysis of Unix Systems Print E-mail
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Source: Dave Dittrich - Posted by Dave Wreski   
Intrusion Detection Your job, as a forensic investigator, is to do your best to comb through the sources of evidence -- disc drives, log files, boxes of removable media, whatever -- and do two things: make sure you preserve as much of this data in its original form, and to try to re-construct the events that occurred during a criminal act and produce a meaningful starting point for police and prosecutors to do their jobs.. . . Your job, as a forensic investigator, is to do your best to comb through the sources of evidence -- disc drives, log files, boxes of removable media, whatever -- and do two things: make sure you preserve as much of this data in its original form, and to try to re-construct the events that occurred during a criminal act and produce a meaningful starting point for police and prosecutors to do their jobs.

Every incident will be different. In one case, you may simply assist in the seizure of a computer system, which is analyzed by law enforcement agencies. In another case, you may need to collect logs, file systems, and first hand reports of observed activity from dozens of systems in your organization, wade through all of this mountain of data, and reconstruct a timeline of events that yields a picture of a very large incident.

In addition, when you begin an incident investigation, you have no idea what you will find, or where. You may at first see nothing (especially if a "rootkit" is in place.) You may find a process running with open network sockets that doesn't show up on a similar system. You may find a partition showing 100% utilization, but adding things up with du only comes to 50%. You may find network saturation, originating from a single host (by way of tracing its ethernet address or packet counts on its switch port), a program eating up 100% of the CPU, but nothing in the file system with that name.

Read this full article at Dave Dittrich

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