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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Automated Windows disk imaging? Sure, it can do that!

Hello again readers! After a busy couple of weeks, I had some time to work on adding a new feature to the Windows Live Response collection, automated disk imaging! This means that when you run the "Complete_Windows_Live_Response" batch file (with administrative privileges) that, on top of creating a memory dump and gathering volatile data from a system, it also attempts to identify all mounted drives on a system (excluding network shares) and if your destination drive has enough storage space, a forensic image of the drive will be created. It also will not allow you to create a disk image of a device when the destination is that device itself (in other words, you cannot run the script from a folder on your desktop and create a disk image. The memory dump will still occur, but disk imaging will not). And best of all, after each image is created, if you have more than one drive, the free space calculation runs again to try to ensure that the destination drive has enough free space available. Because of this new functionality, the Windows Collection also has three different scripts available:

"Complete_Windows_Live_Response.bat" must be run with Administrative privileges to work to the fullest extent possible. This script creates everything in the "Memory_Dump_Windows_Live_Response.bat" script, as well as creates full disk images of logical drives (except for network drives) on a device. This script must be run from an external device (or internally on a non-system partition) in order to create the physical disk image. The external device also must have more free space available than the size of the drive(s) that it is imaging (it checks prior to each image being created for free space). This is the ultimate "plug it in, run it, pick it up" option. The script can run without administrative privileges, however running the script with non-administrative privileges will not create the disk image or the memory dumps.

"Memory_Dump_Windows_Live_Response.bat" is the traditional Windows Live Response collection.  The script will automatically collect a memory dump and copy files of interest (such as Prefetch files) to the %computername% folder. It will also leverage hashdeep to compute the md5 and SHA256 hashes of Windows PE files located in the %WINDIR%\system32 folder and the %SystemDrive%/Temp folder (if it exists). It will also compute the md5 and SHA256 hash of every file, recursively, in the %TEMP% folder. It will also run netstat -anb, to provide results of services with open connections and it will also install winpcap, in order to run an nmap scan in an attempt to detect evidence of ARP poisoning. It needs elevated privileges to perform these functions, but it can be run without administrative privileges as well.  However, it will not return as in-depth of results as it would have if it were run with administrative privileges

"Triage_Live_Response.bat" is the "lite" version of the Windows Live Response collection. This gets rid of time consuming elements like the Memory Dump and WinAudit. It is still best to run this with administrative privileges, but it should work much faster and give an examiner quicker results than the other scripts.

In order to run the script, you should complete the following steps:

  • Step 1 - Download the Live Response collection
  • Step 2 - Unzip the Live Response collection to an external drive (I prefer USB3 hard drives larger than 1TB in size)
  • Step 3 - Navigate to the Windows Live Response folder on your external drive
  • Step 4 - Run "Complete_Windows_Live_Response"
  • Step 5 - Check back in a few hours, the image should be complete!

I made a short video using Snagit showing the above steps as well, which is embedded below:

I tried my best to make it as easy as possible to run as well as putting in as many checks as possible, within the batch script, to ensure that something bad would not happen. The update allows an incident responder, system administrator, help desk associate, non-IT savvy employee, etc. to be able to do an initial collection from a Windows system, as long as they have (at least) local administrative privileges. I built-in checks so that a disk image will not be created on the device that you are trying to image (you can do a memory dump still on a local machine, but disk imaging will not occur). It will also ignore the drive where you are running the script from, but if that drive has other partitions that are recognized, those will be imaged (please be aware of that and try to use drives with only one mounted partition as your destination).

I also had to debate whether to image the entire physical drive or just the logical drive. After going back and forth, I decided on the logical drive, for a couple of reasons. The first reason is that if we image the logical drive, we may indeed be missing some data, but if you utilize full disk encryption and we image the entire physical drive, more than likely we will have to decrypt that image at some point. This could add steps to the analysis process, so I tried my best to keep it as straight-forward as possible. The second reason is that with the physical drives, it will take into account multiple partitions on the internal drive. While this may be a catch-22 if you have multiple partitions on the destination drive, I decided to go that route to ensure if you have another volume mounted on your system (like TrueCrypt) that will get imaged as well.

You may also note that I added the GPL to this instance of the Live Response Collection. All of the tools included in the collection are available to use at no-cost, but I want to ensure that the work that went into making the scripts work and perform the automated memory dumps and disk imaging remains available to anyone who wants to use it. While I certainly hope that a company would not take the Live Response collection and attempt to monetize it, I felt that putting the GPL in there would be another step that I could take to try to ensure that monetization of the collection will not happen. - download here 

MD5: 7bc32091c1e7d773162fbdc9455f6432
SHA256: 2c32984adf2b5b584761f61bd58b61dfc0c62b27b117be40617fa260596d9c63
Updated: September 5, 2019

As always, any feedback is very welcome and if there are any features that you would like to see in a future update to the collection, please let me know! Happy automated disk imaging everyone!!

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