Hello again readers! The last update to the Live Response collection was about two months ago, and I have been working on adding more open-source tools and data collection processes to the collection. I also tried to enhance the way that the Windows Live Response collection operates, including building in some file/location existence checking in an effort to ensure compatibility with newer version of Windows, including some initial attempts at gathering data from Windows 10, with many thanks going to Brad Garnett for doing testing on these newer versions.
While a majority of the changes are going to be transparent to the end user, the processing of some items, like Sysinternals, has greatly changed. It also leverages a couple of really powerful tools to copy files, such as Registry Hives, $MFT, $LogFile, $UsnJrnl, and Event Logs from Windows systems. In a blog post in about a month ago Corey Harrell pointed out an awesome tool from Joakim Schicht that allows the extraction of the $UsnJrnl that not only copies it from a system, it also only extracts "used" data, which usually results in a very great reduction in size. To quote Joakim:
"This may be a significant portion of the total data, and most tools will extract this data stream to its full size (which is annoying and a huge waste of disk space). This is where this tools comes in, as it only extract the actual data for the change journal. That way extraction obviously also goes faster. Why extract 20 GB when you might only need 200 MB?"
The script also now leverages another great data extraction tool, forecopy_handy. By using this tool, it also allows copying of in-use files such as Registry Hives, Event Logs, and browser related files from a live system. If you create a disk image using the "Complete" version of the script it is likely that you will get access to these files, but this method allows you to take the files prior to (or instead of!) creating a disk image if you would like.
There are also many changes to the overall processing performed by the script, for example, before the script would delete the entire Registry folder related to Sysinternals, but Luca Pugliese pointed out that in some investigations you may very well be looking for when Sysinternals was installed on the system, and that method could very well wipe out evidence (which could potentially be a bad thing). The script now checks for evidence of Registry Keys related to the Sysinternals programs that the script requires. If it finds them, it updates the value to "1" (to ensure the tool will run without user interaction) and that is the only change that is made. If the key is not found, it will populate the required Registry keys, but it will still clean up after itself.
Extracting the $MFT, $LogFile, and $UsnJrnl had always been in my plans (especially if you use the TriForce tool) but I just hadn't had the time to work on the updates until the past week or so.
Please do not hesitate to reach out if there are any items that you commonly use during the course of an investigation that the script does not currently extract, and hopefully it can be included in the next release. For example, some of the requests for data collection from Windows are:
- Automatically encrypting the output of the script (volatile data collection, memory, and disk image)
- More browser history related file extraction
- Log file collection (IIS logs, AV logs, application logs, etc.)
- Data collection/file hashing for all users (not just current)
I am hopeful that the next release will cover most, if not all, of the requests. I am also hopeful that automated Mac memory collection and drive imaging will be included in the next update (fingers crossed!)
LiveResponseCollection-Cedarpelta.zip - download here
Updated: September 5, 2019