One of the fun things I have been working on is the huge revision of the SANS Forensics 508: Advanced Forensics and Incident Response material. Rob Lee has spent the last ten years building and updating what has become one of the most well-known and respected digital forensics training courses. The golden age of hacking is in full swing and a whole host of new threats have emerged, including state-sponsored espionage (aka APT), hactivism, client-side attacks, and crimeware. Digital forensic investigations have never been more in demand. However, computer intrusion and malware investigations require a very different skill set than the cases seen by the average forensic examiner. Rob saw a great opportunity to update the FOR508 course to train this next generation of forensic professionals. I estimate that at least 60-70% of the course and nearly every exercise is new within the last year. My specific part in the course is writing the new memory forensics day. My forensic experience dates to the late 1990s, and I can’t remember any other advance in the field that has so fundamentally shifted the balance from the bad guys to the good guys. Memory forensics is now a mature discipline and we have a wonderful array of tools available, allowing us to analyze everything from raw memory files to hibernation files to crash dumps to live memory audits. Memory analysis is a game changing skill and we spend a significant part of the new 508 course learning and incorporating the results of that analysis into the broader forensic process.
I put together a Memory Forensics Cheat Sheet to help with the dizzying array of options available in some of the memory analysis suites, most notably Volatility. While the cheat sheet focuses on Volatility, it is not the only tool we use in class. Cheat sheets lend themselves best to command-line activities, and some excellent analysis tools, such as Mandiant Redline, are GUI based. I hope you find the cheat sheet valuable and I look forward to your feedback!