“You can help your organization if you consider computer forensics as a new basic element in what is known as a ‘defense-in-depth’ approach to network and computer security.”
- US-CERT Whitepaper
With more forensic books hitting the shelves, I find myself prioritizing those by authors I know and trust. I have worked with Cory Altheide and he is an extremely talented forensic professional with a passion for open source tools. Not surprisingly, I would not categorize this as a beginner book. Open source tools require a higher level of interaction than their commercial counterparts, but are a great way to take your forensic skills to the next level. While teaching, I often see students frustrated that there is no one tool that can do it all. Such a tool does not exist, no matter how much you are able to pay for it. Free and open source tools fill large gaps in the capabilities of commercial forensic suites and will continue to do so in the foreseeable future.
SANSFIRE is in downtown Washington D.C. this year and I am excited to be teaching Forensics 508: Advanced Forensics and Incident Response. The 508 class has recently undergone a major revision and continues to live up to its name. F-Response Tactical is now free with the course and we have a couple of exercises to put it through the paces. My favorite is using F-Response to mount live memory (on a remote system) and perform on-the-fly analysis using Volatility memory analysis tools. If you will be there, let me know!
A Fistful of Dongles (AFoD) is an eclectic mix of all things digital forensic. Eric Huber is the primary author and is a talented analyst and knowledgeable resource. Eric’s law enforcement and corporate background provide excellent insight into current events within the forensic community. He clearly has a passion for the field and it shows in the entertaining posts. AFoD has quickly become a staple on my reading list.
Link: A Fistful of Dongles
UPDATE: A Fistful of Dongles was awarded the Forensic 4Cast Best Digital Forensics Blog for 2011. Congratulations Eric!
I am a big fan of Mandiant Memoryze for memory forensic analysis. With support for Windows systems from 2000 SP4 to 2008 R2 and ever increasing features to flag potential evil, it is hands down the best free tool available for the job. Its only downside up to this point has been the steep learning curve required by the user interface. Enter Redline. Redline replaces AuditViewer as the front-end to Memoryze and truly brings memory analysis capability to the masses. What excites me most about this tool is that it dramatically lowers the bar for individuals trying to get started with memory forensics. Chalk one up for the good guys.