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F

Forensic imaging

Forensic imaging is the process of creating an exact copy of a computer's hard drive or other digital storage device for the purpose of examination and analysis. This process is used in criminal investigations, civil cases, and other legal proceedings where electronic evidence may be relevant.

There are several steps involved in forensic imaging. First, the computer or storage device to be imaged is connected to a forensic workstation, which is a specialized computer used for this purpose. The workstation is configured to create an exact copy of the hard drive or other storage device, including all data, file structures, and metadata (information about the data, such as creation and modification dates).

Next, the forensic workstation creates a hash value for the original hard drive, which is a unique numerical value that represents the data on the drive. The hash value is used to verify the integrity of the forensic image, ensuring that it is an exact copy of the original drive.

Once the forensic image is created, it can be analyzed using specialized software or tools. For example, a forensic investigator might use a tool to search the image for specific keywords or file types, or to identify deleted or hidden files. They may also use software to extract and analyze metadata, such as email headers or internet browsing history.

Examples of how forensic imaging might be used include:

  • A criminal investigation into a cybercrime, such as identity theft or fraud. The forensic image of the suspect's computer can be analyzed to identify evidence of their involvement in the crime.

  • A civil case involving the discovery of electronic evidence, such as emails or documents. The forensic image of the relevant computer can be analyzed to identify relevant evidence.

  • A child custody case in which electronic evidence, such as social media messages or text messages, may be relevant. The forensic image of the relevant devices can be analyzed to identify this evidence.

Linux tools, such as dd and dcfldd, are commonly used for forensic imaging due to their flexibility and ability to create bit-level copies of storage devices. These tools are free and open source, making them accessible to forensic analysts.

To create a forensic image using dd, the analyst would enter the following command:

dd if=/dev/sda of=image.dd bs=1M

This command will create a forensic image of the device /dev/sda and save it as a file called image.dd. The "bs" parameter specifies the block size, which determines the speed of the imaging process.

Dcfldd is another Linux tool that can be used for forensic imaging. It has additional features such as the ability to hash the image as it is being created, which can be useful for verifying the integrity of the image. To create a forensic image using dcfldd, the analyst would enter the following command:

dcfldd if=/dev/sda hash=md5,sha256 hashlog=hashes.txt of=image.dd

This command will create a forensic image of the device /dev/sda and save it as a file called image.dd. It will also create hashes of the image using the MD5 and SHA-256 algorithms, and save the hashes to a file called hashes.txt.

Once the forensic image has been created, it can be analyzed using a variety of forensic tools. These tools can be used to search for evidence such as deleted files, internet history, and system logs.

In conclusion, forensic imaging is an important step in the forensic process, and Linux tools such as dd and dcfldd are useful in creating reliable and verifiable forensic images. These tools allow forensic analysts to preserve the original evidence and conduct a thorough analysis of the contents of a storage device.



Forensic Imaging - Mac

In the case of a Mac, forensic imaging can be done using the target mode feature, which allows the Mac to be connected to another computer as a external drive. This allows the forensic analyst to create a forensic image of the Mac's hard drive using forensic imaging tools on the other computer.

One way to perform forensic imaging of a Mac in target mode using Linux is to use the dd tool. Dd is a command-line utility that allows the forensic analyst to create a bit-level copy of a storage device. To create a forensic image of a Mac in target mode using dd, the analyst would follow these steps:

  1. Connect the Mac to the forensic computer using a firewire or thunderbolt cable.

  2. Boot the Mac into target mode by holding down the "T" key during startup.

  3. On the forensic computer, open a terminal and enter the following command (assuming the new drive is sdc):

dd if=/dev/sdc of=image.dd bs=1M

This command will create a forensic image of the Mac's hard drive and save it as a file called image.dd. The "bs" parameter specifies the block size, which determines the speed of the imaging process.

Another tool that can be used for forensic imaging of a Mac in target mode is dcfldd. Dcfldd is similar to dd, but has additional features such as the ability to hash the image as it is being created, which can be useful for verifying the integrity of the image. To create a forensic image using dcfldd, the analyst would enter the following command:

dcfldd if=/dev/sdc hash=md5,sha256 hashlog=hashes.txt of=image.dd

This command will create a forensic image of the Mac's hard drive and save it as a file called image.dd. It will also create hashes of the image using the MD5 and SHA-256 algorithms, and save the hashes to a file called hashes.txt.

Once the forensic image has been created, it can be analyzed using a variety of forensic tools. These tools can be used to search for evidence such as deleted files, internet history, and system logs.

In conclusion, forensic imaging is an important step in the forensic process, and Linux tools such as dd and dcfldd are useful in creating reliable and verifiable forensic images of a Mac in target mode. These tools allow forensic analysts to preserve the original evidence and conduct a thorough analysis of the contents of a Mac's hard drive.



Forensic Imaging - Writeblocker

Imaging a drive connected to a write blocker using dcfldd is a process that allows a forensic analyst to create an exact copy, or forensic image, of the drive for the purpose of forensic analysis. This process is important in order to preserve the original evidence in its original state and prevent any changes from being made to the drive.

To image a drive connected to a write blocker using dcfldd, the analyst would follow the following steps:

  1. Connect the write blocker: The write blocker should be connected between the drive and the forensic analysis computer. This will prevent any changes from being made to the drive during the imaging process.

  2. Open a terminal: The analyst should open a terminal window on the forensic analysis computer.

  3. Identify the drive: The analyst should use the "lsblk" command to identify the device name of the drive. For example, the drive may be identified as "/dev/sdc".

  4. Create the forensic image: The analyst should enter the following command to create the forensic image:

dcfldd if=/dev/sdc hash=md5,sha256 hashlog=hashes.txt of=image.dd

This command will create a forensic image of the drive and save it as a file called "image.dd". It will also create hashes of the image using the MD5 and SHA-256 algorithms, and save the hashes to a file called "hashes.txt".

  1. Verify the image: The analyst can verify the integrity of the image by comparing the hashes of the original image with the hashes of the forensic image. If the hashes match, it is an indication that the forensic image is an exact copy of the original drive.

Overall, imaging a drive connected to a write blocker using dcfldd is a reliable and verifiable way to create a forensic image of a drive for forensic analysis. This process allows forensic analysts to preserve the original evidence and conduct a thorough analysis without the risk of contamination or alteration.

Guymager is a free and open source forensic imaging tool that is commonly used to create forensic images of storage devices. In order to image a drive that is connected to a write blocker using Guymager, the following steps can be followed:

  1. Connect the write blocker to the forensic analysis computer and the storage device to the write blocker.

  2. Open Guymager and select the "Acquire" tab.

  3. Select the write blocker device from the dropdown menu.

  4. Choose a destination for the forensic image, such as a local drive or network share.

  5. Select the "Start" button to begin the imaging process.

  6. Guymager will create a forensic image of the storage device and save it to the specified destination.

  7. Once the imaging process is complete, the forensic image can be analyzed using a variety of forensic tools.

It is important to note that the write blocker must be properly configured in order to ensure that no changes are made to the storage device during the imaging process. This is necessary in order to preserve the original evidence and maintain the integrity of the investigation.

Overall, using Guymager in conjunction with a write blocker is a reliable and efficient way to create forensic images of storage devices for forensic analysis.



Forensic Report

A forensic report is a written document that provides an in-depth analysis of evidence collected during a criminal investigation. It is typically prepared by a forensic expert or team of experts, who use specialized techniques and tools to examine and evaluate the evidence. The report is then presented to law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, and the courts to help support or refute various theories about the crime or to assist in the prosecution of a suspect.

There are many different types of forensic reports, depending on the nature of the crime and the types of evidence involved. Some common examples of forensic reports include:

  1. Fingerprint analysis: This type of report includes detailed information about the unique characteristics of a person's fingerprints, including the ridges, loops, and whorls that make them unique.

  2. DNA analysis: This report analyzes the genetic material found on samples of bodily fluids or tissues, such as blood, saliva, or hair, to identify a suspect or victim.

  3. Ballistics analysis: This report examines the characteristics of bullets and firearms to determine the type of weapon used in a crime and whether it was fired from a particular gun.

  4. Digital forensic analysis: This report examines electronic devices, such as computers, phones, and tablets, to extract digital evidence that may be relevant to a criminal investigation.

  5. Toxicology analysis: This report analyzes samples of blood, urine, or other bodily fluids to determine the presence of drugs or other toxic substances in the body.

  6. Document analysis: This report analyzes handwriting, ink, paper, and other physical characteristics of documents to determine their authenticity or to identify the person who wrote them.

  7. Fire and explosion analysis: This report investigates the causes of fires and explosions, including the types of fuels and accelerants used and the patterns of damage caused.

A digital forensic report is a document that provides a detailed analysis and summary of the findings of a digital forensic investigation. It is typically created by a digital forensic investigator or a team of investigators and is used to document the steps taken during the investigation, the evidence collected, and the conclusions reached.

Digital forensic reports are often used in criminal cases, civil litigation, and other legal proceedings where electronic evidence may be relevant. They may also be used in internal investigations by organizations to determine the cause of a security breach or other cyber incident.

Examples of the types of information that may be included in a digital forensic report include:

  1. A summary of the investigation: This section provides an overview of the purpose of the investigation and the steps taken to gather and analyze evidence.

  2. Evidence collection: This section details the types of electronic devices and media that were examined and the methods used to collect and preserve the evidence.

  3. Analysis of evidence: This section describes the techniques and tools used to analyze the evidence and the findings of the analysis.

  4. Conclusions: This section summarizes the conclusions reached based on the evidence collected and analyzed.

  5. Recommendations: This section may provide recommendations for further action or steps to be taken to prevent similar incidents in the future.

Example: A digital forensic report may be created in the case of a cybercrime investigation. The report may detail the steps taken to identify the perpetrator, the evidence collected from their computer or other devices, and the conclusions reached based on that evidence. The report may also provide recommendations for improving the organization's cybersecurity measures to prevent similar incidents in the future.



G

GEOINT

Geoint, or geospatial intelligence, is the process of gathering, analyzing, and distributing information about the earth and its features. It involves using various technologies, such as satellite imagery and geographic information systems (GIS), to collect and analyze data about the earth's surface and its features.


Examples of geoint include mapping out the location of natural resources, analyzing land use patterns, tracking the movement of individuals or groups, and monitoring environmental changes. It can also be used in military operations to identify enemy positions, assess terrain, and plan strategies.


Geoint can be used in various industries, such as agriculture, urban planning, environmental protection, and transportation. For example, geoint can be used to map out the location of crops and analyze the impact of different farming practices on the land. In urban planning, geoint can be used to identify areas with high traffic congestion and develop strategies to improve transportation efficiency. In environmental protection, geoint can be used to monitor natural disasters and assess the impact of pollution on the land.


Overall, geoint is a powerful tool for gathering and analyzing data about the earth and its features, and can be used in a variety of industries to inform decision-making and improve operations.


GPT

A GPT, or GUID Partition Table, is a type of partitioning scheme used on a hard drive or other storage device. It is a more modern alternative to the older MBR (Master Boot Record) partitioning scheme, and allows for larger storage capacities and more partitions on a single device.

A GPT is made up of a series of partition entries, each of which contains information about a partition on the storage device. This information includes the partition's type, size, and location on the device.

The size of a GPT is determined by the number of partition entries it contains. A GPT can contain up to 128 partition entries, each of which is 16 bytes in size. This means that the maximum size of a GPT is 2,048 bytes (128 x 16).

In addition to the partition entries, a GPT also contains a primary and secondary header, which contain information about the GPT itself. The primary header contains a copy of the partition entries and is located at the beginning of the GPT, while the secondary header is a backup copy located at the end of the GPT.

One advantage of using a GPT is that it allows for larger storage capacities. While an MBR partition scheme is limited to 2 TB, a GPT can support devices up to 9.4 zettabytes in size. A GPT is also more resilient to corruption, as it has a backup copy of the partition entries in the secondary header.

In conclusion, a GPT is a type of partitioning scheme used on storage devices that allows for larger storage capacities and more partitions. Its size is determined by the number of partition entries it contains, and it also includes a primary and secondary header.



GSM

GSM stands for Global System for Mobile Communications, which is a standard for digital cellular networks that is used globally. It is the most widely used mobile communications standard in the world, and is used by over 90% of mobile phone users.

GSM is a digital technology that uses time-division multiple access (TDMA) to allow multiple users to share the same frequency band. It uses a variety of signaling protocols and codecs to transmit voice and data over the air, and uses a system of cells and base stations to cover large geographic areas.

GSM is used for a variety of applications, including voice calls, text messaging, and data transfer. It is also used for machine-to-machine communication and Internet of Things (IoT) applications.

Some examples of GSM usage include:

  1. Mobile phone calls: GSM is used to transmit voice calls between mobile phones and the network, allowing users to make and receive calls anywhere within a GSM coverage area.

  2. Text messaging: GSM uses Short Message Service (SMS) to transmit text messages between mobile phones, allowing users to send and receive text messages regardless of location.

  3. Data transfer: GSM uses General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) to transmit data over the air, allowing users to access the internet and other data services on their mobile devices.

  4. Machine-to-machine communication: GSM is used in a variety of machine-to-machine (M2M) applications, such as remote monitoring and control of equipment and systems.

  5. Internet of Things (IoT) applications: GSM is used in a variety of IoT applications, such as smart home devices and wearable technology, to enable connectivity and communication between devices



H

Hashing

Forensic hashing is the process of creating a digital fingerprint, or hash, of a file or piece of evidence in order to verify its authenticity and integrity. Hashing algorithms, such as MD5 or SHA-1, create a unique string of characters that represents the contents of a file. If even a single bit of the file is changed, the resulting hash will be completely different.

Forensic hashing is used in digital forensics to ensure that evidence has not been tampered with or altered in any way. For example, if a suspect's computer is seized as evidence, a forensic analyst may create hashes of the files on the computer in order to verify their integrity. If the hashes match the original hashes created at the time of seizure, it is an indication that the files have not been tampered with.

Forensic hashing is also used to identify duplicates of a file. If two files have the same hash, it is highly likely that they are identical copies. This can be useful in cases where there may be multiple copies of a file, such as a piece of malware or a stolen document.

In addition to verifying the authenticity and integrity of evidence, forensic hashing can also be used to identify known malicious files. Many antivirus software programs maintain databases of known malicious hashes, which allows them to quickly identify and block these files.

Overall, forensic hashing is an important tool in digital forensics, as it allows analysts to verify the authenticity and integrity of evidence and identify known malicious files.



Human Smuggling

Human smuggling is the illegal transportation of individuals across international borders, often for the purpose of exploitation or profit. It can involve a variety of methods, such as hiding people in the back of a truck or smuggling them on a boat or plane.

Here are some examples of human smuggling:

  1. Forced labor: Human smugglers may transport individuals across borders and then sell them into forced labor situations, such as factories or agriculture.

  2. Sex trafficking: Human smugglers may transport individuals, often women and children, across borders and sell them into the sex trade.

  3. Illegal immigration: Some people may turn to human smugglers in order to illegally enter a country in search of work or a better life.

  4. Political asylum: Human smugglers may transport individuals who are seeking political asylum from persecution or violence in their home country.

Human smuggling is a serious crime that often involves significant risks for the individuals being smuggled. It can lead to exploitation, abuse, and even death. It is also a major problem for many countries, as it can contribute to illegal immigration and other related issues.



Human Trafficking

Human trafficking is a serious crime that involves the exploitation of people for the purpose of forced labor or sexual exploitation. It is often referred to as modern-day slavery, as it involves the use of force, coercion, or deception to control and exploit individuals.

Here are some examples of human trafficking:

  1. Forced labor: This refers to the use of force or coercion to make someone work against their will, often in conditions that are dangerous, unhealthy, or abusive. Examples of forced labor can include working in factories, farms, or mines, or performing domestic work or other services.

  2. Sexual exploitation: This involves the use of force, coercion, or deception to make someone engage in sexual activities against their will, such as prostitution or pornography. This can also include forced marriage or other forms of sexual slavery.

  3. Organ trafficking: This involves the buying and selling of organs, often through the use of force or coercion. This can include organs such as kidneys, livers, or hearts, and often involves individuals who are desperate for money or in vulnerable situations.

  4. Child trafficking: This refers to the exploitation of children for the purpose of forced labor or sexual exploitation. This can include children who are forced to work in dangerous conditions, such as in factories or mines, or children who are forced into prostitution or pornography.

Human trafficking is a global problem that affects millions of people around the world. It is often linked to other crimes, such as drug trafficking and organized crime, and can have serious consequences for the physical and mental health of the individuals who are exploited.

From an investigator standpoint (always be carefuland practice OSINT): 

  1. Identify online platforms and communities that are popular traffickers: Traffickers often use online forums, websites, and social media platforms to advertise illicit services, recruit victims and communicate with potential clients. Research which websites and platforms traffickers are frequenting and sign up to them as an anonymous user to gain access to information.
  2. Monitor discussion boards to capture real-time data: Traffickers often use hidden message board codes to communicate. Monitor discussion boards, including general and specialized forums and closed groups, to capture real-time data and clues regarding trafficking activity.
  3. Use sophisticated keyword searches: Use advanced search engine query techniques to run keyword searches related to human trafficking on social media. Monitor search results and keep a log of anything suspicious.
  4. Track hashtag campaigns: Traffickers might use certain hashtag campaigns to bring attention to their offerings. Track these hashtags and try to uncover any related data or victims.
  5. Utilize mapping tools: Use online tools that allow you to map activity and trends related to human trafficking. Identify hot spots of activity and patterns in the data.
  6. Scour public safety websites and databases: Regularly visit public safety websites, such as those for local law enforcement, for data related to human trafficking. Cross-reference this information with your own data and research to draw further conclusions.
  7. Engage online: When applicable and appropriate, open yourself up to contact with potential traffickers and/or victims by providing a safe space for them to share their stories, thoughts and feelings. Take what they disclose and document it accordingly.



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