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RE: tools used to examine a computer
From: "Trevor Cushen" <Trevor.Cushen () sysnet ie>
Date: Fri, 21 Feb 2003 09:42:39 -0000

I was letting this discussion pass but a glaring error needs to be
corrected.  

"Good point.  The correct use of terminology,
particularly in an area as technical as this
discussion, is important.  When other, unusual terms
and phrases, w/o an explanation, begin to be used, the discussion can
quickly break down...there is no common ground on which to converse at
that point.  "Chain of custody" means something specific when talking
about forensics..."chain of evidence" only has a specific meaning to the
person using that phrase."

Chain of custody certainly does mean something specific in the area of
Forensics but more importantly in the area of law enforcement.
Unfortunately what the discussions have been about have been the chain
of evidence and the chain of custody has not been discussed at all here.

Summary
Chain of Evidence:      The steps and actions taken to acquire the
evidence (disk cloning, labeling etc per the discussion at hand)
Chain of Custody:               The list of people or persons who have
held the evidence or handled the evidence (sign in/sign out procedures
etc)

Read some more just to prove it is not 'only specific to the person
using the phrase'

Chain of Evidence:
http://www.dis.unimelb.edu.au/staff/atif/AhmadPACIS.pdf
Chain of Custody:        http://www.isaforensics.com/ISA_COC_Form.pdf

More links for your perusal which you certainly should be reading

http://web.mit.edu/net-security/Camp/2000/FORENSICS_MIT/FORENSICS_MIT.pp
t
http://www.lambsauto.com/insflyer.htm

In the last part of this last link you will see the point repeated that
I made earlier.  Make sure your Chain of Evidence is not broken.  Doing
an inhouse forensics examination is fine if you have decided up front
that the matter will not be going any further.  If there is any
possibility that the incident may lead to legal proceeding then make
sure you are qualified to carry out an examination otherwise all
evidence you touch is inadmissable.  Once you alter the machine state in
any way you have tampered.  Computer Evidence is still largely
considered hearsay in a court of law and can quickly be ruled out if
your Chain of Evidence or Chain of Custody is in doubt.

Trevor Cushen
Sysnet Ltd

www.sysnet.ie
Tel: +353 1 2983000
Fax: +353 1 2960499



-----Original Message-----
From: H C [mailto:keydet89 () yahoo com] 
Sent: 20 February 2003 19:28
To: security-basics () securityfocus com
Subject: RE: tools used to examine a computer


...good points on processes, servies and the like.
You
want to document those before you take down a
machine 
(workstation or server)anyway if you are able to.

Again, it's quite easy to document this sort of thing,
was well as a wide range of other data...it all simply
has to be part of the methodology.  Other areas of
interest may include command history, clipboard
contents, drivers (and their state), etc.  Other
non-volatile items that you may want to document prior
to shut down include Registry key values, Registry key LastWrite times,
etc. 

It does not destroy chain of custody (which is the
term 
we should be using

Good point.  The correct use of terminology,
particularly in an area as technical as this
discussion, is important.  When other, unusual terms
and phrases, w/o an explanation, begin to be used, the discussion can
quickly break down...there is no common ground on which to converse at
that point.  "Chain of custody" means something specific when talking
about forensics..."chain of evidence" only has a specific meaning to the
person using that phrase.

Key is proper FORENSIC PROCESSES are followed.  If
you 
can document and you are not touching MODIFY or
CREATION dates then you are pretty much OK as long
as 
you document properly.   

Agreed.  Even writing down the last access date in
your notebook, and then copying the file, would be an appropriate
process, under the right circumstances. 
I'd prefer to use a specific tool to extract those
values, rather than running three separate 'dir'
commands.





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