Virtual Machines

Virtual machines are useful for many purposes in computing, but they can also be used to hide evidence of user activity on a computer system. Cybercriminals are using virtual machines because it is apparently easy to remove all trace of their activities just by deleting a single file. This seminar describes virtual machines, their methods of operation, how they are used to hide user activity, and how to detect their use. It also describes how to use virtual machines for malware analysis and other aspects of cyber forensics. 

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Windows Storage Architecture Overview

Understanding how files are stored (and may be hidden) on a disk or other storage media (solid-state disk, USB "key", SD card, etc.), is essential to performing a thorough forensic investigation. Learn the essentials of the on-disk formats of NTFS, EFS, FAT 12/16/32, exFAT, CDFS, and UDFS. This seminar also covers details of partitioning methods (MBR vs. GPT), the various types of Windows "volumes," basic vs. dynamic disks, and the new Storage Spaces. 

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Windows Log Files and Other History

Windows miaintains a significant amount of data on its past activity as part of its normal operation. This is used for self-diagnosis, performance monitoring, and error reporting, as well as for common functions such as user login/logiout tracking and file access auditing. Using this information, a forensic investigator can create a detailed timeline of a user’s activities, going back months or in some cases years. Learn what information Windows maintains and where to find it. 

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Internet Design and Protocols

How is data transmitted from one machine to another over the Internet? What network protocols are used by the Internet? How do you capture network traffic? What information is recorded by a user’s Internet Service Provider? How do you trace the origin of a Distributed Denial of Service Attack? This course will answer these questions and more, and provide the forensic investigator with the knowledge necessary to gather information about a suspect’s use of the internet. The student will learn how to capture network traces and trace the route through the Internet that packets followed. 

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Survey of Malware Types

Most recent malware is used for financial or political gain, and although often referred to as "viruses," the attack and propagation methods are very different from true viruses. This course is an overview of the types of malware, how malware is categorized, and how each type of malware attacks a Windows system. This allows the forensic investigator to identify malware used in criminal attacks.

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