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Network Forensics: Tracking Hackers through Cyberspace

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Network Forensics: Tracking Hackers through Cyberspace

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  • Presents a proven, start-to-finish methodology for managing any network forensics investigation
  • Enables professionals to uncover powerful forensic evidence from routers, firewalls, IDS, web proxies, and many other network devices
  • Based on the world's first comprehensive Network Forensics training course, offered by the SANS Institute - a course that now sells out months in advance


  • Copyright 2012
  • Dimensions: 7" x 9-1/8"
  • Pages: 576
  • Edition: 1st
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-13-256471-8
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-13-256471-7

“This is a must-have work for anybody in information security, digital forensics, or involved with incident handling. As we move away from traditional disk-based analysis into the interconnectivity of the cloud, Sherri and Jonathan have created a framework and roadmap that will act as a seminal work in this developing field.”

– Dr. Craig S. Wright (GSE), Asia Pacific Director at Global Institute for Cyber Security + Research.

“It’s like a symphony meeting an encyclopedia meeting a spy novel.”

–Michael Ford, Corero Network Security

On the Internet, every action leaves a mark–in routers, firewalls, web proxies, and within network traffic itself. When a hacker breaks into a bank, or an insider smuggles secrets to a competitor, evidence of the crime is always left behind.

Learn to recognize hackers’ tracks and uncover network-based evidence in Network Forensics: Tracking Hackers through Cyberspace.Carve suspicious email attachments from packet captures. Use flow records to track an intruder as he pivots through the network. Analyze a real-world wireless encryption-cracking attack (and then crack the key yourself). Reconstruct a suspect’s web surfing history–and cached web pages, too–from a web proxy. Uncover DNS-tunneled traffic. Dissect the Operation Aurora exploit, caught on the wire.

Throughout the text, step-by-step case studies guide you through the analysis of network-based evidence. You can download the evidence files from the authors’ web site (lmgsecurity.com), and follow along to gain hands-on experience.

Hackers leave footprints all across the Internet. Can you find their tracks and solve the case? Pick up Network Forensicsand find out.

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Table of Contents

Foreword xvii

Preface xix

Acknowledgments xxv

About the Authors xxvii

Part I: Foundation 1

Chapter 1: Practical Investigative Strategies 3

1.1 Real-World Cases 3

1.2 Footprints 8

1.3 Concepts in Digital Evidence 9

1.4 Challenges Relating to Network Evidence 16

1.5 Network Forensics Investigative Methodology (OSCAR) 17

1.6 Conclusion 22

Chapter 2: Technical Fundamentals 23

2.1 Sources of Network-Based Evidence 23

2.2 Principles of Internetworking 30

2.3 Internet Protocol Suite 35

2.4 Conclusion 44

Chapter 3: Evidence Acquisition 45

3.1 Physical Interception 46

3.2 Traffic Acquisition Software 54

3.3 Active Acquisition 65

3.4 Conclusion 72

Part II: Traffic Analysis 73

Chapter 4: Packet Analysis 75

4.1 Protocol Analysis 76

4.2 Packet Analysis 95

4.3 Flow Analysis 103

4.4 Higher-Layer Traffic Analysis 120

4.5 Conclusion 133

4.6 Case Study: Ann’s Rendezvous 135

Chapter 5: Statistical Flow Analysis 159

5.1 Process Overview 160

5.2 Sensors 161

5.3 Flow Record Export Protocols 166

5.4 Collection and Aggregation 168

5.5 Analysis 172

5.6 Conclusion 183

5.7 Case Study: The Curious Mr. X 184

Chapter 6: Wireless: Network Forensics Unplugged 199

6.1 The IEEE Layer 2 Protocol Series 201

6.2 Wireless Access Points (WAPs) 214

6.3 Wireless Traffic Capture and Analysis 219

6.4 Common Attacks 224

6.5 Locating Wireless Devices 229

6.6 Conclusion 235

6.7 Case Study: HackMe, Inc. 236

Chapter 7: Network Intrusion Detection and Analysis 257

7.1 Why Investigate NIDS/NIPS? 258

7.2 Typical NIDS/NIPS Functionality 258

7.3 Modes of Detection 261

7.4 Types of NIDS/NIPSs 262

7.5 NIDS/NIPS Evidence Acquisition 264

7.6 Comprehensive Packet Logging 267

7.7 Snort 268

7.8 Conclusion 275

7.9 Case Study: Inter0ptic Saves the Planet (Part 1 of 2) 276

Part III: Network Devices and Servers 289

Chapter 8: Event Log Aggregation, Correlation, and Analysis 291

8.1 Sources of Logs 292

8.2 Network Log Architecture 306

8.3 Collecting and Analyzing Evidence 311

8.4 Conclusion 317

8.5 Case Study: L0ne Sh4rk’s Revenge 318

Chapter 9: Switches, Routers, and Firewalls 335

9.1 Storage Media 336

9.2 Switches 336

9.3 Routers 340

9.4 Firewalls 344

9.5 Interfaces 348

9.6 Logging 352

9.7 Conclusion 355

9.8 Case Study: Ann’s Coffee Ring 356

Chapter 10: Web Proxies 369

10.1 Why Investigate Web Proxies? 369

10.2 Web Proxy Functionality 371

10.3 Evidence 375

10.4 Squid 377

10.5 Web Proxy Analysis 381

10.6 Encrypted Web Traffic 392

10.7 Conclusion 401

10.8 Case Study: Inter0ptic Saves the Planet (Part 2 of 2) 402

Part IV: Advanced Topics 421

Chapter 11: Network Tunneling 423

11.1 Tunneling for Functionality 423

11.2 Tunneling for Confidentiality 427

11.3 Covert Tunneling 430

11.4 Conclusion 439

11.5 Case Study: Ann Tunnels Underground 441

Chapter 12: Malware Forensics 461

12.1 Trends in Malware Evolution 462

12.2 Network Behavior of Malware 484

12.3 The Future of Malware and Network Forensics 491

12.4 Case Study: Ann’s Aurora 492

Afterword 519

Index 521


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