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SQL Server Forensic Analysis

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SQL Server Forensic Analysis


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  • Copyright 2009
  • Edition: 1st
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-321-54436-6
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-321-54436-0

“What Kevvie Fowler has done here is truly amazing: He has defined, established, and documented SQL server forensic methods and techniques, exposing readers to an entirely new area of forensics along the way. This fantastic book is a much needed and incredible contribution to the incident response and forensic communities.”

—Curtis W. Rose, founder of Curtis W. Rose and Associates and coauthor of Real Digital Forensics

The Authoritative, Step-by-Step Guide to Investigating SQL Server Database Intrusions

Many forensics investigations lead to the discovery that an SQL Server database might have been breached. If investigators cannot assess and qualify the scope of an intrusion, they may be forced to report it publicly–a disclosure that is painful for companies and customers alike. There is only one way to avoid this problem: Master the specific skills needed to fully investigate SQL Server intrusions.

In SQL Server Forensic Analysis, author Kevvie Fowler shows how to collect and preserve database artifacts safely and non-disruptively; analyze them to confirm or rule out database intrusions; and retrace the actions of an intruder within a database server. A chapter-length case study reinforces Fowler’s techniques as he guides you through a real-world investigation from start to finish.

The techniques described in SQL Server Forensic Analysis can be used both to identify unauthorized data access and modifications and to gather the information needed to recover from an intrusion by restoring the pre-incident database state.

Coverage includes

  • Determining whether data was actually compromised during a database intrusion and, if so, which data
  • Real-world forensic techniques that can be applied on all SQL Server instances, including those with default logging
  • Identifying, extracting, and analyzing database evidence from both published and unpublished areas of SQL Server
  • Building a complete SQL Server incident response toolkit
  • Detecting and circumventing SQL Server rootkits
  • Identifying and recovering previously deleted database data using native SQL Server commands

SQL Server Forensic Analysis is the first book of its kind to focus on the unique area of SQL Server incident response and forensics. Whether you’re a digital forensics specialist, incident response team member, law enforcement officer, corporate security specialist, auditor, or database professional, you’ll find this book an indispensable resource.

Sample Content

Online Sample Chapter

SQL Server Forensic Investigation Scenario

Sample Pages

Download the sample pages

Table of Contents

Preface xiii

Acknowledgments xvii

About the Author xix

Chapter 1: Introduction to Databases 1

Running Chapter 1 Sample Scripts 2

Databases Explained 2

How Databases Are Used 3

Databases and COTS Applications 5

Database Structure 6

Structured Query Language (SQL) 7

Database Transactions 11

The ACID Model 11

Referential Integrity 12

Summary 15

Chapter 2: SQL Server Fundamentals 17

History of SQL Server 17

SQL Server Versions and Editions 18

Architecture 20

SQL Server Connections 24

Context Switching 25

SQL Server Databases 26

Data Storage 27

Memory Management 34

Security 34

Permissions 39

Encryption 40

Dynamic Management and Database Console Commands 42

Logging 44

SQL Server Agent 44

Summary 44

Chapter 3: SQL Server Forensics 47

The Road to SQL Server Forensics 47

SQL Server Forensics 48

SQL Server Forensic Methodology 59

Summary 61

Chapter 4: SQL Server Artifacts 63

SQL Server Artifacts 63

Resident SQL Server Artifacts 67

Nonresident SQL Server Artifacts 90

Artifact Summary 93

Summary 95

Chapter 5: SQL Server Investigation Preparedness 97

SQL Server Investigation Preparedness Overview 98

Configuring Your Forensics Workstation for a SQL Server Investigation 98

Creating a SQL Server Forensics Incident Response Toolkit 108

Summary 137

Chapter 6: Incident Verification 139

Running Chapter 6 Sample Scripts 139

Incident Verification Explained 140

What Not to Do When Investigating a Live SQL Server 141

Responding to an Incident 142

Identifying the SQL Server Instance Name 146

Connecting to a Victim System 150

Disconnecting from the Victim System 155

Identifying Signs of an Intrusion 156

Submitting Preliminary Findings 171

Summary 172

Chapter 7: Artifact Collection 173

Focus on Ad Hoc Collection 174

Running the Sample Scripts 175

Maintaining the Integrity of Collected Data 175

Automated Artifact Collection via Windows Forensic Toolchest 179

Identifying the Victim’s SQL Server Version 180

Ad Hoc Artifact Collection 181

Collecting Volatile SQL Server Artifacts 183

Collecting Nonvolatile SQL Server Artifacts 191

Summary 224

Chapter 8: Artifact Analysis I 225

Working Along with Chapter 8 Examples 226

Pre-analysis Activities 226

Authentication and Authorization 240

Configuration and Versioning 257

Summary 271

Chapter 9: Artifact Analysis II 273

Working Along with Chapter 9 Examples 273

Pre-analysis Activities 274

Activity Reconstruction 274

Data Recovery 340

Summary 356

Chapter 10: SQL Server Rootkits 357

Traditional Rootkits 357

SQL Server Rootkits: The New Threat 358

Generations of SQL Server Rootkits 359

First-Generation SQL Server Rootkits 360

How Rootkits Can Affect a SQL Server Investigation 384

Detecting Database Rootkits 384

When to Check for Database Rootkits 396

What to Do if You Find a Rootkit 396

Summary 397

Chapter 11: SQL Server Forensic Investigation Scenario 399

Scenario Overview 399

Importing Sample Artifacts 400

Investigation Synopsis 400

Incident Verification 401

Artifact Collection 406

Artifact Analysis 406

Activity Reconstruction 411

Investigation Summary 421

Appendix A: Installing SQL Server 2005 Express Edition with Advanced Services on Windows 425

Appendix B: SQL Server Incident Response Scripts 439

SSFA_DataCache.sql 439

SSFA_ClockHands.sql 440

SSFA_PlanCache.sql 441

SSFA_RecentStatements.sql 443

SSFA_Connections.sql 445

SSFA_Sessions.sql 446

SSFA_TLOG.sql 447

SSFA_DBObjects.sql 449

SSFA_Logins.sql 452

SSFA_Databases.sql 453

SSFA_DbUsers.sql 454

SSFA_Triggers.sql 456

SSFA_Jobs.sql 458

SSFA_JobHistory.sql 459

SSFA_Configurations.sql 460

SSFA_CLR.sql 461

SSFA_Schemas.sql 462

SSFA_EndPoints.sql 464

SSFA_DbSrvInfo.sql 465

SSFA_AutoEXEC.sql 466

SSFA_TimeConfig.sql 467

Index 469


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