Information Security News
The attackers have come and gone and youare left behind to clean up the mess. You arrive on site to figure out how the bad guysgot in, what they took and how badly it will affect the customer. But, the customer doesnt syslog the firewall logs, so youare limited to the three days of logs that are held in thefirewalls memory. The Windows Event logs on most of the systems roll over every 5 minutes, and there is no centralized long term logging. There is no IDS. There is no full packet capture. They have removed the malware used by the attacker, deleted the attackers accounts, removed the compromised software and reinstalled the latest version of software. For good measure, they also installed a years worth of OS and software patches that were missing. Being a glutton for punishment youask if youcan take the compromised server offline to create a forensics image but you aretold management wants to tread lightly on the server. Thats Ironic goes through yourmind butdoesnt cross yourlips. No logs. No obvious forensic artifacts. The only clues left are the remains of whatever wasnt stomped on by the administrators overzealous premature clean up.
Despite the customers unintentional efforts to destroy the last remnants of proof the attackers, within a few minutes you canhavea pretty good idea of what the attackers did. After the attacker created a new account on the system they logged in using RDP. They downloaded and executed additional malware on the victims machine launching attacks on neighboring systems. After collecting up their loot, they connected to a nearby open Wi-Fi to bypass your egress monitoring and transferred the stolen database over the open WI-FI. All of these attacker actions are discoverable without doing a full forensics timeline by looking at a little-known log of all users activity on the system called SRUM.
The Windows System Resource Usage Monitor (aka SRUM) contains a wealth of information about all the activities that occur on your machine. Some of this information is visible from the APP HISTORY tab on the task manager, but a vast amount of detail collected is not displayed via the GUI. It keeps the names and paths of every application that executes on your system even the ones the attackers deleted. It records the users SID that execute the programso we knew the attacker used a temporary account that the administrators clean updeleted. It records then names of all of the networks you have connected to and how long you were connected. It also records application battery usage, CPU time broken down by foreground and background time, how many bytes were written and read from the hard drive by the application and much more. The information is stored in the
\Windows\System32\sru\ directory in a file named
SRUDB.DAT. The file is in the Windows ESE (Extensible Storage Engine) database format. So the trick is to get the data out and make sense of it.
Ovie Carrolwas telling me how invaluable the data was in one of his investigations. An excellent paper on the internals of the database by Yogesh Khatri is available in the SANS reading room. But unless you have Encase you cant access the data using his scripts. I wrote a small program called srum-dump.exe that will extract the data so you can view it using Microsoft Excel or any XLSX compatible viewer.
SRUM-DUMP will accept a fewinputs. One required input is the SRUDB.DAT file from a system you want to analyze. Another required input is an EXCEL file that specifies which fields you want to extract and what format you want them in. I provide a sample template along with the program on my GITHUB called SRUM-TEMPLATE.XLSX. You can optionally provide a copy of the SOFTWARE registry hive which is typically located in the
\Windows\System32\config\ directory if you want to resolve the names (SSID) of Wireless networks. SRUM-DUMP reads the SRUDB.DAT file, extracts it as defined in the SRUM-TEMPLATE.XLSX file and produces a new XLSX file with the results.
For example. The following will analyze the input (-i) SRUDB.DAT, the registry (-r) SOFTWARE and create an output file (-o) called example_output.xlsx. The -t option can be used to specify a template file. If no template is specified it will use SRUM-TEMPLATE.XLSX in the same directory as srum-dump.exe.
C:\srum-dumpsrum_dump.exe -i ..\SRUDB.dat -r ..\SOFTWARE -o ..\example_output.xlsx
The resulting XLSX file has multiple tabs across the bottom. Each tab is filled with useful information. In this screenshot, you can see that on the Network Usage tab that NC.EXE was used to transfer a large amount of data over a wireless network named OPENWIFI. You also have the SID of the user who ran netcat." />
And that is just from one tab!. There is a lot more information you can get from the spreadsheet. You can customize the data that is retrieved from the database by modifying the SRUM_TEMPLATE.XLSX file to meet your needs. The artifacts that are recoverable from the SRUM can change they way you do incident response!. Download a copy and give it a try. The README on the github site has more information to get you started.
Download a copy of srum-dump.exe from here: https://github.com/MarkBaggett/srum-dump
For more information on SRUM and other useful forensic artifacts check out SANS FOR408 Windows Forensics Analysis.
If you would like to add new features to SRUM-DUMP or develop similar programs check out SANS SEC573 Automating Information Security with Python.
There are two opportunities to take the Python course from me in the near future.
Follow me on twitter @MarkBaggett(c) SANS Internet Storm Center. https://isc.sans.edu Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.
A coupleof tools were updated and release today.
Network Miner was updated. Version 2.1 is not available for download. Network Miner is packet sniffer/analyzer focused on extracting application layer forensic artifacts. The update adds new protocols and enhances email reassembly options.
BlackhillsInformation Security released a Powershellversion of theDNSCAT2client. DNSCAT2 is a popular command and control tool that uses the DNS infrastructure to control hosts inside a tightly filtered perimeter. This new DNSCAT2 client is a Powershell implementation of the popular tool and will certainly be a hit with penetration testers.
by Dan Goodin
For the second time in as many years, security researchers have determined that hackers have caused a power outage in Ukraine that left customers without electricity in late December, typically one of the coldest months in that country.
The researchers' conclusion, reported by news outlets including Dark Reading, Motherboard, and the BBC, signals yet another troubling escalation in the hacking arena. A December 2015 attack that caused 225,000 Ukrainians to lose electricity was the first known instance of someone using malware to generate a real-world power outage. Ukrainian officials have pinned the attack on the Russian government, a claim that's consistent with some evidence collected by private security firms.
Now, researchers say a second power outage that struck Ukraine in mid-December was also the result of a computer intrusion and bears many of the same technical hallmarks as the first one. It was part of a series of malicious hacks that have recently targeted key Ukrainian infrastructure, including the country's rail system server, several government ministries, and a national pension fund. The attacks started on December 6 and lasted through December 20. The December 17 power outage was the result of an attack at the Pivnichna substation outside Kiev that began shortly before midnight. It lasted for about an hour.