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belkasoft has written 17 posts for Forensic Focus – Articles

SSD and eMMC Forensics 2016 – Part 3

What Has Changed in 2016 in the Way SSD Drives Self-Destruct Evidence: Demystifying eMMC, M.2, NVMe, and PCI-E. by Yuri Gubanov & Oleg Afonin © Belkasoft Research 2016 In the previous part of the article, we talked about eMMC storages and external SSDs. We also mentioned TRIM when talking about trimming behavior of eMMC. We will talk … Continue reading

SSD and eMMC Forensics 2016 – Part 2

What Has Changed in 2016 in the Way SSD Drives Self-Destruct Evidence. Demystifying eMMC, M.2, NVMe, and PCI-E. by Yuri Gubanov, Oleg Afonin © Belkasoft Research 2016 In the first part of this article, we reviewed different kinds of the most commonly used modern SSDs (M.2, PCI-E, NVMe devices) and talked about acquisition of these … Continue reading

SSD and eMMC Forensics 2016

What Has Changed in 2016 in the Way SSD Drives Self-Destruct Evidence. Demystifying eMMC, M.2, NVMe, and PCI-E. by Yuri Gubanov, Oleg Afonin © Belkasoft Research 2016 This publication continues the series started with an article on SSD forensics we published in 2012. We investigated the issues of SSD self-corrosion, demystified trimming, garbage collection and … Continue reading

The Future of Mobile Forensics: November 2015 Follow-Up

by Oleg Afonin, Danil Nikolaev, Yuri Gubanov Mobile forensics is a moving target. In our recent article, “The Future of Mobile Forensics”, we described acquisition techniques that used to be state-of-the art back then. Weeks later, some things had changed already. Three months after the publication a lot of things have changed. Our publication was … Continue reading

Countering Anti-Forensic Efforts – Part 2

by Oleg Afonin, Danil Nikolaev, Yuri Gubanov © Belkasoft Research 2015 In the first part of this paper we talked about the most common – and also some of the simplest – ways suspects can try to cover their tracks in an attempt to slow down the investigation. This part of the article is dedicated … Continue reading

Countering Anti-Forensic Efforts – Part 1

by Oleg Afonin, Danil Nikolaev & Yuri Gubanov © Belkasoft Research 2015 Computer forensic techniques allow investigators to collect evidence from various digital devices. Tools and techniques exist allowing discovery of evidence that is difficult to get, including destroyed, locked, or obfuscated data. At the same time, criminals routinely make attempts to counter forensic efforts … Continue reading

NAS Forensics Explained

by Oleg Afonin, Danil Nikolaev & Yuri Gubanov © Belkasoft Research 2015 Network Attached Storage (NAS) have a long track history of corporate deployments. Their scaled-down versions (ranging from single-bay to four-drive enclosures) are frequently used at homes and in offices. These smaller-size appliances are often called “personal clouds” for providing some parts of functionality … Continue reading

The Future of Mobile Forensics

by Oleg Afonin, Danil Nikolaev & Yuri Gubanov © Belkasoft Research 2015 Most would agree that the golden age of mobile forensics is over. There is no longer an easy way to get through the passcode in new iOS devices running the latest version of iOS. Chip-off acquisition is dead for iOS devices due to … Continue reading

Acquiring Windows PCs

by Oleg Afonin, Danil Nikolaev and Yuri Gubanov In our previous article, we talked about acquiring tablets running Windows 8 and 8.1. In this publication, we will talk about the acquisition of Windows computers – desktops and laptops. This class of devices has their own share of surprises when it comes to acquisition. The obvious … Continue reading

Capturing RAM Dumps and Imaging eMMC Storage on Windows Tablets

Oleg Afonin, Danil Nikolaev, Yuri Gubanov © Belkasoft Research 2015 While Windows desktops and laptops are relatively easy to acquire, the same cannot be said about portable Windows devices such as tablets and convertibles (devices with detachable keyboards). Having no FireWire ports and supplied with a limited set of external ports, these devices make attaching … Continue reading

Forensic Analysis of SQLite Databases: Free Lists, Write Ahead Log, Unallocated Space and Carving

SQLite is a widely popular database format that is used extensively pretty much everywhere. Both iOS and Android employ SQLite as a storage format of choice, with built-in and third-party applications relying on SQLite to keep their data. A wide range of desktop and mobile Web browsers (Chrome, Firefox) and instant messaging applications use SQLite, … Continue reading

Recovering Evidence from SSD Drives in 2014: Understanding TRIM, Garbage Collection and Exclusions

We published an article on SSD forensics in 2012. SSD self-corrosion, TRIM and garbage collection were little known and poorly understood phenomena at that time, while encrypting and compressing SSD controllers were relatively uncommon. In 2014, many changes happened. We processed numerous cases involving the use of SSD drives and gathered a lot of statistical … Continue reading

Understanding Rootkits: Using Memory Dump Analysis for Rootkit Detection

Dmitry Korolev, Yuri Gubanov, Oleg Afonin research@belkasoft.com © Belkasoft Research, 2013 Every rootkit employs a wide range of masquerading techniques to prevent its detection. Anti-virus and anti-malware tools must perform what is called, in forensic terms, “live box analysis”, performing a real-time scan of a live system. No wonder rootkits can actively resist detection by … Continue reading

Detecting Forged (Altered) Images

Are digital images submitted as court evidence genuine or have the pictures been altered or modified? We developed a range of algorithms performing automated authenticity analysis of JPEG images, and implemented them into a commercially available forensic tool. The tool produces a concise estimate of the image’s authenticity, and clearly displays the probability of the … Continue reading

Catching the ghost: how to discover ephemeral evidence with Live RAM analysis

Oleg Afonin and Yuri Gubanov, contact@belkasoft.com © Belkasoft Research, 2013 Belkador Dali. “Losing volatile Evidence”. All rights reserved.  Ephemeral Evidence Until very recently, it was a standard practice for European law enforcement agencies to approach running computers with a “pull-the-plug” attitude without recognizing the amount of evidence lost with the content of the computer’s volatile … Continue reading