FOR518: Mac Forensic Analysis
Digital forensic investigators have traditionally dealt with Windows machines, but what if they find themselves in front of a new Apple Mac or iDevice? The increasing popularity of Apple devices can be seen everywhere, from coffee shops to corporate boardrooms, yet most investigators are familiar with Windows-only machines.
Times and trends change and forensic investigators and analysts need to change with them. The new FOR518: Mac Forensic Analysis course provides the tools and techniques necessary to take on any Mac case without hesitation. The intense hands-on forensic analysis skills taught in the course will enable Windows-based investigators to broaden their analysis capabilities and have the confidence and knowledge to comfortably analyze any Mac or iOS system.
The FOR518: Mac Forensic Analysis Course will teach you:
- Mac Fundamentals: How to analyze and parse the Hierarchical File System (HFS+) file system by hand and recognize the specific domains of the logical file system and Mac-specific file types.
- User Activity: How to understand and profile users through their data files and preference configurations.
- Advanced Analysis and Correlation: How to determine how a system has been used or compromised by using the system and user data files in correlation with system log files.
- Mac Technologies: How to understand and analyze many Mac-specific technologies, including Time Machine, Spotlight, iCloud, Versions, FileVault, AirDrop, and FaceTime.
FOR518: Mac Forensic Analysis aims to form a well-rounded investigator by introducing Mac forensics into a Windows-based forensics world. This course focuses on topics such as the HFS+ file system, Mac specific data files, tracking user activity, system configuration, analysis and correlation of Mac logs, Mac applications, and Mac exclusive technologies. A computer forensic analyst who successfully completes the course will have the skills needed to take on a Mac forensics case.
FOR518 Will Prepare You To:
- Parse the HFS+ file system by hand, using only a cheat sheet and a hex editor.
- Determine the importance of each file system domain.
- Conduct temporal analysis of a system by correlating data files and log analysis.
- Profile an individual's usage of the system, including how often they used the system, what applications they frequented, and their personal system preferences.
- Determine remote or local data backups, disk images, or other attached devices.
- Find encrypted containers and FileVault volumes, understand keychain data, and crack Mac passwords.
- Analyze and understand Mac metadata and their importance in the Spotlight database, Time Machine, and Extended Attributes.
- Develop a thorough knowledge of the Safari Web Browser and Apple Mail applications.
- Identify communication with other users and systems though iChat, Messages, FaceTime, Remote Login, Screen Sharing, and AirDrop.
- Conduct an intrusion analysis of a Mac for signs of compromise or malware infection.
- Acquire and analyze memory from Mac systems.
- Acquire iOS and analyze devices in-depth.
- In-Depth HFS+ File System Examination
- File System Timeline Analysis
- Advanced Computer Forensics Methodology
- Mac-Specific Acquisition and Incident Response Collection
- Mac Memory Acquisition and Analysis
- File System Data Analysis
- Metadata Analysis
- Recovery of Key Mac Files
- Volume and Disk Image Analysis
- Analysis of Mac Technologies, including Time Machine, Spotlight, and FileVault
- Advanced Log Analysis and Correlation
- iDevice Analysis and iOS Artifacts
|FOR518.1: Mac Essentials and the HFS+ File System|
This section introduces the student to Mac system fundamentals such as acquisition, the Hierarchical File System (HFS+), timestamps, and logical file system structure. Acquisition fundamentals are the same with Mac systems, but there are a few Mac-specific tips and tricks that can be used to successfully and easily collect Mac systems for analysis. The building blocks of Mac Forensics start with a thorough understanding of the HFS+. Utilizing a hex editor, the student will learn the basic principles of the primary file system implemented on Mac OS X systems. Students comfortable with Windows forensic analysis can easily learn the slight differences on a Mac system: the data are the same, only the format differs.
CPE/CMU Credits: 6
HFS+ File System
|FOR518.2: User Domain File Analysis|
The logical Mac file system is made up of four domains; User, Local, System, and Network. The User Domain contains most of the user-related items of forensic interest. This domain consists of user preferences and configurations, e-mail, Internet history, and user-specific application data. This section contains a wide array of information that can be used to profile and understand how individuals use their computers.
CPE/CMU Credits: 6
User Home Directory
User Account Information
User Data Analysis
Internet & E-mail
Native Mac Applications
|FOR518.3: System and Local Domain File Analysis|
The System and Local Domains contain system-specific information such as application installation, system settings and preferences, and system logs. This sections details basic system information, GUI preferences, and system application data. A basic analysis of system logs can give a good understanding of how a system was used . . . or abused.
Timeline analysis tells the story of how the system was used. Each entry in a log file has a specific meaning and may be able to tell how the user interacted with the computer. The log entries can be correlated with other data found on the system to create an in-depth timeline that can be used to solve cases quickly and efficiently. Analysis tools and techniques will be used to correlate the data and help the student put the story back together in a coherent and meaningful way.
CPE/CMU Credits: 6
Timeline Analysis & Correlation
|FOR518.4: Advanced Analysis Topics|
Mac systems implement some technologies that are available only to those with Mac devices. These include data backup with Time Machine, Versions, and iCloud; extensive file metadata with Extended Attributes and Spotlight; and disk encryption with FileVault. Other advanced topics include data hidden in encrypted containers, Mac intrusion and malware analysis, Mac Server, and Mac memory analysis.
CPE/CMU Credits: 6
Cracking Passwords & Encrypted Containers
Malware & Antivirus
Memory Acquisition & Analysis
Portable OS X Artifacts
Mac OS X Server
|FOR518.5: iOS Forensics|
From iPods to iPhones to iPads, it seems everyone has at least one of these devices. Apple iDevices are seen in the hands of millions of people. Much of what goes on in our lives is often stored on them. Forensic analysis of these iOS devices can provide an investigator with an incredible amount of information. Data on these iOS devices will be explored to teach the student what key files exist on them and what advanced analysis techniques can be used to exploit them for investigations.
CPE/CMU Credits: 6
History of iOS Devices
iOS Analytical Tool Overview
iOS Artifacts Recovered from OS X Systems
iOS File System
iOS Artifacts & Areas of Evidentiary Value
|FOR518.6: The Mac Forensics Challenge|
Students will put their new Mac forensics skills to the test by completing the following tasks:
CPE/CMU Credits: 6
!! IMPORTANT - BRING YOUR OWN SYSTEM CONFIGURED USING THESE DIRECTIONS !!
Mac System Setup Guide: https://www.sans.org/security-resources/for518-mac-system-setup-guide-v1.1.pdf
It is critical that you follow the pre-class setup guide for your Mac found here: https://www.sans.org/security-resources/for518-mac-system-setup-guide-v1.1.pdf. This pre-class Mac system setup guide is crucial to follow prior to attending class the first day. The guide is a detailed step-by-step walk through of a variety of downloads and configuration steps needed to prep your system for an in-depth and exciting week of Mac forensics. Please follow all of the steps correctly otherwise your enjoyment of the class could be impacted. We recommend setting up your system at home as hotel internet might not be adequate to finalize the setup prior to class. Please do not wait until the night before class to follow the setup guide.
A properly configured Mac system is required for each student participating in this course. Before coming to class, carefully read and follow these instructions exactly.
MANDATORY FOR518 SYSTEM HARDWARE REQUIREMENTS:
MANDATORY FOR518 SYSTEM SOFTWARE REQUIREMENTS:
Install the following on your host machine:
If you have additional questions about the laptop specifications, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Who Should Attend|
|What You Will Receive|
|Press & Reviews|
"Really excellent course. Fantastic resource in the classroom material. Forensic challenge the last day was very fun" - Anonymous
"Best MAC class anywhere" - Eric Koebelen, Incident Response US
"It was very interesting to learn that certain "forensic" tools could report data as being encrypted even though one could still get other data" - Gary Titus, Stroz Friedberg LLC
"Best course I know about on MAC Forensic. Like the use of mostly "ghetto" tools" - Anonymous
"Solid background for investigations new to MAC" - Eric Mak, Google
"Best of any course I've ever taken. I love the idea of being able to bring home and review" - Eric Koebelen, Incident Response US
"The depth of time exercise was outstanding. One can tell the amount of work that went into it" - Gary Titus, Stroz Friedberg LLC
Take your learning beyond the classroom. Explore our site network for additional resources related to this course's subject matter.
*CPE/CMU credits not offered for the SelfStudy delivery method