From a twitter post, a cool video on imaging with X-Ways noted (13:50) as doing something other tools don’t. The entire video is actually pretty good too.
Eric is at it again. This time with a pretty cool update to the X-Ways Forensics Install Manager (v0.0.7.0). The update to the XWFIM now includes an option to create a portable install to external media. Page 13 of the Practitioner’s Guide to X-Ways Forensics details how to do this manually, but XWFIM does it for you with a few clicks.
Another cool little feature is that the XWFIM creates all the case folders for you in the process of the portable install. Neat.
Don’t forget, if you liked the Practitioner’s Guide to X-Ways Forensics, write a review on Amazon to let us know how you liked it (or if you didn’t…). And if you use XWF and didn’t buy the guide…you are missing out on more than a few tips and tricks that will save you dozens of keystrokes.
I cannot imagine anyone who uses XWF not having Eric Zimmerman‘s XWFIM. Every time I use it, I wonder how I did without it. XWFIM is available through the XWF support forum. It’s free, but you need a license for XWF to get it.
Eric constantly adds little things to it, much like Stefan adds ‘little’ things to X-Ways Forensics. One of the latest little additions is the selection box to “Include pre-release versions” which is pretty cool.
And if you haven’t bought the XWF Guide yet and you use the XWFIM, just click the book’s graphic and you can have the guide on your Kindle in about 30 seconds.
Consider the differences between X-Ways v12 below:
With the current version 17:
They look the same!
XWF has had literally hundreds upon hundreds of significant updates over this time between v12 and v17, but the interface and usage remains constant. Personally, I enjoy an update to a program that looks the same, the buttons are in the same place, and there are new features to use. The last thing I want is a totally different interface, buttons where I have to hunt and peck to find or miss completely, or have to take another class from the vendor to be told how to use their new fandangle program.
It’s nice to know that in 10 years, XWF will probably look the same, even though I know it will be able to do so much more then, I’ll be able to use it without skipping a beat.
This is also the reason that the XWF Guide will carry you through the next many years without having to worry about a major change in operation of XWF. What other manual or guide can say that?
A faster WinFE build is available on http://winfe.wordpress.com/ that includes a script to add XWF to the build. Of course, you have to have a license for XWF for the script to add it to the build. As of now, it includes FTK Imager and dd tools, with more on the way to add. The build method is a beta only because more apps are being added that need to be tested. Other than that, it works great with FTK Imager, XWF, and a few other small apps. The goal is to put several imaging options on it for user preference.
There is no difference between the write protection in this faster build as it uses Colin Ramsden’s write protection application, but the main difference is that you can build a WinFE ISO file in less than 5 minutes, start to finish. You can burn it to a CD or make a bootable USB within 5 more minutes, giving you a WinFE in about 10 minutes time, starting from pushing the button and having a WinFE CD/DVD/USB in your hand.
Although this is meant to be the fastest method to build an acquisition boot OS, with X-Ways, you can still do a heck of a lot more than just imaging with WinFE. And just because it only takes 10 minutes doesn’t mean WinFE is a minor forensic tool. With XWF, WinFE is way more than just something you can throw together to image. It’s really neat.
I’m in the process of creating working materials to go along with the XWF Guide in the form of exercises and test images. I expect to be finished in 2014 or 2015 or …(it all depends on time available). The materials will be freely available but will really only work best with the XWF Guide. And yes, I know I can use images already available, like at http://digitalcorpora.org/corpora/disk-images, but these datasets will be made to demonstrate all the neat things detailed in the XWF Guide.
One thing I’d like to point out regarding an issue with creating forensic images when giving images to students that contain data may violate the EULA if distributed. Files like commercial programs and operating systems. Anyone that deals with this in training will be happy with how XWF can be used to address this problem.
With the “Cleansed Image” option of XWF, simply exclude/hide any and all files that would violate any privacy concerns or EULA violations before creating the image. Then create the image 🙂
This gives you a complete (minus excluded files) disk image without worrying about violating a EULA. You could do this the hard way by using WinHex to overwrite every single file in question. Or you can mass exclude files in one fell swoop with XWF and bam. Image done. Now you have something to give out to your class.
I’ve always wondered why some instructors give out complete images of a single system and make the student “promise” not to distribute the files…that is a bit too trusting in my opinion. And come on, you know who you are…
<and I’ll leak a little information from the book on the cleansed image feature. you can use this technique to remove private/privileged/protected data from an image to comply with a court order but can’t produce specific protected data on the image. an example being a civil case where you need to turn over an image to the opposing expert but have privileged files on the image. don’t hex edit it, cleanse it!>
The XWF Guide has dozens of these kinds of tips and tricks, but you get one today for free. Get the book for the rest of the tips and tricks, you will without a doubt, find something worthwhile that will save you hours or days of work.
Magnet Forensics provides a FREE tool at http://info.magnetforensics.com/tsv-to-tln-converter, which converts the X-Ways generated TSV file into the TLN format. From the tutorial, this looks to be pretty neat and you can’t beat the price either.
The tutorial on how to use the TSV to TLN Converter can be found at: http://www.magnetforensics.com/convert-x-ways-tsv-data-into-tln-data-for-ief-timeline/
Just released version 0.5.4 of XWFIM.
Change: Renamed Settings.bin to xwfim.bin since people seemed to run both XWFIM and XWFRT from same directory and this caused problems
Change: Updated book cover image and URL when clicking on the book image
Change: Delete any old viewer directories before unzipping a new version to avoid file inconsistencies across viewer versions
If you get a crash about “key not found” or similar, delete settings.bin and restart. Prior to this release, both XWFIM and XWFRT used the same file, settings.bin, to store configuration data. If you can both programs from the same directory this would cause issues.
This update will download automatically once you start XWFIM. Click the lower right corner of the application for details.
Several fixes based on user testing in this build to include:
- Added Undo button to reverse the tweaking process
- Rearranged GUI to make it less congested
- Undo tweaking automagically if an error occurs to keep report in a known good state
- A bunch of processing fixes to allow for tweaking more than one report in a row
Just released version 0.0.4.8 that includes fixes for international users. The issue had to do with date/time formats and the use of non period decimal separators.
Both should be fixed, but if any of our international friends are having issues, please shoot me an email and I will get it resolved ASAP