Sunday, April 27, 2014

The Master File Table - Part 1

The New Technology File System (or NTFS) is a file system developed by Microsoft and is the primary file system being used by Microsoft Windows for quite some time.  There are many files that are used to track metadata in the NTFS file system.  One tool that the Sleuth Kit provides for us is the istat command.  This command provides us with some really fantastic metadata information.  But before we do that lets use the mmls command and take a look at our partitions.

$ mmls nps-2008-jean.E01
DOS Partition Table
Offset Sector: 0
Units are in 512-byte sectors

     Slot    Start        End          Length       Description
00:  Meta    0000000000   0000000000   0000000001   Primary Table (#0)
01:  -----   0000000000   0000000062   0000000063   Unallocated
02:  00:00   0000000063   0020948759   0020948697   NTFS (0x07)
03:  -----   0020948760   0020971519   0000022760   Unallocated

Remember when working with the Sleuth Kit file based commands we need to point our commands to the correct partition and inode number.  So lets look at this istat command.

$ istat -o63 nps-2008-jean.E01 4577
MFT Entry Header Values:
Entry: 4577        Sequence: 1
$LogFile Sequence Number: 20517559
Allocated File
Links: 1

Flags: Archive
Owner ID: 0
Security ID: 279  (S-1-5-32-544)
Created: 2008-05-13 18:21:17 (EDT)
File Modified: 2008-05-13 18:21:17 (EDT)
MFT Modified: 2008-05-13 18:21:17 (EDT)
Accessed: 2008-05-13 18:21:17 (EDT)

$FILE_NAME Attribute Values:
Flags: Archive
Name: mdmati.PNF
Parent MFT Entry: 45 Sequence: 1
Allocated Size: 0   Actual Size: 0
Created: 2008-05-13 18:21:17 (EDT)
File Modified: 2008-05-13 18:21:17 (EDT)
MFT Modified: 2008-05-13 18:21:17 (EDT)
Accessed: 2008-05-13 18:21:17 (EDT)

Type: $STANDARD_INFORMATION (16-0)   Name: N/A   Resident   size: 72
Type: $FILE_NAME (48-2)   Name: N/A   Resident   size: 86
Type: $DATA (128-3)   Name: N/A   Non-Resident   size: 77752  init_size: 77752
1227963 1227964 1227965 1227966 1227967 1227968 1227969 1227970 
1227971 1227972 1227973 1227974 1227975 1227976 1227977 1227978 

1227979 1227980 1227981 

We can see that the istat command is used with an image offset of 63 bytes, pointing to out NTFS partition, and inode number 4577.  So where does this command get this information from?  This information is being pulled from the system file $MFT.  MFT stands for Master File Table.  The MFT is a file which stores its data in a RAW form.  We are going to look at this raw data in my next post but lets prepare our system first.

HEXADECIMAL or hex is a common way to review stored data and is how we will be reviewing the Master File Table.  I have written a blog post on what hex is here.  Lets prepare a file that we can easily access with a hex editor a viewer later on.

$ icat -o63 nps-2008-jean.E01 0 > mft.raw

We have just created a file called mft.raw that is a copy of the $MFT from our E01 file which we can review with a hex editor.  We have used hd in the past but lets use something a little more powerful.

$ sudo apt-get install ghex

Alright, we have prepared our system to review the copy of the $MFT that we created.  I am not giong to get into manually parsing this right now but if you are interested in viewing the contents of this file now you can use the following command:

$ ghex mft.raw

We will review this further in the next post.  Until next time, ENJOY!

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