Volatility 3 Memory Forensics CheatSheet


Memory forensics is a crucial aspect of digital investigations, helping analysts uncover valuable information from a system’s volatile memory. Volatility, a powerful open-source tool, serves as an indispensable ally in the world of memory forensics. In this blog post, we will delve into the realm of volatility, exploring its capabilities and usage through a step-by-step guide.

Memory Forensics with Volatility: A Guide

Step 1: Identifying the Memory Dump Profile

The first step in memory forensics using Volatility is to determine the profile of your memory dump file. To do this, use the following command:

shellCopy codevolatility -f Path_To_File imageinfo

The imageinfo command helps identify the profile of the memory dump, which is essential for further analysis.

Fundamental Volatility Commands

Once you’ve identified the memory dump’s profile, you can start utilizing Volatility’s powerful plugins. Here are some fundamental commands to get you started:

List All Processes

shellCopy codevolatility -f Path_To_File --profile=Profile_Name pslist

The pslist command provides a list of all processes running in memory at the time of the memory dump.

Detect Hidden Processes

shellCopy codevolatility -f Path_To_File --profile=Profile_Name psxview

The psxview command compares different data sources to detect hidden or unlisted processes in memory.

List Executed Commands

shellCopy codevolatility -f Path_To_File --profile=Profile_Name cmdscan

The cmdscan command lists all executed commands from the memory dump, providing insight into user activity.

View Executed Command Output

shellCopy codevolatility -f Path_To_File --profile=Profile_Name consoles

The consoles command reveals the output of commands executed from consoles, which can help trace user actions.

Retrieve Clipboard Content

shellCopy codevolatility -f Path_To_File --profile=Profile_Name clipboard

The clipboard command retrieves content from the system’s clipboard, potentially uncovering sensitive information.

View Environment Variables

shellCopy codevolatility -f Path_To_File --profile=Profile_Name envars

The envars command displays environment variables from the memory dump, offering clues about the system’s configuration.

Scan for Files

shellCopy codevolatility -f Path_To_File --profile=Profile_Name filescan | grep Documents

The filescan command scans memory for file objects, and you can use grep to filter results for specific directories.

Dump Files

shellCopy codevolatility -f Path_To_File --profile=Profile_Name -Q 0x0000000017663e7 -D .

Use the -Q option with an address to dump specific files from memory for further analysis.

Dump Memory of Specific Processes

shellCopy codevolatility -f Path_To_File --profile=Profile_Name memdump -P 231 -D .

The memdump command allows you to dump the memory of specific processes for closer inspection.

View Process Commands

shellCopy codevolatility -f Path_To_File --profile=Profile_Name -P 123,234 cmdline

The cmdline command shows the command line arguments for specific processes, providing insight into their behavior.

Explore Deleted and Modified Files

shellCopy codevolatility -f Path_To_File --profile=Profile_Name mftparser

The mftparser command allows you to examine the Master File Table, uncovering deleted or modified files.

Retrieve Last Shutdown Time

shellCopy codevolatility -f Path_To_File --profile=Profile_Name shutdowntime

The shutdowntime command reveals the system’s last shutdown time, helping establish a timeline of events.

Capture Screenshots

shellCopy codevolatility -f Path_To_File --profile=Profile_Name screenshot -D .

The screenshot command captures and saves screenshots of active desktops, providing visual evidence of user activity.

Search for Interesting Strings

shellCopy codestrings Challenge.raw | grep "Mega"
strings Challenge.raw | grep "Pastebin"
strings Challenge.raw | grep "Passwords"
strings Challenge.raw | grep "Flag{"

Use the strings command to search for specific keywords in memory dumps, which can highlight potentially sensitive data.

Leveraging External Plugins

Extend Volatility’s functionality by installing additional plugins like Chrome history and Firefox history analyzers. Clone the GitHub repository for these plugins:

shellCopy codegit clone https://github.com/superponible/volatility-plugins

Practice for Proficiency

To hone your memory forensic skills, consider working on real-world challenges. The “MemLabs” GitHub repository offers six challenges, ranging from basic to advanced, providing an excellent opportunity for hands-on practice.

MemLabs GitHub Repository

For Windows Users:
If you’re using Windows, you can also use Auto-spy software to perform memory forensics.

In conclusion, Volatility is an indispensable tool for memory forensics, enabling investigators to extract valuable insights from volatile memory dumps. By mastering its commands and plugins, you can become a proficient memory forensics analyst, uncovering critical evidence in digital investigations.

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