Category Archives: Digital Forensics

Remnux and Docker

At work, we have this thing on Fridays called power up time.  It is the last 4 hours of the week to work on personal projects, test new ideas to see if they are worth implementing, or self improvement.  Most weeks it is when I get to look at the most tickets doing Tactical level intelligence since the rest of the week is filled with project or priority case work.

Recently while working on tactical level information for SOC tickets, I was able to add in a little fun, and actually power up.  I wanted to do some reverse engineering of the malware associated with the  ticket, to see if there was more IOCs that could be extracted.

Earlier in the day I read an email in the SANS DFIR alumni list, which included someone talking about using Remnux with docker.  So later in the the day working the ticket, and because I didn’t have a Remnux box, I decided to check out the docker containers.  This was also my first time working with docker as well.  Starting at Lenny Zeltzer’s Remnux Docker Site.

I went to my linux vm, a box that gets reset to the fresh installed state via snapshot after each use.  After a sudo apt install and a sudo docker pull remnux/pescanner I had the container.

I ran it and learned a little bit about docker. I also got an understanding of some of the information that VirusTotal displays under the detail tab.

Script(s) to extract HTTP Host data from file

A while ago, created a new repository on GitHub for the scripts I wrote for DFIR. Since then, it only had the Computer Ping script in it. Today I added the first of the Extractor scripts.

The first extractor script, came about from a web based tool I used. It would run on a file uploaded to it, and then list a bunch of indicators, system artifacts, url calls outs, network communication, etc. However the tool didn’t have a good export mechanism at the time. So I would copy and paste everything to a text file, and then extract the url host details from the text files. Mainly so I could add the URL indicators to the web proxy.

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Script(s) to ping a computer

I re-wrote a script I use at work. It was a messy bit of Python 3 previously. While it’s still not the cleanest of python scripts, it scratches my itch. It was originally just a straight line of commands with lots of repeated code. I made some functions and made it a little more modular. I know I need to learn PEP8, and start following it. This was just to improve something that I wrote previously with things I learned from Automate the Boring Stuff with Python.

I’ve shared it via my GitHub repository for DFIR scripts. They’re clean (not tied to any company). There is only Computer Ping for right now. There are 3 scripts all based on the same idea.

Ping a computer, if it is down, keep trying every 10 minutes for 1 hour. Pop an “alert” if the target is up, or the script finished before it came up.

  • 1 version for Windows running python (
  • 1 version for Windows running Cygwin (
  • 1 version for boxes running Linux. (

I’ll write others and upload to the repository as I have time / re-write stuff I use. They might not all be Python, but my goal is to be more Python than not.

CSEC630 Lab 2

Ok. The lab was pretty much what I expected.

Click this Panic button to reset everything. Go look at this pcap in Wireshark. Run this command in cmd.exe (and even walks the student through opening a term window by go to the start button, type cmd in the run box).

Run Snort with the test option on a pre-defined rule set using the pcap you looked at. Modify the same rule multiple times, enabling and disabling an alert each time. Run to see the difference.

Answer these 10 questions.

The last question was how to improve the class… I forgot to say use a Linux VM instead of a Windows VM. Since one of my answers did require Grep. Which means copy and paste from the VM lab to my box connected to the lab.

One more post on Open Source Tools and DF in court.

Email from the professor this morning (Emphasis added by professor):

We also had some discussion regarding tool acceptance in court.  I wanted to provide some additional detail on this.  Remember its the testimony of the witness that is being accepted.  *Disclaimer I am not an attorney* Rule 702 of the Federal Rules of Evidence (FRE) say the following:

Rule 702. A witness who is qualified as an expert by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education may testify in the form of an opinion or otherwise if:

(a) the expert’s scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge will help the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue;

(b) the testimony is based on sufficient facts or data;

(c) the testimony is the product of reliable principles and methods; and

(d) the expert has reliably applied the principles and methods to the facts of the case.


While several FRE rules discuss acceptance of evidence (Rules 401-404) and testimony( Article VI  and Article VII) 702 explains much. …  Michigan’s Rules of Evidence follows the FRE closely.

a little less confused now.

So, I went and looked things up on my own, in regards to my last post about being a little confused on Digital Forensics and Open Source Tools. Like usual, Google is your friend.

The search term I used was: “digital forensics open source tools court approved”, without the quotes. Which returned this page:

I think the best line out of everything I read was:

Saying that one tool is court approved and another is not, is like saying you can take crime scene photos with a Nikon, but not a Kodak. It’s just silly, and it’s a myth perpetuated by those who seek to benefit from the existence of such a rumor.

The Digital Standard
That really does make sense. When you think about it, it is the person on the stand and their testimony that is being checked. Yes, methodology and procedure go with the testimony but why would one tool matter, as long as it gets the same results as the expert from the other side. Does it have to have all the fancy bells and whistles, or does it just have to get the job done?

One thing that has bothered me about the “No open source tools” argument is that DD for raw disk copies is acceptable. Most of the other tools doe the same work and then add compression or other bells and whistles, but really are based off it. So why is it O.K. to use some of the tools but not all.

A little confused about Digital Forensics and the tools to use

So I took Digital Forensics 1 at Eastern. The professor that taught the class owns his own forensics business. One of the things the professor kept repeating through out the semester: “You can’t use Open Source Tools for Forensics, it won’t stand up in court”. “You have to use Court approved tools, tools that the court has accepted in previous trials”.

Tonight, we started Digital Forensics 2. It’s a different professor. This one does Digital Forensics for a living as well for the Department of Justice. He said that you can use Open Source tools for Forensics, does so regularly, and testifies in court for it. This professor said there are no such thing as court approved tools, even though that Encase claims otherwise in their marketing material.

So I’m confused. Can you or can you not use Open Source tools Digital Forensics? I know there are books on the subject like Digital Forensics with Open Source Tools by Cory Altheid, but don’t know how it’s viewed over all when using Open Source tools.