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Baselining Windows and Comparative
Analysis: Quick and Easy
Kevin Fuller
May 2012
GIAC GSEC, GCIA, GCIH Gold, GAWN,
GSNA Gold, GPEN, GWAPT
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System Baselining
• Measurement of System Information
• Point in Time
• Well Defined
• Supports other activities
•
•
•
•
System performance measurements
Troubleshooting
Forensics
Incident Response
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The Benefit of System Baselining
• Troubleshooting
– Configuration Management
• Audit
– Baseline against audit technical standards
– Re-measure against baseline for compliance
• Incident Handling/Forensics
– Differences in known state - compromise
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The Challenge
• Time consuming process
– Manual processes
– Different tools
– Different output formats
• The result
– Not done
– Focus on certain measurements
– Familiarity with the system
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A Solution
• Commercial Product?
– Expensive
– What is under the hood
• Free and open source
• A combination of tools
– Windows Forensics Toolkit
– KDiff3
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Windows Forensics Toolchest
(WFT)
• Created by Monty McDougal
• Forensics information collection tool
• Automated batch processing script
– Windows tools
– Third party tools
• Organizes output into folder structure
– HTML and text
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KDiff3
• Created by Joachim Eibl
• Comparative analysis tool
– Two and three way comparative analysis
– Line by line
– Character by character
• It can also do a comparative analysis of
folders as well as files
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WFT Setup
• wft –fetchtools
• Copies Windows tools by version
• Helix
• Internet download
• wft –fixcfg
• Tools inventory
• Hash check
• Save output to second .cfg file
• Overwrite wft.cfg with second .cfg
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Using WFT
• Default start = Interactive mode
• Series of questions
• Defaults good enough
• Volume C on multi-volume systems
• Output
• Organized by System Name, date/time
• HTML output
• Text output
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WFT
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WFT HTML Report
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Running KDiff3
• Must be installed on a Windows system
• Load original baseline and latest run
– Select the output directory
– Use text versions
• Lines up the files(s) content
– Differences noted
– Details color coded
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KDiff3
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Gotchas
• Some tools missing after setup
• Helix version
• Windows 7
– UAC
– Some tools will not work
• False Positives
• You must still analyze the output!
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Summary
• Budget constraints, increased threats
• System baselining is more important than ever
• Tools such as WFT and KDiff3 can increase
efficiencies through automation
• The output still must be analyzed
• For more information see “Quick and Effective
Windows System Baselining and Comparative Analysis
for Troubleshooting and Incident Response” in the
SANS Reading Room (http://bit.ly/AkBHJd )
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