Chapter 15. Memory Forensics with Volatility

Memory forensics refers to finding and extracting forensic artifacts from a computer's physical memory, otherwise known as RAM. RAM contains critical information about the runtime state of the system while the system is active. By capturing an entire copy of RAM and analyzing it on a separate computer, it is possible to reconstruct the state of the original system, including what applications were running, which files those applications were accessing, which network connections were active, and many other artifacts. For these reasons, memory forensics is extremely important to incident response. However, as you might have guessed, especially because you're reading a book called Malware Analyst's Cookbook, you can also use memory forensics to assist with unpacking, rootkit detection, and reverse engineering. This chapter provides an introduction to some tools you can use to capture memory and show you how to begin analyzing these memory samples with Volatility.

Memory Acquisition

Before dumping the memory of a target machine, you have to decide which tool to use for the acquisition. Most tools work consistently across different configurations in terms of architecture, operating system version, and size of physical memory, but there are some that do not. The worst thing you can do is try to dump memory of a 64-bit machine with 8GB of RAM using a tool that only supports 32-bit machines with 4GB of RAM. In this case, you may cause a Blue Screen ...

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