Category Archives: Threat Hunt

How to Quickly Analyze a PCAP File

 I am so excited to introduce NFPA – a Network Forensic Processing & Analysis tool! 

NFPA – Network Forensic Processing & Analysis

My purpose behind NFPA tool is to provide Cybersecurity analysts a more efficient and automated (“click & forget”) means of executing commonly-used, open-source network forensics utilities and analysis queries against a piece of network evidence (PCAP).

NFPA tool helps optimize investigations by reducing errors that are typically involved in manually processing and analyzing network-based evidence through various popular tools and command-line options. 

Using NFPA, an analyst can:

  1. quickly process case evidence through various popular tools and utilities all by a simple script execution
  2. review results from 60+ individual, multi-purpose queries pre-ran again the evidence
  3. view the native output from all of the evidence process utilities – providing the opportunity for any validation or further analysis

All of the above is organized in an easy-to-understand structure which allows the analyst to quickly find answers as well as the authoritative source of those answers. 

Here is a quick demo of NFPA in action:

A key requirement when designing NFPA was to keep dependencies as minimum as possible. I wanted to make sure I leverage a platform that is already commonly used by analysts which is pre-configured with all of the necessary tools and capabilities. This would allow analysts to instantly begin their work on investigations and not have to deal with the underlying system engineering.

To that end, here is the only dependency:

Additionally, the NFPA is built-in Bash. Which means you do not have to import any specific libraries or run a certain version. Another advantage of using Bash is that you will most likely be able to run NFPA on other Linux distributions (may need to install some purpose-built network forensic tools separately).

The first version of the tool is now available on Github. Please check it out and let me know what you think!

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What your CMD command line security is missing

Here is what your should do to increase your cmd command line security
Gap in Your Command-line Security

I want to write a follow-up on my last post about chain-of-commands not properly being captured by many defensive tools. During further research and testing, I observed that built-in Windows Command line actions are also not captured.

For instance, a simple act of deleting a file from the CMD Command-line is neither captured in SYSMON or in Windows Event logs:

 CMD.EXE > del /f test_file.txt

The only event observed in SYSMON for the above action was the following:


Additionally, nothing notable was observed in Windows Event logs.

This simple act of deleting a file is a common technique used by the adversaries. This action could be done both manually or through malware. One example where this technique is used is in the case of the Robbinhood Ransomware. In this sandbox report, you can see various quite-delete operations that Robbinhood malware executes.

I understand that there are other means of extracting CMD Command-line execution content. However, many of those require digital forensics analysis.

For instance, you can review Command-line history by analyzing the memory capture using a tool such as Volatility with plugins: cmdscan, consoles or just running strings against the memory image. However, this type of analysis requires either a memory image capture or a specialized commercial solution that can scan live memory content (example). Unfortunately, most organizations do not have access to these enterprise-solutions thus their ability to hunt for such Command-line techniques becomes limited.

MITRE ATT&CK Evaluations also has an entry for this technique 9.C.4 File Deletion where you can select various technologies from the drop-down list and see how they detect this technique.

If you are collecting and hunting full CMD Commandline, I would love to hear about your feedback; especially, if the technology/method that you are using is not one of the ones tested in ATT&CK Evaluations above.

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