[Libguestfs] Libguestfs as filesystem forensic tool

noxdafox noxdafox at gmail.com
Wed Mar 2 15:59:32 UTC 2016

On 02/03/16 17:53, Richard W.M. Jones wrote:
> On Wed, Mar 02, 2016 at 05:47:40PM +0200, noxdafox wrote:
>> Greetings,
>> I am playing around with the idea of using libguestfs as a forensic
>> tool to investigate VM disk images.
>> Some use cases as example:
>>   * Sandbox for malware analysis.
>>   * Incident response in cloud environments.
>> Libguestfs is a precious resource in this case as it allows to
>> abstract the disk image internals and expose them as mountable
>> devices.
>> Combined with some state of the art tool such as The Sleuth Kit it
>> would turn it into a pretty powerful forensic tool.
>> http://www.sleuthkit.org/
>> I played around with some proof-of-concept and the idea seems to work.
>> The question I'd like to ask is if this feature would interest the
>> libguestfs community or if I shall fork the project
>> (libguestforensic?) and, if so, what is the preferable way to do it.
> Actually I believe parts of libguestfs (and especially hivex) are
> already used in this way.
> Anyhow you're free to fork libguestfs provided you obey the license.
> It may be easier/less work if you submit patches upstream where they
> make sense for the upstream project, such as generally useful APIs
> (like the ntfscat-i API).
One of the patches I'm talking about would add TSK (The Sleuth Kit) as a 
dependency within the appliance.

This would bring new APIs such as:
  'fls' more powerful 'ls' command allowing to get list of deleted files 
or timelines at a given path.
  'icat' similar to ntfscat-i but it supports multiple FS.

Yet I'm not sure whether it's desirable as it is for a narrow use case 
and on my Debian box TSK is a 12Mb binary.
> Rich.

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