Sunday, 2 August 2009

You wait all day for a bus then two come along at once...

Probably not an entirely accurate title but I came across two enscripts the other day both of which are aimed at quickly triaging the results of a comprehensive Internet History search. Users of this functionality within Encase version 6 will know that often you can be faced with reviewing hundreds of thousands of entries on the records tab. Many times all you need is evidence of user inputted search terms. There are conditions available to start sorting the wheat from the chaff however it is difficult for these conditions to be totally focussed due to the variation in url formation. This is where both enscripts come in as they are both designed to parse the actual search term used from a variety of search engine urls.

Searchterms V 1.1 parses out the search term used and where possible the time and date it was carried out into note bookmarks. The enscript has been written to support a claimed 145 separate search engines.

Internet Search Term Finder parses out unique search terms to Log Record bookmarks and stores the term along with its associated url. The script is in fact an Enpack so it is difficult to determine exactly how it works, however it seems to base its search on elements from the query url. A neat feature is that it is configurable, allowing the addition of a new prefix (to the query string) to cater for a different or new search engine.

Within an XP Pro SP3 VM I carried out a series of searches utilising the Firefox v3.0.11, Internet Explorer v8, Opera v9.64 and Safari v4.0.2 browsers. I ran the Search for internet history Comprehensive search option within Encase 6.14 and established that all my searches had been parsed into the records tab, with the exception of those carried out with Safari v4.0.2. It turns out that Encase 6.14 does not support parsing internet history from this version of Safari.

I then ran both Enscripts and can report that both parsed out my test search terms from the records tab. The results can be viewed within bookmarks. For me the output of the Internet Search Term Finder is preferable and it usefully creates a Log Records bookmark which allows the easy export of results into a spreadsheet. Both successfully hit the spot in respect to users quickly reviewing search terms within internet history.

Update 15 Sept 2009
Dan Fenwick has kindly updated his Internet Search Term Finder (to v1.1.1). The script now can remove duplicates and separates the results by device. Even more useful - thanks Dan.


ecophobia said...

Good timing :-). Thanks for sharing.

Troy said...

Please be aware that there are parts of IE 8 record keeping that current forensics tools don't see.

DanF said...

I've updated the Internet Search Term finder script and it's now available on the Guidance site.

OliverH said...

I've updated the Searchterms EnScript to version 2.0. It got a lot of more featured searchengines and could now also export the result as CSV.
It's available from the EnScript downloadsection at the Guidance Support site.