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MFT Record Attributes

Article detailing an overview of NT File System $MFT file segment entry (record) attributes of interest to the Malware Investigator.
© PA Knowledge Ltd | 7Safe Training

MFT Record Attributes

File metadata is stored within various attributes within each MFT record. Each attribute is uniquely identified by a header followed by attribute information. The number of attributes assigned to an MFT record depends on whether it pertains to a file or a directory and what additional metadata needs to be applied to that file or directory.

The following file attributes are of interest to the malware investigator:

Attribute Header Attribute Name
0x80 $DATA

A snippet of an MFT record containing the above attributes is detailed below:

Screenshot of $MFT file segment entry attributes.

The above MFT entry is displayed in hexadecimal format and these values are decoded and referenced in a template on the left together with an ASCII interpretation on the right.

Additional information…

Attribute headers will only start on an 8 byte boundary. A raw view of the above MFT entry without the use of templates is detailed below. See if you can identify the header and the 4 file attributes in question?

Snippet of raw $MFT file segment entry.

Interestingly you may have noted that the offset displayed in the above image is in an hexadecimal format whilst the templated view is displayed in a decimal format. The data relating to the actual MFT entry itself is of course identical.

© PA Knowledge Ltd | 7Safe Training
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Introduction to Digital Forensics: Malware Analysis and Investigations

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