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Encase Forensic 6.xx Boolean "AND" Keyword Search

Posted on 2011-09-23
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
I am using EnCase Forensic 6.18 to keyword search data from a desktop computer. My keyword list has 4 basic terms and are all similar to:

(Term1 OR Term2) AND (Term3 OR Term4 OR Term5 OR Term6)

I have broken down these terms to the point where I first search for Term1 and Term2, and then in a second and third round of searches, apply Terms3-6 to the results of either Term1 or Term2.

However, I would like to not spend my day babysitting the machine. Is there a way to get the same results in a single search or action using EnCase 6.xx? Complex Grep statement or nested keyword list? Anything?
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Question by:ajholk
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Author Comment

by:ajholk
ID: 36591133
To clarify, I can run Term3-6 in a single subsearch against the same statement's Term1 and Term2. However, each attaditional statement needs an additional seperate subsearch. So if I have 4  statements in my keyword list, I would need to run 5 searches, one to isolate the primary terms and then 4 subsearches.

I'm trying to find a way to do it all at once.
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ChopOMatic earned 75 total points
ID: 36591303
Since you're using EnCase, you can always run the separate searches, then craft a condition to merge them. Will that work, or must it be run in a single search?
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Assisted Solution

by:btan
btan earned 50 total points
ID: 36591393
I am thinking to optimise the keyword, we may want to see if there are familiar contextual information on them e.g. they are numbers? ip address? words or sentences? etc. This file share some useful grep expression for some common forensic categories.

http://homepage.mac.com/adonismac/Textware/forensic/forensic_Grep_Expressions.pdf

Running multiple search separately is also another means like ChopOMatic has advised. I am thinking if we can drill down the search space to suspicious place for high level first cut to see if can hit jackpot but eventually for completeness we will have to do the lengthy process. Going for highly dense or commonly used storage location and kickstart the search

http://windirstat.info/
http://www.uderzo.it/main_products/space_sniffer/index.html

ideally, we can simplify the search by breaking the "big" search string. But I am not grep expert

(Term1 OR Term2) AND (Term3 OR Term4 OR Term5 OR Term6)
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Author Closing Comment

by:ajholk
ID: 36591514
Running seperate searches and then crafting a condition to merge them will certainly. However, as far as timing goes, it's about the same as what I am doing now with primary and sub-searches.

Since in my case the search terms are words (alphabet-only) and I need to be able to isolate files and contain both words regardless of distance between then or order of appearance, grep has limited ability in this area.

However, I'll continue to work with both ideas and see if I can find the best of both worlds.

Thanks.
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Expert Comment

by:ChopOMatic
ID: 36592835
Are you searching only active files, or must you include slack space, unallocated, etc.?

If only active files, you could download dtSearch. Index the files you want to search, then search to your heart's content. Instant results. Easy boolean, etc.
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Author Comment

by:ajholk
ID: 36594231
I hadn't considered DtSearch, but it is certainly an option. I'll have to get some metrics on how long it would take to index 1.5 TB of dekstop data to see if the option is in play.
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