Thursday, 23 January 2014

Android SMS script update and a bit of light housekeeping

Knock, Knock ...

During recent research into Android SQLite databases (eg sms), Mari DeGrazia discovered a bug in the sms-grep.pl script.
Mari's test data was from a Samsung Galaxy S II. It turns out the script wasn't handling Cell Header "Serial Type" values of 8 or 9.
These Cell Header values are respectively used to represent "0" and "1" integer constants and eliminate the need for a corresponding 0x0/0x1 byte value in the Cell Data field section.
So this meant that some fields were being interpreted as "0" when they were actually set to "1". DOH!

The previous Android test data I used did not utilize these particular cell header values which is why it escaped my monkey like attention to detail. Banana? Where?!

Anyway, there's an updated version of the sms-grep.pl script available from GitHub here.

Pictures speak louder than words so lets look at a simplified example of an SQLite cell record:

SQLite Cell Record Structure


From the diagram above, we can see the usual SQLite record format. A Cell Size, Rowid and Cell Header Size followed by the rest of the Cell Header and the Cell Data sections.
Notice how HeaderField-B = 0x8? This means there will be no corresponding value written in the Cell Data section (ie there is no DataField-B).
When read, the extracted value of DataField-B will be set (to 0) based on the HeaderField-B type (0x8).
Alternatively, if the HeaderField-B type value was 0x9, the extracted value of DataField-B would be set to 1.
Simples!

Additionally, since the previous sms-grep.pl post here - both Mari and I have used sms-grep.pl to carve sms messages from a cellphone's free space.
Here's how it played out:
- Cellebrite UFED was used to generate the .bin physical image file(s) from an Android phone.
- Then the .bin file(s) were added to a new X-Ways Forensics case.
- A keyword search for various phone numbers turned up multiple hits in the 1 GB+ "Free Space" file (ie unallocated space) which was then exported/copied to SIFT v2.14.
- The script's schema config file was adjusted to match the sms table schema.
- After trying the script with a 1GB+ file, we were consistently getting out of memory errors (even after increasing the SIFT VM RAM to 3 GB).
So the Linux "split" command was used to split the 1GB+ file into 3 smaller 500 MB files.
This ran error free although it meant running the script a few more times. Meh, still better than doing it by hand!
As mentioned in a previous post, this script can potentially be used with non-sms SQLite databases especially if the search term field appears near the start of the cell data section.

From now on, all of my scripts will be hosted at GitHub. I'm not sure how much longer GoogleCode will keep my existing scripts so I have also transferred most of those to GitHub.
Because I can no longer update sms-grep.pl on GoogleCode, I have removed the previous version to minimize further confusion.

Apologies for any inconvenience caused by this script oversight and Special Thanks to Mari for both spotting and letting me know about the error!

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