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IR Toolkit


A collection of handy tools and scripts useful for computer incident response. With few exceptions, all tools are portable versions so the contents can be put on a USB flash drive for easy use where needed. It should go without saying that an IR toolkit that will be used on suspected compromised systems should be read-only. I like Kanguru FlashBlu30 for its physical write-block switch and reasonable price, but others will do.

  • LOG-MD: Log Malicious Discovery Tool - out of the box, Windows logging is not optimal for investigating compromise; LOG-MD helps with adjusting endpoint logging before an incident so malicious activity will be captured in Windows Event Logs, and can create baselines of known-good file hashes and registry settings to compare against later. Download the free and professional editions from
  • WinPython: Portable installation of Python with a myriad pre-installed packages, supporting the use of Python-based analysis scripts. Download your preferred flavor(s) of Python from
  • RegistryExplorer: Eric Zimmerman’s RegistryExplorer.exe (GUI) and RECmd.exe are small, fast Windows registry utility with strong searching capabilities. Find the latest version at
  • SQLiteDatabaseBrowserPortable: Portable SQLite database browser. A variety of mobile and web apps store data in SQLite, and Firefox and Thunderbird use it to store some usage artifacts. Available as a PortableApps package at
  • Sysinternals: Numerous Windows Internals tools, documented at and downloadable from Note that SysInternals tools can also be run directly from the web, but you may not want your target host connected while forensicating it. Particularly useful:
    • autoruns.exe (GUI) and autorunsc.exe (cli): show programs set to run automatically, via registry settings, browser plugins, Windows Explorer hooks, system services, etc.
    • procexp.exe: Process Explorer. Windows Task Manager alternative with considerably more features. Find what processes are using what files, registry keys, objects, etc.
    • procmon.exe: Process Monitor. Real time monitor foe file system, registry, and process/thread activity.
    • strings.exe: Search a binary file for human-readable strings in ASCII or UNICODE format.
    • tcpview: Show listing of all TCP and UDP ports in use, and the process associated with each.
  • wget: command-line, text-based web browser. Useful for downloading suspect links without risking exploitation. Note: some malicious websites will read the user agent string and deliver a benign payload or an error if it detects the default wget UA string. Use “wget –user-agent=AGENT” to spoof a particular browser or device. Find a download mirror from the downloads list at the GNU project site: is a handy compilation of UA strings by browser, OS, and version.
  • wireshark: The ubiquitous packet capture utility, for network traffic capture and analysis. Note that wireshark itself comes in a PortableApps package, but the WinPCAP driver must be installed on the system that will collect packets. See for the latest Wireshark PortableApps version, and for the latest WinPcap driver.
  • exiftool.exe: Extract EXIF metadata from images, PDFs, Office documents, etc. Obtain it from
  • Didier Stevens Tools: Didier has written and released many handy Python scripts useful for IR and malware analysis. All are available from his blog, Ones that I use most often:
  • PDF Stream Dumper: GUI PDF tool for extracting individual components from a PDF. Source from (Warning: no HTTPS) See for a practical example of using the respective strengths of these two PDF tools together.
  • Command line utility for searching the registry for large data blobs - a popular technique for hiding malware where antivirus cannot scan for it. Documented at
  • SnmpWalk.exe: command line utility for querying SNMP on a target. Available from SolarWinds at
  • NirSoft Tools: Download latest versions from
    • AlternateStreamView: GUI tool to see Alternate Data Streams, file content that may not be visible in the standard Windows file manager. See for documentation.
    • USBDeview: list USB devices currently connected, as well as that were connected in the past.
    • HashMyFiles: Generate MD5, SHA-1, and SHA-256 hashes for a file or folder. Handy for hashing a suspect file to search VT for, instead of submitting a potentially revealing file.
  • DumpIt: (formerly windd32) take a snapshot of current memory. You'll need this before you can do any memory forensics. The product was previously produced by Moonsols, but is now Comea Technologies; DumpIt can be downloaded from (free, but requires registration)

A few additional tools in my toolkit are not strictly incident response items, but come in handy when the right situation presents itself.

  • Binwalk: Analyze, reverse engineer, and extract contents from firmware binaries. Find the latest version along with documentation at
  • Burpsuite: The free edition has a MITM web proxy, useful for inspecting and manipulating HTTP and HTTPS traffic to and from your browser. The commercial version adds many more testing and attack bells and whistles. Obtain the latest version from
  • 3CDaemon: 3Com's ancient TFTP/syslog/FTP client and server. Alas I am not aware of a trustworthy source for it today, but if you have it, it's worth dropping on your thumb drive as a (possibly) safer way to get files on and off a compromised system than using SMB or HTTP.