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Volatility Framework: bitlocker

This plugin finds and extracts Full Volume Encryption Key (FVEK) from memory dumps and/or hibernation files. This allows rapid unlocking of systems that had BitLocker encrypted volumes mounted at the time of acquisition.

Supported memory images:

  • Windows 10 (work in progress)
  • Windows 8.1
  • Windows Server 2012 R2
  • Windows 8
  • Windows Server 2012
  • Windows 7
  • Windows Server 2008 R2
  • Windows Server 2008
  • Windows Vista

Example case - Windows 7 SP1 x64

Evidence: Raw HDD image

1) Determine partition layout and identify BitLocker volume

elceef@cerebellum:~$ fdisk -l john_win7_x64.dd
Disk john_win7_x64.dd: 298.1 GiB, 320072933376 bytes, 625142448 sectors
Units: sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disklabel type: dos
Disk identifier: 0x51c47769

Device                    Boot     Start       End   Sectors   Size Id Type
john_win7_x64.dd1 *         2048   1050623   1048576   512M  7 HPFS/NTFS/exFAT
john_win7_x64.dd2        1050624 316475391 315424768 150.4G  7 HPFS/NTFS/exFAT
john_win7_x64.dd3      316475392 625137663 308662272 147.2G  7 HPFS/NTFS/exFAT

The last one starting from sector 316475392 is BitLocker protected. It can be verified by lookig at the filesystem header. Volumes encrypted with BitLocker will have a different signature than the standard NTFS header. A BitLocker encrypted volume starts with the "-FVE-FS-" signature.

elceef@cerebellum:~$ hexdump -C -s $((512*316475392)) -n 16 john_win7_x64.dd
25ba100000  eb 58 90 2d 46 56 45 2d  46 53 2d 00 02 08 00 00  |.X.-FVE-FS-.....|

2) Locate and convert hibernation file

Mount the system volume starting from sector 1050624 in read-only mode.

elceef@cerebellum:~$ sudo mount -o loop,ro,offset=$((512*1050624)) john_win7_x64.dd /mnt/1

Convert hibernation file hiberfil.sys for further forensic analysis.

elceef@cerebellum:~$ vol -f /mnt/1/hiberfil.sys --profile Win7SP1x64 imagecopy -O hiberfil.raw

3) Use the bitlocker plugin to extract FVEK

The plugin scans the memory image for BitLocker cryptographic allocations (memory pools) and extracts AES keys (FVEK).

elceef@cerebellum:~$ vol -f hiberfil.raw --profile Win7SP1x64 bitlocker
Volatility Foundation Volatility Framework 2.5

Address : 0xfa8009958c10
Cipher  : AES-256
FVEK    : d5b6e71adb0c2e2d38dafdcedade8fc11e8be631b9fed5b2ba5b51ba32a57cd1
TWEAK   : 49f9ecd5ddffcae44cde7f7a578b9a3ca5e79087826779e147de89423ebdf3f3

4) Decrypt and access the volume

Decrypt the volume on-the-fly using previously extracted FVEK.

elceef@cerebellum:~$ sudo bdemount -k d5b6e71adb0c2e2d38dafdcedade8fc11e8be631b9fed5b2ba5b51ba32a57cd1:49f9ecd5ddffcae44cde7f7a578b9a3ca5e79087826779e147de89423ebdf3f3 -o $((512*316475392)) john_win7_x64.dd /crypt/1

Finally mount and access the filesystem.

elceef@cerebellum:~$ sudo mount -o loop,ro /crypt/1/bde1 /mnt/2
elceef@cerebellum:~$ ls /mnt/2

Example case - Windows 8.1 x86

Evidence: Raw memory image

Windows 8 and newer versions use Cryptography API: Next Generation (CNG) which creates a lot of dynamically allocated memory pools. For this reason, the keys are often located in several places in the memory.

elceef@cerebellum:~$ vol -f john_win81_x86.raw --profile Win81U1x86 bitlocker
Volatility Foundation Volatility Framework 2.5

Address : 0x872db068
Cipher  : AES-128
FVEK    : 48286dcd34d3ff215d705d68c5df4f08

Address : 0x9ef55b08
Cipher  : AES-128
FVEK    : 48286dcd34d3ff215d705d68c5df4f08

Address : 0xa4748b08
Cipher  : AES-128
FVEK    : 48286dcd34d3ff215d705d68c5df4f08


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Volatility Framework plugin for extracting BitLocker FVEK (Full Volume Encryption Key)