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Failed to load latest commit information. Windows 10 and unified output support Jul 6, 2016 push contest 2015 plugins Oct 24, 2015 Update shimcachemem to support very early versions of Windows 10 Mar 27, 2017


Author(s): Fred House (Mandiant, a FireEye Company) - Twitter: @0xF2EDCA5A Andrew Davis (Mandiant, a FireEye Company) Claudiu Teodorescu (Mandiant, a FireEye Company) - Twitter: @cteo13

Date: 2015-09-29

Description: Parses the Windows Application Compatibility Database (aka, ShimCache) from the module or process memory that contain the database.

How to use

  1. Capture system memory

    NOTE: During testing of this plugin on Windows XP, at least one tool (specifically, DumpIt.exe) did not correctly dump the process memory for winlogon.exe. As a result, the shim cache in memory could not be parsed. A memory image of the same system taken with FTK Imager parsed without issue.

  2. Run the "shimcachemem" plugin. The following command writes the shim cache contents to standard output:

    > python -f Win2012R2x64.raw --profile=Win2012R2x64 --kdbg=0xf801a185b9b0 shimcachemem

    The following command writes the output to a CSV file:

    > python -f Win2012R2x64.raw --profile=Win2012R2x64 --kdbg=0xf801a185b9b0 shimcachemem --output=csv --output-file=Win2012R2x64.csv

  3. In addition to the output format, the plugin supports the following options:

   | -c | --clean_file_paths | Strips UNC path prefixes ("\\??\") and replaces |
   |    |                    | SYSVOL with "C:". Intended an a convenience for |
   |    |                    | analysts.                                       |
   |    |                    |                                                 |
   | -P | --print_offset     | Prints the virtual and physical offset of each  |
   |    |                    | shim cache entry. Intended to facilitate        |
   |    |                    | additional forensic analysis of the memory      |
   |    |                    | image.                                          |
   |    |                    |                                                 |
   | -i | --ignore_win_apps  | On Windows 10, the shim cache contains entries  |
   |    |                    | for Windows apps, which are in a format that is |
   |    |                    | not parsed by this plugin. This option excludes |
   |    |                    | these entries from the output.                  |
   |    |                    |                                                 |
   |    | --system_name      | An optional system name to add as a column to   |
   |    |                    | the output.                                     |
   |    |                    |                                                 |


Shim cache is a highly valuable forensic artifact used to identify evidence of file execution. In addition to recording potential file executions, the cache is ordered, meaning that an analyst can identify other files that may have executed before or after a file of interest.

Most forensic tools that parse the shim cache rely on the cache stored in the Windows registry. The cache in the registry is only updated when a system is shutdown so this approach has the disadvantage of only parsing cache entries since the last shutdown. On systems that are not rebooted regularly (e.g., production servers) an analyst must either use out-of-date shim cache data or request a system reboot.

This plugin parses the shim cache directly from the module or process containing the cache, thereby providing analysts access to the most up-to-date cache. The plugin supports Windows XP SP2 through Windows 10 on both 32 and 64 bit architectures.