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Today, Mandiant is introducing a new free tool, Memoryze™ for the Mac 1.0,
which brings memory imaging and analysis to the Mac. It joins a
growing list of freeware tools Mandiant currently

Memoryze™ for the Mac 1.0 brings many of the features
of Memoryzeto the Apple Macintosh platform. This new tool enables
acquisition of memory images via the command-line or a simple GUI.
In addition, Memoryze™ for the Mac 1.0 can perform offline analysis
against memory images or live analysis on a running

The tool supports the following features:

  • Imaging the full range of system memory
  • Acquiring
    individual processes memory regions
  • Enumerating all
    running processes

    • Including those hidden by rootkits

For each process, Memoryze™ for the Mac 1.0

  • Report all open file handles in a process (e.g. all
    files,sockets, pipes, etc.)
  • List the virtual address
    space of a process including loaded libraries and allocated
    portions of heap and execution stack
  • List network

    • Active and listening
  • Enumerate
    • All loaded kernel extensions including
      those hidden by rootkits
    • The System Call Table and
      Mach Trap Table
    • All running Mach Tasks

Okay, enough of the marketing. Memoryze™ for the Mac
1.0 can be downloaded here. To help get you started we’ll present
a few of the features in this blog post.

For offline analysis
your first step is going to be acquiring memory. The Mac Memory
Dumper App makes this process as simple as pushing a button. To
begin the acquisition, Memoryze™ for the Mac 1.0 will require you to
authenticate so that the application can load a memory dumping
driver. After selecting the location to store the image and
authenticating, Memoryze™ for the Mac 1.0 will begin the acquisition
process. The tool will provide you with a progress bar and an image
size monitor for each of your acquisitions (fancy, huh?).

Note that the final size of the dumped image may exceed the size
of your physical RAM. If the system has 8GB of physical RAM
installed the dump may be 10GB. You may ask yourself, “Self,
why is the dumped image bigger than my actual memory size?”
There are regions that are physically addressable but are not part
of actual DRAM, pesky memory-mapped devices. These regions are
written to the image file as 0x0-bytes to help preserve the correct
offsets within the image.

Once Memoryze™ for the Mac 1.0 finishes the acquisition; we can
use it to perform memory analysis(note Memoryze™ for the Mac 1.0 can
also perform analysis on images acquired by other tools). With our
data ready, let’s run through several of the process analysis
features we mentioned above.

We’ll start by performing a
basic process listing based on the memory image we just created.
Execute the command below:

macmemoryze proclist -f ~/Documents/my.mem

Memoryze™ for the Mac 1.0 will open “my.mem” for
analysis and detect two critical pieces of information about the
image: the operating system version and whether the system is
running 32 or 64-bit kernel. Armed with this information the
proclist analysis module locates the operating system data structure
that maintains the list of running processes.

If you take a
look at the output below, you can see that Memoryze™ for the Mac 1.0
extracts the PADDR, or physical address, of each process (this is
also the offset of the process in the acquired memory image file).
You can use the PADDR to quickly locate the process in question in
an offline tool such as a hex editor. Memoryze™ for the Mac 1.0 also
extracts other standard identifying information such as the process
NAME, PID and parent PID (PPID). In addition, the tool provides the
start time for each process in UTC. Finally, Memoryze™ for the Mac
1.0 extracts each process’ associated USERNAME, effective userid
(EUID), and real userid (RUID).

Based on the process listing
above, we may be interested in getting a more complete understanding
of what a particular process may be doing. We can list file
descriptors and memory sections for all of the processes in the
listing, but this would get pretty lengthy and present too much
information at once. Using filters we can limit display to a smaller
subset or a single process. We can use the “-n” option to
filter processes by NAME or the “-p” to filter processes
by PID.Execute the following command:

macmemoryze proclist -w -p 14 ~/Documents/my.mem

In the image above, we show a snippet of a file descriptor
listing for PID 14 using the command-line switch “-p 14”.
This shows us all open file descriptors for the given process. This
includes files, UNIX domain sockets, networking sockets (such as
TCP), and so on. For several of the types/subtypes, Memoryze™ for
the Mac 1.0 will provide a value associated with the item type. The
value for a descriptor of type FILE is the filename associated with
the file descriptor while the value for a type SOCKET subtype TCP is
the source IP address, destination IP address, and associated

Now that we’ve completed some filtering, let’s dig a
little deeper and perform detailed analysis of the
“notifyd” process. The image below contains a snippet of
its memory sections listing. Memoryze™ for the Mac 1.0 shows us the
start and end virtual addresses and a human-readable size for each
section. For some memory sections, Memoryze™ for the Mac 1.0 also
provides a type, such as MALLOC or IOKIT.
These types provide insight into the purpose of the memory section.
For other memory sections, Memoryze™ for the Mac 1.0 displays the
filename that is located at (or was used to initialize) that
particular memory region. Please execute:

macmemoryze proclist -s -p 14 ~/Documents/my.mem

Neat, huh? So now we’ve analyzed the standard operating system
(OS) process list structure. If it’s good enough for the OS, it’s
good enough for us, right? Not really. It’s fairly trivial for
malware to unlink itself from the process list that the OS
maintains. In light of this, Memoryze™ for the Mac 1.0 provides a
process carving feature that allows it to enumerate and analyze
processes based on their signature in memory. This means that
Memoryze™ for the Mac 1.0 does not have to depend on the OS to
provide a list of processes. This enables Memoryze™ for the Mac 1.0
to discover processes that have been hidden from standard OS
listings. This same carving feature extends to the kextlist and
syscalllist Memoryze™ for the Mac 1.0 features, allowing you to
discover other hidden data within the OS.

Now don’t
forget, Memoryze™ for the Mac 1.0 can be run offline using an
acquired memory image, or live, analyzing the running system
in real-time. Below we show a system call table listing using the
live memory analysis feature of Memoryze™ for the Mac 1.0.
Notice the missing “-f” option. We can use this listing to
check for system call table hooking. System call table hooking
allows attackers to surreptitiously monitor or filter user-level
programs interactions with the OS kernel. This is commonly used to
hide files and network connections from user-level programs. The
syscalllist feature also supports discovery and listing of the Mach
Trap table. Mach Trap, what? The mach trap table is analogous to the
system call table in the BSD portion of OS X, but within the Mach
portion of OS X. So we want to ensure we can check for possible
hooking within that table also. To perform a live listing

sudo macmemoryze syscalllist -s

In order to hook the syscall table we would probably want to use
a driver. Have no fear! Memoryze™ for the Mac 1.0 can carve loaded
kexts from memory. A decent malware author would probably want to
hide itself from the OS by unlinking from internal data structures.
To combat this, Memoryze™ for the Mac 1.0 will parse live memory or
a dead file to find loaded drivers, as shown in the screenshot

Memoryze™ for the Mac 1.0 supports an XML output option
(“-x”) that will create an XML file with an extended
version of the console output, only in XML format. “Extended
version,” you ask? There is only so much console real estate.
We must make decision about what information to display. So
therefore, stuff gets left out. For example, we parse the full file
path of the executing process and the process arguments. These are
not displayed in the console output, but are accessible if using the
XML output option. These XML files can also be loaded into Mandiant
(currently windows only, boo!) for viewing in a

There are other features of Memoryze™ for the Mac 1.0 that
we have not detailed here, but we don’t want to give you all the
answers. What’s the fun in that? We really want you to use the tool
and provide us with some feedback on features, interface, usages,
and so on.

Memoryze™ for the Mac 1.0 currently supports:

  • Mac OS X Snow Leopard (10.6) 32/64-bit
  • Mac OS X
    Lion (10.7) 32/64-bit

We hope to continue to improve
the state of Mac memory analysis for incident responders and
security professionals.

“Mac” is a trademark of The
Apple Corporation. Mandiant is not affiliated with or endorsed by
The Apple Corporation.

At L Technology Group, we know technology alone will not protect us from the risks associated with in cyberspace. Hackers, Nation States like Russia and China along with “Bob” in HR opening that email, are all real threats to your organization. Defending against these threats requires a new strategy that incorporates not only technology, but also intelligent personnel who, eats and breaths cybersecurity. Together with proven processes and techniques combines for an advanced next-generation security solution. Since 2008 L Technology Group has develop people, processes and technology to combat the ever changing threat landscape that businesses face day to day.

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