FOR572: Advanced Network Forensics: Threat Hunting, Analysis, and Incident Response New

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About the course

FOR572: Advanced Network Forensics: Threat Hunting, Analysis, and Incident Response New
Sat, April 13 - Thu, April 18, 2019
Contents | Additional Info
Instructor: David Szili
 7,210 USD
GNFA Certification
Affiliate Pricing
36 CPEs
Laptop Required
Masters Program

No FLUFF - focused and targeted learning!

Jackie Stokes
I feel like I have won the lottery with the wealth of information from this week! Very relevant and applicable. I have already started using in our environments with results.

Charlie H.

Take your system-based forensic knowledge onto the wire. Incorporate network evidence into your investigations, provide better findings, and get the job done faster.

It is exceedingly rare to work any forensic investigation that doesn't have a network component. Endpoint forensics will always be a critical and foundational skill for this career but overlooking their network communications is akin to ignoring security camera footage of a crime as it was committed. Whether you handle an intrusion incident, data theft case, employee misuse scenario, or are engaged in proactive adversary discovery, the network often provides an unparalleled view of the incident. Its evidence can provide the proof necessary to show intent, uncover attackers that have been active for months or longer, or may even prove useful in definitively proving a crime actually occurred.

FOR572: ADVANCED NETWORK FORENSICS: THREAT HUNTING, ANALYSIS AND INCIDENT RESPONSE was designed to cover the most critical skills needed for the increased focus on network communications and artifacts in today's investigative work, including numerous use cases. Many investigative teams are incorporating proactive threat hunting to their skills, in which existing evidence is used with newly-acquired threat intelligence to uncover evidence of previously-unidentified incidents. Others focus on post-incident investigations and reporting. Still others engage with an adversary in real time, seeking to contain and eradicate the attacker from the victim's environment. In these situations and more, the artifacts left behind from attackers' communications can provide an invaluable view into their intent, capabilities, successes, and failures.

In FOR572, we focus on the knowledge necessary to examine and characterize communications that have occurred in the past or continue to occur. Even if the most skilled remote attacker compromised a system with an undetectable exploit, the system still has to communicate over the network. Without command-and-control and data extraction channels, the value of a compromised computer system drops to almost zero. Put another way: Bad guys are talking - we'll teach you to listen.


This course covers the tools, technology, and processes required to integrate network evidence sources into your investigations, with a focus on efficiency and effectiveness. You will leave this week with a well-stocked toolbox and the knowledge to use it on your first day back on the job. We will cover the full spectrum of network evidence, including high-level NetFlow analysis, low-level pcap-based dissection, ancillary network log examination, and more. We cover how to leverage existing infrastructure devices that may contain months or years of valuable evidence as well as how to place new collection platforms while an incident is underway.

Whether you are a consultant responding to a client's site, a law enforcement professional assisting cybercrime victims and seeking prosecution of those responsible, an on-staff forensic practitioner, or a member of the growing ranks of threat hunters, this course offers hands-on experience with real-world scenarios that will help take your work to the next level. Previous SANS SEC curriculum students and other network defenders will benefit from the FOR572 perspective on security operations as they take on more incident response and investigative responsibilities. SANS DFIR alumni can take their existing operating system or device knowledge and apply it directly to the network-based attacks that occur daily. In FOR572, we solve the same caliber of real-world problems without the use of disk or memory images.

Most of FOR572's hands-on labs have been developed together with the latest version of FOR508, Advanced Incident Response, Threat Hunting, and Digital Forensics. In these shared scenarios, you'll quickly see a hybrid approach to forensic examination that includes both host and network artifacts is ideal. Although our primary focus is on the network side of that equation, we will point out areas where the host perspective could provide additional context, or where the network perspective gives deeper insight. Both former and future FOR508 students will appreciate the nexus between these extensive evidence sets.

The hands-on labs in this class cover a wide range of tools and platforms, including the venerable tcpdump and Wireshark for packet capture and analysis; NetworkMiner for artifact extraction; and open-source tools including nfdump, tcpxtract, tcpflow, and more. Newly added tools in the course include the free and open-source SOF-ELK(R) platform - a VMware appliance pre-configured with a tailored configuration of the Elastic stack. This "big data" platform includes the Elasticsearch storage and search database, the Logstash ingest and parsing engine, and the Kibana graphical dashboard interface. Together with the custom SOF-ELK configuration files, the platform gives forensicators a ready-to-use platform for log and NetFlow analysis. For full-packet analysis and hunting at scale, the free and open-source Moloch platform is also covered and used in a hands-on lab. Through all of the in-class labs, shell scripting skills are highlighted as quick and easy ways to rip through hundreds of thousands of data records.

FOR572 is truly an advanced course - we hit the ground running on day one. Bring your entire bag of skills: forensic techniques and methodologies, full-stake networking knowledge (from the wire all the way up to user-facing services), Linux shell utilities, and everything in between. They will all benefit you throughout the course material as you FIGHT CRIME. UNRAVEL INCIDENTS...ONE BYTE (OR PACKET) AT A TIME.

Advanced Network Forensics: Threat Hunting, Analysis and Incident Response Course Topics:


  • Foundational network forensics tools: tcpdump and Wireshark refresher
  • Packet capture applications and data
  • Unique considerations for network-focused forensic processes
  • Network evidence types and sources
  • Network architectural challenges and opportunities for investigators
  • Investigation OPSEC and footprint considerations
  • Network protocol analysis
  • Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP)
  • Domain Name Service (DNS)
  • File Transfer Protocol (FTP)
  • Server Message Block (SMB) and related Microsoft protocols
  • Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP)
  • Commercial network forensic tools
  • Automated tools and libraries
  • NetFlow
  • Introduction
  • Collection approaches
  • Open-source NetFlow tools
  • Wireless networking
  • Capturing wireless traffic
  • Useful forensic artifacts from wireless traffic
  • Common attack methods and detection
  • Log data to supplement network examinations
  • Syslog
  • Microsoft Windows Event Forwarding
  • HTTP server logs
  • Firewalls, Intrusion Detection Systems (IDSes), and Network Security Monitoring (NSM) Platforms
  • Log collection, aggregation, and analysis
  • Web proxy server examination
  • Encryption
  • Introduction
  • Meddler-in-the-middle
  • Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) and Transport Layer Security (TLS)
  • Deep packet work
  • Network protocol reverse engineering
  • Payload reconstruction



For live training events, there will be a set up time from 8:30-9:00am on the first day of class to make sure that computers are configured correctly to make the most of class time. All students are strongly encouraged to attend.

Course Syllabus
  FOR572.1: Off the Disk and Onto the Wire
  FOR572.2: Core Protocols & Log Aggregation/Analysis
  FOR572.3: NetFlow and File Access Protocols
  FOR572.4: Commercial Tools, Wireless, and Full-Packet Hunting
  FOR572.5: Encryption, Protocol Reversing, OPSEC, and Intel
  FOR572.6: Network Forensics Capstone Challenge
Course Authors' Statements
When I first became interested in computer and network security in the mid-1990s, the idea of "attacking" another computer network was still science fiction. Today, commercial, governmental, military, and intelligence entities have robust, integrated information security processes. Within the forensic community, we have seen developments that show the agility we must have to remain effective in the face of dynamic adversaries. Endpoint forensic practices will remain the keystone of digital forensics for the foreseeable future - this is where the events ultimately occur, after all.

"We created FOR572: Advanced Network Forensics: Threat Hunting, Analysis, and Incident Response to address the most transient domain of digital forensics. Many enterprises have grown to the scale that identifying which handful of endpoints to examine among thousands is a significant challenge. Additionally, the network has become its own medium for incident response and investigation. Our ability to use evidence from all kinds of network devices as well as from captured network data itself will be critical to our success in addressing threats today and tomorrow. From low-grade "script kiddie" attacks to long-term, strategic state-sponsored espionage activity, the network is one of the few common elements found throughout the life cycle of an incident. FOR572 will provide you with the tools and methods to conduct network investigations within environments of all sizes, using scenarios developed from real-world cases. You will finish the course with valuable knowledge that you will use the first day back on the job, and with the methodologies that will help address future generations of adversaries' capabilities." - Phil Hagen

"When I first started my career in computer security, the term "advanced persistent threat" was unknown, yet I had personally recovered terabytes of data obtained from both commercial and government networks. The biggest cybersecurity threat in the news was the latest worm that would propagate through unsuspecting systems and cause more of a nuisance than actual destruction. What was known as the Russian Business Network wasn't even around yet. Network security monitoring was still in its infancy, with very little formal documentation or best practices, most of which were geared towards system administrators. While the Internet has continued to expand, we have all become more interconnected and the threat against our networks continues to grow. We wrote FOR572 as the class we wish we had when we were entering the field of network forensics and investigations - a class that not only provides background when needed but is primarily tailored toward finding evil using multiple data sources and performing a full scope investigation. I am confident this course provides the most up-to-date training covering topics both old and new, based on real-life experiences and investigations." - Mat Oldham


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