Archive for the ‘Science of Memory Dump Analysis’ Category

Analytic Memory Dump - A Mathematical Definition

Friday, September 28th, 2012

The previous mathematical definition of memory dump is for raw memory dumps. They are not really useful because they require symbol files. Each symbol file entry conceptually is a correspondence between a memory address and a direct sum or product of letters from some alphabet:

00000000`76e82c40: kernel32!WaitForMultipleObjectsExImplementation

So we propose an analytical definition of a memory dump as a direct sum of disjoint memory areas Mt taken during some time interval (t0, …, tn) where we replace stk having values from Z2 with Stq having values from Zp and cardinality of Zp depending on a platform (32, 64, etc) plus a symbolic description Di for each Stq with cardinality of ”i” set sufficient enough to accommodate the largest symbolic name:

M = Mt where Mt = ∑(Stq+Di)

or simply

M = (Stq+Di)

This can be visualized as a linear memory space such as a virtual memory space when symbol files are applied to modules one after another. However, all this is not necessary, as a symbol from a virtual address can also be mapped to a physical address if necessary. Di, in fact, refers to any symbolic description.

- Dmitry Vostokov @ DumpAnalysis.org + TraceAnalysis.org -

Webinar: Introduction to Philosophy of Software Diagnostics

Sunday, September 23rd, 2012

Learn from this Webinar about phenomenological, hermeneutical and analytical approaches to software diagnostics and its knowledge, foundations, norms, theories, logic, methodology, language, ontology, nature and truth. This seminar is hosted by Software Diagnostics Services.

 Introduction to Philosophy of Software Diagnostics Logo

Title: Introduction to Philosophy of Software Diagnostics
Date: 17th of December, 2012
Time: 19:00 GMT
Duration: 60 minutes

Space is limited.
Reserve your Webinar seat now at:
https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/872846486

- Dmitry Vostokov @ DumpAnalysis.org + TraceAnalysis.org -

Forthcoming 2nd edition of Memory Dump Analysis Anthology, Volume 1

Sunday, April 15th, 2012

After 4 years in print this bestselling title needs an update to address minor changes, include extra examples and reference additional research published in Volumes 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6.

  • Title: Memory Dump Analysis Anthology, Volume 1
  • Author: Dmitry Vostokov
  • Publisher: OpenTask (Summer 2012)
  • Language: English
  • Product Dimensions: 22.86 x 15.24
  • Paperback: 800 pages
  • ISBN-13: 978-1-908043-35-1
  • Hardcover: 800 pages
  • ISBN-13: 978-1-908043-36-8

The cover for both paperback and hardcover titles will also have a matte finish. We used A Memory Window artwork for the back cover.

- Dmitry Vostokov @ DumpAnalysis.org + TraceAnalysis.org -

Forthcoming Introduction to Pattern-Driven Software Diagnostics

Monday, April 9th, 2012

Memory Dump Analysis Services organizes a free Webinar on Unified Software Diagnostics (USD) and the new scalable cost-effective software support model called Pattern-Driven Software Support devised to address various shortcomings in existing tiered software support organizations. Examples cover Windows, Mac OS  and Linux.

 Introduction to Pattern-Driven Software Diagnostics Logo

Date: 22nd of June, 2012
Time: 17:00 (BST) 12:00 (EST) 09:00 (PST)
Duration: 60 minutes

Space is limited.
Reserve your Webinar seat now at:
https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/172771078

- Dmitry Vostokov @ DumpAnalysis.org + TraceAnalysis.org -

What is a Software Narrative?

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

The previous definition of software narratology was restricted to software traces and logs (the top left quadrant on a software narrative square, also the part of Memoretics which studies memory snapshots). Now, with the broadening of the domain of software narratology to the whole world of software narrative stories including actor interactions with software in construction requirements use cases and post-construction incidents we give another definition:

Software narrative is a representation of software events and changes of state. Software Narratology is a discipline that studies such software narratives (software narrative science).

- Dmitry Vostokov @ DumpAnalysis.org + TraceAnalysis.org -

What is Software Trace and Memory Dump Analysis? A One Sentence Definition

Monday, December 12th, 2011

More than 4 years passed since I provided a longer structuralist definition. Recently I came to recognize a pattern-driven iterative and incremental nature of memory and software trace analysis and post-construction software problem solving in general and therefore a one sentence definition became necessary:

“Recognition and interpretation of patterns of software behavior”

- Dmitry Vostokov @ DumpAnalysis.org + TraceAnalysis.org -

Forthcoming Volume 6 of Memory Dump Analysis Anthology

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011

The new 6th volume contains revised, edited, cross-referenced, and thematically organized selected DumpAnalysis.org blog posts about memory dump and software trace analysis, software troubleshooting and debugging written in November 2010 - October 2011 for software engineers developing and maintaining products on Windows platforms, quality assurance engineers testing software on Windows platforms, technical support and escalation engineers dealing with complex software issues, and security researchers, malware analysts and reverse engineers. The sixth volume features:

  • 56 new crash dump analysis patterns including 14 new .NET memory dump analysis patterns
  • 4 new pattern interaction case studies
  • 11 new trace analysis patterns
  • New Debugware pattern
  • Introduction to UI problem analysis patterns
  • Introduction to intelligence analysis patterns
  • Introduction to unified debugging pattern language
  • Introduction to generative debugging, metadefect template library and DNA of software behaviour
  • The new school of debugging and trends
  • .NET memory dump analysis checklist
  • Software trace analysis checklist
  • Introduction to close and deconstructive readings of a software trace
  • Memory dump analysis compass
  • Computical and Stack Trace Art
  • The abductive reasoning of Philip Marlowe
  • Orbifold memory space and cloud computing
  • Memory worldview
  • Interpretation of cyberspace
  • Relationship of memory dumps to religion
  • Fully cross-referenced with Volume 1, Volume 2, Volume 3, Volume 4, and Volume 5

Product information:

  • Title: Memory Dump Analysis Anthology, Volume 6
  • Author: Dmitry Vostokov
  • Language: English
  • Product Dimensions: 22.86 x 15.24
  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Opentask (December 2011)
  • ISBN-13: 978-1-908043-19-1
  • Hardcover: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Opentask (January 2012)
  • ISBN-13: 978-1-908043-20-7

Back cover features 3d memory space visualization image created with ParaView.

- Dmitry Vostokov @ DumpAnalysis.org + TraceAnalysis.org -

The Trinity of Memory Worldview

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

The Memory Worldview consists of 3 parts:

1. The Science of Memoretics

2. The Philosophy of Memoidealism (including Memory as the first principle)

3. The Memory Religion (Memorianity)

- Dmitry Vostokov @ DumpAnalysis.org + TraceAnalysis.org -

Uses of Memoretics

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

Memoretics promotes pattern-driven memory dump and software trace analysis which has many uses but not limited to:

  • Software and site reliability
  • Software Debugging
  • QA and Software Testing
  • Computer Security
  • Software Troubleshooting
  • Malware Research and Analysis
  • Tools as a Service (TaaS)
  • Supportability
  • Software Diagnostics

- Dmitry Vostokov @ DumpAnalysis.org + TraceAnalysis.org -

Crossdisciplinary Memoretics as Interdisciplinary Science

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

Memoretics as a science of memory snapshots borrows many ideas from the following disciplines (the list is not exhaustive):

  • Troubleshooting and Debugging
  • Intelligence Analysis
  • Critical Thinking
  • Forensics
  • Linguistics
  • Archaeology
  • Psychoanalysis
  • History
  • Mathematics: Sets and Categories
  • Literary Criticism and Narratology

It also contributes many ideas back. The following diagram depicts such an interaction:

- Dmitry Vostokov @ DumpAnalysis.org + TraceAnalysis.org -

Memory Dump Analysis Anthology, Volume 5 is available for download

Sunday, April 17th, 2011

I’m pleased to announce that MDAA, Volume 5 is available in PDF format:

www.dumpanalysis.org/Memory+Dump+Analysis+Anthology+Volume+5

It features:

- 25 new crash dump analysis patterns
- 11 new pattern interaction case studies (including software tracing)
- 16 new trace analysis patterns
- 7 structural memory patterns
- 4 modeling case studies for memory dump analysis patterns
- Discussion of 3 common analysis mistakes
- Malware analysis case study
- Computer independent architecture of crash analysis report service
- Expanded coverage of software narratology
- Metaphysical and theological implications of memory dump worldview
- More pictures of memory space and physicalist art
- Classification of memory visualization tools
- Memory visualization case studies
- Close reading of the stories of Sherlock Holmes: Dr. Watson’s observational patterns
- Fully cross-referenced with Volume 1, Volume 2, Volume 3, and Volume 4

Its table of contents is available here:

www.dumpanalysis.org/MDAA/MDA-Anthology-V5-TOC.pdf

Paperback and hardcover versions should be available in a week or two. I also started working on Volume 6 that should be available in November-December.

- Dmitry Vostokov @ DumpAnalysis.org + TraceAnalysis.org -

Dictionary of Debugging: Orbifold Memory Space

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

Orbifold Memory Space

A multiple virtual/physical memory space view taking into account multiple computers:

The picture can be much more complex if we glue different manifold memory spaces. The space name comes from a mathematical orbifold, a generalization of manifold.

Synonyms: cloud memory space

Antonyms:

Also: memory space, memory region, physical memory, virtual memory, manifold memory space, memory mapping.

- Dmitry Vostokov @ DumpAnalysis.org + TraceAnalysis.org -

The New School of Debugging

Saturday, January 1st, 2011

With the new year starts the new initiative to integrate traditional multidisciplinary debugging approaches and methodologies with multiplatform pattern-driven software problem solving, unified debugging patterns, best practices in memory dump analysis and software tracing, computer security, economics, and the new emerging trends I’m going to write about during this year.

- Dmitry Vostokov @ DumpAnalysis.org + TraceAnalysis.org -

Debugging in 2021: Trends for the Next Decade (Part 1)

Friday, December 17th, 2010

As the new decade is approaching (2011-2020) we would like to make a few previews and predictions:

- Increased complexity of software will bring more methods from biological, social sciences and humanities in addition to existing methods of automated debugging and computer science techniques

- Focus on first fault software problem solving (when aspect)

- Focus on pattern-driven software problem solving (how aspect)

- Fusion of debugging and malware analysis into a unified structural and behavioral pattern framework

- Visual debugging, memory and software trace visualization techniques

- Software maintenance certification

- Focus on domain-driven troubleshooting and debugging tools as a service (debugware TaaS)

- Focus on security issues related to memory dumps and software traces

- New scripting languages and programming language extensions for debugging

- The maturation of the science of memory snapshots and software traces (memoretics)

Imagining is not not limited to the above and more to come and explain in the forthcoming parts.

- Dmitry Vostokov @ DumpAnalysis.org + TraceAnalysis.org -

Forthcoming Memory Dump Analysis Anthology, Volume 5

Friday, November 12th, 2010

Five volumes of cross-disciplinary Anthology (dubbed by the author “The Summa Memorianica”) lay the foundation of the scientific discipline of Memoretics (study of computer memory snapshots and their evolution in time) that is also called Memory Dump and Software Trace Analysis.ca

The 5th volume contains revised, edited, cross-referenced, and thematically organized selected DumpAnalysis.org blog posts about crash dump, software trace analysis and debugging written in February 2010 - October 2010 for software engineers developing and maintaining products on Windows platforms, quality assurance engineers testing software on Windows platforms, technical support and escalation engineers dealing with complex software issues, and security researchers, malware analysts and reverse engineers. The fifth volume features:

- 25 new crash dump analysis patterns
- 11 new pattern interaction case studies (including software tracing)
- 16 new trace analysis patterns
- 7 structural memory patterns
- 4 modeling case studies for memory dump analysis patterns
- Discussion of 3 common analysis mistakes
- Malware analysis case study
- Computer independent architecture of crash analysis report service
- Expanded coverage of software narratology
- Metaphysical and theological implications of memory dump worldview
- More pictures of memory space and physicalist art
- Classification of memory visualization tools
- Memory visualization case studies
- Close reading of the stories of Sherlock Holmes: Dr. Watson’s observational patterns
- Fully cross-referenced with Volume 1, Volume 2, Volume 3, and Volume 4

Product information:

  • Title: Memory Dump Analysis Anthology, Volume 5
  • Author: Dmitry Vostokov
  • Language: English
  • Product Dimensions: 22.86 x 15.24
  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Opentask (10 December 2010)
  • ISBN-13: 978-1-906717-96-4
  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Opentask (10 December 2010)
  • ISBN-13: 978-1-906717-97-1

Back cover features memory space art image Hot Computation: Memory on Fire.

- Dmitry Vostokov @ DumpAnalysis.org + TraceAnalysis.org -

Memory Dump Analysis Anthology, Volume 4 is available for download

Saturday, November 6th, 2010

I’m pleased to announce that MDAA, Volume 4 is available in PDF format:

www.dumpanalysis.org/Memory+Dump+Analysis+Anthology+Volume+4

It features:

- 15 new crash dump analysis patterns
- 13 new pattern interaction case studies
- 10 new trace analysis patterns
- 6 new Debugware patterns and case study
- Workaround patterns
- Updated checklist
- Fully cross-referenced with Volume 1, Volume 2 and Volume 3
- Memory visualization tutorials
- Memory space art

Its table of contents is available here:

http://www.dumpanalysis.org/MDAA/MDA-Anthology-V4-TOC.pdf

Paperback and hardcover versions should be available in a week or two. I also started working on Volume 5 that should be available in December.

- Dmitry Vostokov @ DumpAnalysis.org + TraceAnalysis.org -

Malware Analysis Report System (MARS)

Friday, October 22nd, 2010

I detour for MARS expedition. You may also call it Memory Analysis Report System as malware analysis is always exploration of memory (in general). Why is this sudden change of course? After reading Gilles Deleuze I want to broaden the concept of “malware” and give it new orientation and direction of thinking. Beside that I also want new challenges after many years of research in pattern-driven memory dump and software trace analysis of abnormal software behaviour.

You may have also noticed small restructuring (rebranding) of this blog and DumpAnalysis.org headers.

See you there :-)

- Dmitry Vostokov @ DumpAnalysis.org + TraceAnalysis.org -

Malware Analysis Patterns

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

As a practical example of applying behavioral and structural pattern analysis of computer memory and traces OpenTask plans to publish the following title next year:

  • Title: Malware Patterns: Structure and Behavior of Computer Adware, Crimeware, Rootkits, Scareware, Spyware, Trojans, Viruses, Victimware and Worms
  • Author: Dmitry Vostokov
  • Paperback: 1200 pages
  • Publisher: OpenTask (October 2011)
  • ISBN-13: 978-1-908043-01-6

The inclusion of victimware is necessary because of the effects of defective malware.

- Dmitry Vostokov @ DumpAnalysis.org + TraceAnalysis.org -

Notation for Memory and Trace Analysis (Part 1)

Thursday, October 7th, 2010

It is time now to introduce a syntactical notation for memory (dump) and software trace analysis pattern languages (in addition to graphical notation proposed earlier). It should be simple and concise: allow easy grammar with plain syntax and obvious reading semantics. We propose to use capitalized letters for major pattern categories, for example, W for wait chains and D for deadlocks. Then use subscripts (or small letters) for pattern subcategories, for example, Wcs and Dlpc. Several categories and subcategories can be combined by using slash (/), for example, Wcs/Dcs/lpc. Slash notation is better viewed using subscripts:

Wcs/Dcs/lpc

Next part will introduce more categories and propose notational adornments for pattern succession, space differentiation and the inclusion of details in notational sentences.

- Dmitry Vostokov @ DumpAnalysis.org + TraceAnalysis.org -

Structural Memory Patterns (Part 1)

Friday, September 24th, 2010

Now it’s time to divide memory analysis patterns discerned so far as mostly abnormal software behavior memory dump and software trace patterns into behavioral and structural catalogues. The goal is to account for normal system-independent structural entities and relationships visible in memory like modules, threads, processes and so on.

The first pattern (and also a super-pattern) we discuss in this part is called Memory Snapshot. It is further subdivided into Structured Memory Snapshot and BLOB Memory Snapshot. Structured sub-pattern includes:

- Contiguous memory dump files with artificially generated headers (for example, physical or process virtual space memory dump)

- Software trace messages with imposed internal structure

BLOB sub-pattern variety includes address range snapshots without any externally imposed structure, for example, saved by .writemem WinDbg command or ReadProcessMemory API and contiguous buffer and raw memory dumps saved by various memory acquisition tools.

Behavioral patterns that relate to Memory Snapshot pattern are:

I strive initially to publish at least one such pattern every day to fill the gap of normal patterns in memory analysis and later add more multi-platform details and examples from other platforms like Linux, Mac OS X, embedded and selected important historical architectures.

- Dmitry Vostokov @ DumpAnalysis.org + TraceAnalysis.org -