Advanced Windows Memory Dump Analysis with Data Structures
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Advanced Windows Memory Dump Analysis with Data Structures

Training Course Transcript and WinDbg Practice Exercises with Notes, Fourth Edition

About the Book

The full transcript of Software Diagnostics Services training course with 15 step-by-step exercises, notes, and selected questions and answers. Learn how to navigate through memory dump space and Windows data structures to diagnose, troubleshoot and debug complex software incidents. The training uses a unique and innovative pattern-oriented analysis approach to speed up the learning curve. It consists of practical step-by-step exercises using WinDbg to diagnose structural and behavioral patterns in the 64-bit kernel and complete (physical) memory dumps. Additional topics include memory search, kernel linked list navigation, practical WinDbg scripting, registry, system variables and objects, device drivers, and I/O. Prerequisites are basic and intermediate level Windows memory dump analysis: the ability to list processors, processes, threads, modules, apply symbols, walk through stack traces and raw stack data, diagnose patterns such as heap corruption, CPU spike, memory leaks, access violation, wait chains and deadlocks. If you don't feel comfortable with prerequisites then Accelerated Windows Memory Dump Analysis training book is recommended before purchasing and reading this book course. Audience: Software technical support and escalation engineers, system administrators, security researchers, reverse engineers, malware and memory forensics analysts, software developers, and quality assurance engineers. The 4th edition was fully reworked to use the latest WinDbg and now covers memory dumps from Windows 11. Three new exercises were added and the previous ones now have improved command syntax and color highlighting. This edition also includes a possibility to use a Docker WinDbg image with required symbol files instead of a local Debugging Tools for Windows installation.

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About the Author

Dmitry Vostokov
Dmitry Vostokov

Dmitry Vostokov is an internationally recognized expert, speaker, educator, scientist, inventor, and author. He is the founder of pattern-oriented software diagnostics, forensics, and prognostics discipline (Systematic Software Diagnostics), and Software Diagnostics Institute. Vostokov has also authored more than 50 books on software diagnostics, anomaly detection and analysis, software and memory forensics, root cause analysis and problem solving, memory dump analysis, debugging, software trace and log analysis, reverse engineering and malware analysis. He has more than 25 years of experience in software architecture, design, development and maintenance in a variety of industries including leadership, technical and people management roles. Dmitry also founded Syndromatix, Anolog.io, BriteTrace, DiaThings, Logtellect, OpenTask Iterative and Incremental Publishing, Software Diagnostics Technology and Services (former Memory Dump Analysis Services), and Software Prognostics. In his spare time, he presents various topics on Debugging TV and explores Software Narratology, its further development as Narratology of Things and Diagnostics of Things (DoT), Software Pathology, and Quantum Software Diagnostics. His current areas of interest are theoretical software diagnostics and its mathematical and computer science foundations, application of formal logic, artificial intelligence, machine learning and data mining to diagnostics and anomaly detection, software diagnostics engineering and diagnostics-driven development, diagnostics workflow and interaction. Recent interest areas also include cloud native computing, security, automation, functional programming, and applications of category theory to software development and big data.

Dmitry Vostokov

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Table of Contents

About the Author 5

Presentation Slides and Transcript 7

Practice Exercises 13

Exercise 0: Download, setup, and verify your WinDbg or WinDbg Preview installation, or Docker WinDbg image 18

Exercise C1A: Stack Trace Collection 31

Exercise C1B: WOW64 Stack Trace Reconstruction 65

Exercise C2: Memory Search 90

Exercise C3A: Linked Lists 113

Exercise C3B: Linked Lists, Additional Example 161

Exercise C4A: WinDbg Built-in Scripting 174

Exercise C4B: WinDbg JavaScript Scripting 190

Exercise C5: Registry 210

Exercise C6: Module Variables 218

Exercise C7: System Objects 223

Exercise C8: Network 232

Exercise C9: Device Drivers 244

Exercise C10: Storage and File System 261

Exercise C11: Window Messaging 267

Exercise C12: Past Behavior 275

Selected Q&A 283

Two WinDbg Scripts That Changed the World 291

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