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Magnet IEF Feature Profile: Hex & Text Viewer

Overview:

Magnet IEF reports some of the most important data for files and artifacts. However, examiners often need to dig even deeper into an artifact or file to better understand its purpose or value. Hex and Text Viewers, now built into Magnet IEF Report Viewer, allow examiners to view the raw data and:

  1. Confirm/validate the results that Magnet IEF has returned for a given artifact
  2. Perform manual searches, providing additional context related to an artifact
  3. Dig deeper for additional data that might be found in a file

Hex and Text Viewers are an essential part of an examiner’s toolkit and will assist them in conducting additional analysis beyond the refined results provided by IEF.

How it works:

From within the Magnet IEF Report Viewer, first select the artifact you would like to examine. In the bottom right window, you will be presented with several tabs including “Details,” “Hex,” and “Text” (there may be additional tabs depending on the artifact being examined).

The “Details” tab will display the traditional IEF report details in, as always, an easy to interpret format, just as it has in previous versions.

The “Hex” tab will display a hexadecimal view of the raw data for the associated file or artifact. If the artifact is carved, Report Viewer will jump to and highlight the referenced data for the given artifact. The Hex Viewer will also provide examiners with the location of the artifact (file name and path, physical sector, and offset) to help validate their results.

The “Text” tab will translate the same raw data in a text format, which may assist examiners in interpreting  some of the artifact data. Text Viewer also shows the source path of the file being examined on the system. By default, Report Viewer will display the text in Unicode; however, it also allows the examiner to modify the view with various ASCII and Unicode styles.

In order to view the hex or text values of a given file or artifact, Magnet IEF Report Viewer must have access to the original evidence/image. If the evidence has not moved from its original location when it was searched, IEF will automatically find it. However, if it was moved, the examiner will need to provide the new path to the source files in order to use the Hex and Text viewers.

In summary, the Hex and Text Viewers allow examiners to dig deeper into artifacts and files to better understand recovered evidence.

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