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OSFMount v Arsenal Image Mounter v FTK Imager

Computer forensics discussion. Please ensure that your post is not better suited to one of the forums below (if it is, please post it there instead!)
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jaclaz
Senior Member
 

Re: OSFMount v Arsenal Image Mounter v FTK Imager

Post Posted: Oct 16, 18 14:08

- ArsenalConsulting

Can you elaborate upon "extremely complicated?" I had previously signed up for our mailing list and just went to our website, clicked "Downloads", expanded "Arsenal Image Mounter", clicked "Arsenal Image Mounter", and a download began. We could eliminate one of the those three clicks (making the navigation more efficient) and I will see about getting that done this week.

- jaclaz

[2] that as such is not anymore "free", again in my perverted mind


We are a small company and do not have marketing people. We require signing-up for our mailing list before downloading our tools, which is the primary method we use to alert current (and prospective, in the sense that they have already shown interest) users to updates in our existing tools and the launch of new tools. People can (and do) use throw-away email addresses and unsubscribe to our mailing list after they have downloaded what they want.

We don't charge for Arsenal Image Mounter's core functionality and have source code available on GitHub which we encourage open source projects to use. I feel we have launched quite a bit of free functionality in both Arsenal Image Mounter and Hibernation Recon, especially when you consider that Olof Lagerkvist is an excellent programmer (as are some of our other employees and contractors) and he does not work for free.

On a related note, developing software tends to be a way for us to lose money, not make it. If we did not have a successful consulting business, we would not be building software. Regardless, we will continue to fund more free functionality in Arsenal Image Mounter and I am open to suggestions related to that functionality, our GUI, mailing list, etc.

Thanks,

Mark Spencer, President
Arsenal Consulting, Inc.
ArsenalExperts.com
@ArsenalArmed


Mark Smile ,
I knew my post would have stirred the pot, but not as much as this Shocked .

Once said that you have all the rights in the world (+1) to do whatever you want with your software, imagine that you are a non-forensics interested user in need of just a RAW image mounter.

If you go to github (the repository for the source code):
github.com/ArsenalReco...ge-Mounter
there are "here and there" also compiled binaries, but on the "homepage" there is a hyperlink to:

For end users, Arsenal Image Mounter’s full functionality (along with all our other tools) is available as part of an affordable monthly subscription. If Arsenal Image Mounter is licensed, it runs in "Professional Mode.” If Arsenal Image Mounter is run without a license, it will run in "Free Mode" and provide core functionality.
Please see Arsenal Image Mounter’s product page: ArsenalRecon.com/weapo...ge-mounter for more details.


The:
arsenalrecon.com/weapo...ge-mounter
is no more and redirects to:
arsenalrecon.com/#products

scrolling down the page there is the choice for the various types of subscriptions, and only after it there is a

Looking for the latest
versions of our tools?

with a "Go to downloads" link to arsenalrecon.com/downl...istration/
where there is a registration form:

Join our mailing list to arm yourself with Arsenal Recon updates and tools! Our mailing list is double opt-in so you will need to check your email before receiving our mailing list or downloading our tools. Please note, for the purpose of downloading our tools, cookies are required for our website to remember you in the future.


That is - again in my perverted mind - a complicated way.

To compare, check how you can get to download OFSMount:
www.osforensics.com/to...mages.html
or IMDISK:
www.ltr-data.se/opencode.html/

As said you have all the rights in the world to want people subscribing to your mailing list (while as you mentioned a number of people will provide throwaway accounts and/or unsuscribe right after having had access to the download, making it largely irrelevant), require e-mail confirmation and have cookies enabled and possibly also solve a Sudoku puzzle (besides a CAPTCHA) before allowing people to download the driver, still it is not "direct" or "easy".

Now, if you can bear another critique , you have three products:
1) Registry Recon
2) Hibernation Recon
3) Image Mounter
the first two are "forensics" only (or 99.99% forensics) tools, so it is likely that people interested in them may be interested in forensics and thus in your other (future) products, the third is a (nice BTW) "generic" system tool/driver that may have tens of uses outside forensics, so it is (still IMHO) unlikely that people interested in it may have any use of the other (most probably as well very nice) tools or that are interested in forensics, let alone subscribing to the SAAS bundle to use only one tool.

Only as an anecdote, last car I bought new, I wanted, for some reasons, folding rear mirrors but I could have them only as a bundle called "Comfort Pack" or similar that for a mere 1,500 Euro or so included heated front seats and I cannot remember whatever other gadget I had no use for.

jaclaz
_________________
- In theory there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice there is. - 
 
  

JimC
Senior Member
 

Re: OSFMount v Arsenal Image Mounter v FTK Imager

Post Posted: Oct 16, 18 14:17

Thank you @Passmark for confirming that OSFMount will support physical disk emulation in a future release. That would be fantastic. Please can I ask if it would also be possible to add write support (to a temp file)? Together these would make two killer features.

I agree on the comments about AIM. It is a great looking tool but rather hard to get hold of. Sure, you can download and build from the source but not many people are going to try this. It makes me think the "business" model hasn't quite been thought through.

OSFMount is free and "just works". FTK Image is free and "just works". AIM is hard to get and deliberately hard to use unless you subscribe. That is a shame because it is technically excellent once you get it working.

Jim

www.binarymarkup.com  
 
  

Passmark
Senior Member
 

Re: OSFMount v Arsenal Image Mounter v FTK Imager

Post Posted: Oct 16, 18 23:51

JFYI, the "base" under the OFSMount tool is IMDISK, by Olof Lagerkvist, who is the same Author as Arsenal Image Mounter.


True, there was a fork 8 years ago. Code is fairly different now however. We added E01 support and 64bit support. Try running some benchmarks on RAM drives for a further example of the differences.

Also it is worth stating that none of these mounting tools (at least the ones we have looked at) are totally original work. For example AIM is based on Microsoft's code.

This code here,
code.msdn.microsoft.co...t-973650f6
Which was released under the Apache License. And we'll also be using chunks of that code in the next OSFMount release. Although there does seem to be a few bugs in it, it is a solid starting point that people would be foolish not to use.

A big part of the job in modern software development is seamlessly gluing together other people's code and libraries to make something useful. It isn't an easy job however. It is worth paying for when done well.  
 
  

randomaccess
Senior Member
 

Re: OSFMount v Arsenal Image Mounter v FTK Imager

Post Posted: Oct 17, 18 07:24

- JimC
OSFMount is free and "just works". FTK Image is free and "just works". AIM is hard to get and deliberately hard to use unless you subscribe. That is a shame because it is technically excellent once you get it working.


I have to disagree that AIM is hard to use, but yes, it is harder than OSFMount to get (FTK Imager requires you to enter details into the AD website). The website indicates it requires you to have the cookie on your machine, so if you move between machines you may need to register multiple times I guess?

Mark, maybe if it's not difficult, allowing examiners to create an account that they can use to easily get to the downloads?

I find having a few mounting tools is a good idea; FTK is my go-to, but it's been failing recently so I jump over to the free version of AIM. Maybe I need to start with AIM and go the other way.  
 
  

jaclaz
Senior Member
 

Re: OSFMount v Arsenal Image Mounter v FTK Imager

Post Posted: Oct 17, 18 08:04

- Passmark

True, there was a fork 8 years ago. Code is fairly different now however. We added E01 support and 64bit support. Try running some benchmarks on RAM drives for a further example of the differences.

Also it is worth stating that none of these mounting tools (at least the ones we have looked at) are totally original work. For example AIM is based on Microsoft's code.

This code here,
code.msdn.microsoft.co...t-973650f6
Which was released under the Apache License. And we'll also be using chunks of that code in the next OSFMount release. Although there does seem to be a few bugs in it, it is a solid starting point that people would be foolish not to use.

A big part of the job in modern software development is seamlessly gluing together other people's code and libraries to make something useful. It isn't an easy job however. It is worth paying for when done well.


Yep, that is the good thing about Open Source, knowledgeable people can re-use parts of the code and hopefully make a "better" product without re-starting each time from scratch. Smile

Still just for the record, in the meantime IMDISK has also a 64 bit version and has support (though it is only debugging/experimental) via the devio and a third party proxy for the libEWF library by Joachim Metz:

reboot.pro/topic/19940...or-imdisk/

The devio is sort of "generic" interface and is supported by both IMDISK and AIM, allowing, besides the use of a proxy also to mount a "remote" volume on the network.

@JimC
@randomaccess
Back to the AIM "accessibility" topic, to be fair Smile you can have all the relevant parts of the driver (but not the GUI tool) from the GITHUB repository without any registration/cookie:
github.com/ArsenalReco...ucture.txt

and if you really-really cannot use the command line the already mentioned IMGMOUNT:
reboot.pro/files/file/374-imgmount/
might do.


jaclaz
_________________
- In theory there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice there is. - 
 
  

JimC
Senior Member
 

Re: OSFMount v Arsenal Image Mounter v FTK Imager

Post Posted: Jan 08, 19 17:01

@Passmark: Please could you confirm when the next release of OSFMount may be available?

I imagine many of us would be very keen to try it as an alternative to AIM, FTK etc.

Jim

www.binarymarkup.com  
 
  

Passmark
Senior Member
 

Re: OSFMount v Arsenal Image Mounter v FTK Imager

Post Posted: Jan 10, 19 01:51

Should have a beta release in the next few days.
Only major issue, that we are currently aware of, for the beta is device driver code signing. The whole code signing thing has become a minefield. So we might have to initially do unsigned drivers for the beta (unsigned by Microsoft that is).
I'll post a link here once it is up.  
 

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