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A Pattern Language for Training Course Development and Maintenance

After developing and publishing almost ten training courses with some of them in the second and the third edition, we decided to summarize our solutions to recurrent training course engineering problems. So we started developing a catalogue of patterns. Here we follow common engineering pattern stack: Requirements, Architecture, Design, Implementation, Presentation, and Deployment (Delivery) patterns.

Here we introduce the first architectural pattern we call after the proverb: First Things First. It describes the need to introduce or remind the basic vocabulary to use for the rest of the training course. This vocabulary is not what the training aims to teach. Its knowledge is a prerequisite, but we need to provide our version of the definition of that terminology in order to have a common ground and remove any misunderstanding that may arise later on.

For example, Accelerated Windows Memory Dump Analysis training course starts
with the following definitions:

  • Application
  • Process
  • Module
  • Driver
  • User space
  • Kernel space
  • Process virtual space
  • Process memory dump
  • Kernel memory dump
  • Complete memory dump
  • Thread
  • Thread raw data
  • Thread stack trace
  • Access violation exception
  • Runtime exception

It is essential terminology we need to agree about before we proceed with teaching memory dump analysis.

We plan a presentation and a book in earlier 2015 to show more patterns from different pattern stack frames.

Pattern-Oriented Network Forensics: A Patten Language Approach

In February, 2015 we plan a lecture from Software Diagnostics Institute which introduces a pattern language for network forensics - investigation of captured network traces for patterns of abnormal network traffic behavior. It provides a unified language for discussing and communicating detection and analysis results, a base language for checklists, and an aid in accelerated learning. Pattern-oriented network forensics is based on a synthesis of pattern-oriented network trace analysis with malware narrative approach including malnarratives and complements pattern-oriented memory forensics.

Memory Dump Analysis Anthology, Volume 8a

We are now distributors of Volume 8a of Memory Dump Analysis Anthology in PDF format:

Purchase

Complete 9-volume set in PDF format is also available with a discount.

Software Diagnostics Skills Assessment Service

Now you can test your staff, job applicants, and prospective contractors for their skill level in software diagnostics: including crash dump analysis, software trace and log analysis.

It works transparently and anonymously:

  1. We prepare memory dumps and software traces on your request and send them to you.
  2. Your candidates analyze them and send their analysis reports.
  3. We evaluate them by individual and overall group performance and provide you individual and comparison score reports.
  4. Additionally on request for specific or all candidates we can ask additional questions based on their analysis reports and provide you with final score reports.

Pricing and other details available upon request.

Certified Software Diagnostics Professional

There are hundreds of individuals and companies who attended our memory dump analysis training sessions or bought training courses directly from us. There are even more who bought them in paperback format from bookstores or read online from content providers.

We now offer a certification in pattern-oriented software diagnostics for software technical support and escalation engineers, software engineers and quality assurance engineers with the following assessment areas:

  • pattern-oriented memory dump analysis
  • pattern-oriented software trace and log analysis

The focus is on unintentional software behaviour such related to crashes, resource consumption (CPU, memory leaks), and hangs. For intentional software behaviour there is Memory Forensics Professional certification under development. The Windows track tests the ability to recognise patterns using the following analysis tools: WinDbg from Microsoft Debugging Tools for Windows and Process Monitor.

The certification has the following features:

  • Two-factor certification:
    1. The first phase is based on real software execution artefacts, not on questions
    2. The second phase involves questions about analysis results to assess understanding
  • Each certificate has its own verifiable CID (Certificate ID)
  • Each assessment score transcript has its unique PID.TID (Performance ID and Transcript ID)
  • Each candidate gets a set of unique memory dumps and software traces
  • Evaluation by individual and overall exam group performance (when there is a sufficient number of candidates and may be postponed initially until the right group size)
  • Second free attempt after one month if the applicant does not pass an assessment

How it is done: after payment, we prepare unique set of memory dumps and software logs together with the short problem descriptions. The preparation may take from two days to a week based on the number of applicants. Then we send these execution artefacts. There is a week to prepare an analysis report. We then evaluate it and ask additional questions during next week. Then we send the final score report. We send the certificate only the applicant recognises 75% of patterns and provides an explanation. The whole certification process may take up to three weeks. An applicant can try again after a month with a new set of memory dumps and traces.

Price: 123 USD (including VAT).

Study materials: Accelerated Windows Memory Dump Analysis 2nd edition or 3rd edition (base); Accelerated .NET Memory Dump Analysis 1st edition or 2nd edition (optional); Accelerated Windows Software Trace Analysis (optional). “Optional” means that if patterns from optional courses are identified this may improve overall score especially if the base course score is below acceptance.

Available from February, 2015. Please use the contact form to enroll.

Certified Memory Forensics Professional

We offer a certification in pattern-oriented memory forensics for digital forensics and incident response professionals, reverse engineers and security researchers with the following assessment areas:

  • pattern-oriented malware detection and analysis
  • pattern-oriented reverse engineering

The focus is on intentional software behaviour such related to malware and rootkits. For unintentional software behaviour there is Software Diagnostics Professional certification. The Windows track tests the ability to recognise ADDR and malware analysis patterns using the following analysis tool: WinDbg from Microsoft Debugging Tools (future versions of this certification may add other tools). It has the same features and process as Software Diagnostics Professional certification.

Price: 123 USD (including VAT).

Study materials: Accelerated Windows Malware Analysis (base); Accelerated Disassembly, Reconstruction and Reversing (optional). “Optional” means that if patterns from optional courses are identified this may improve overall score especially if the base course score is below acceptance. For these courses and additional learning materials we recommend Windows Memory Forensics Training Pack.

Available from February, 2015. Please use the contact form to enroll.

Principles of Memory Dump Analysis: The Collected Seminars

This is a collection of Software Diagnostics Services webinar transcripts about memory dump analysis methodology developed by Software Diagnostics Institute. Includes 6 seminars on physical memory dump analysis, cloud memory dump analysis, patterns, tools, processes and best practices for software trace and memory dump analysis, pattern-oriented software forensics, a pattern language for memory forensics, and mobile software diagnostics.

  • Title: Principles of Memory Dump Analysis: The Collected Seminars
  • Authors: Dmitry Vostokov, Software Diagnostics Services
  • Publisher: OpenTask (September 2014)
  • Language: English
  • Product Dimensions: 28.0 x 21.6
  • PDF: 284 pages
  • ISBN-13: 978-1906717667

Price: 50 USD (including 50% discount from the price of hardcover edition).

Purchase

Windows Debugging Training Pack

New! Now includes Practical Foundations of Windows Debugging, Disassembling, Reversing PDF book.

This comprehensive live and postmortem debugging training for software engineers features:

  • Both x86 and x64 Windows versions
  • Both managed, unmanaged and native code
  • 4 training courses
  • 14 books (17 in print version)
  • 70 hands-on exercises
  • 170 slides with comments
  • 120 questions and answers
  • 1,700 pages of training books
  • 3,700 pages of reference materials (4,100 in print version)

Download tables of contents, slides, and sample exercises for all included books

This offer includes training courses and access to the vast collection of patterns and case studies:

  1. Accelerated Windows Memory Dump Analysis, 4th edition
  2. Accelerated .NET Memory Dump Analysis, 2nd edition
  3. Accelerated Windows Debugging3
  4. Practical Foundations of Windows Debugging, Disassembling, Reversing PDF book
  5. Access to Software Diagnostics Library
  6. Memory Dump Analysis Anthology volume set

You can buy either in PDF or paperback format with trackable shipping included (shipped from OpenTask publisher, some restrictions may apply) or both with further discounts:

Purchase

Note: We are not responsible for any loss or damage caused during shipment and delivery.

Windows Crash Dump Analysis Training Pack

New! The PDF version pack now includes a complimentary EPUB version of Accelerated Windows Memory Dump Analysis, Fourth Edition

This comprehensive training for software technical support engineers, system administrators, software developers and testers features:

  • Both x86 and x64 Windows versions
  • 3 training courses
  • 14 books (17 in print version)
  • 60 hands-on exercises
  • 120 slides with comments
  • 120 questions and answers
  • 1,400 pages of training books
  • 3,800 pages of reference materials (4,200 in print version)

This offer includes training courses and access to the vast collection of patterns and case studies:

  1. Accelerated Windows Memory Dump Analysis, 4th edition
  2. Advanced Windows Memory Dump Analysis with Data Structures, 2nd edition
  3. Practical Foundations of Windows Debugging, Disassembling, Reversing
  4. Access to Software Diagnostics Library
  5. Memory Dump Analysis Anthology volume set

You can buy either in PDF or paperback format with trackable shipping included (shipped from OpenTask publisher, some restrictions may apply) or both with further discounts:

Purchase

Note: We are not responsible for any loss or damage caused during shipment and delivery.

Windows Memory Forensics Training Pack

This comprehensive native memory forensics training features:

  • 3 Windows versions (x86, x64, ARM)
  • 5 training courses
  • 19 books (22 in print version)
  • 60 exercises
  • 250 slides
  • 1,350 pages of training books
  • 3,800 pages of reference materials (4,200 in print version)

This offer includes training courses, seminar transcripts, and access to the vast collection of memory analysis patterns and case studies:

  1. Advanced Windows Memory Dump Analysis with Data Structures, 2nd edition
  2. Advanced Windows RT Memory Dump Analysis, ARM edition
  3. Accelerated Windows Malware Analysis with Memory Dumps
  4. Accelerated Disassembly, Reconstruction and Reversing
  5. Practical Foundations of Windows Debugging, Disassembling, Reversing
  6. Fundamentals of Physical Memory Analysis
  7. Pattern-Oriented Software Forensics: A Foundation of Memory Forensics and Forensics of Things
  8. Pattern-Oriented Memory Forensics: A Pattern Language Approach
  9. Access to Software Diagnostics Library
  10. Memory Dump Analysis Anthology volume set

You can buy either in PDF or paperback format with trackable shipping included (shipped from OpenTask publisher, some restrictions may apply) or both with further discounts:

Purchase

Note: We are not responsible for any loss or damage caused during shipment and delivery.

Memory Dump Analysis Anthology, Volume 7

We are now distributors of Volume 7 of Memory Dump Analysis Anthology in PDF format:

Purchase

Complete 9-volume set in PDF format is also available with a discount.

Book: Advanced Windows RT Memory Dump Analysis, ARM Edition

The full transcript of Software Diagnostics Services training with 9 step-by-step exercises. Learn how to navigate through memory dump space and Windows data structures to perform memory forensics, troubleshoot and debug complex software incidents. The training uses a unique and innovative pattern-driven analysis approach to speed up the learning curve. It consists of practical step-by-step exercises using WinDbg to diagnose structural and behavioural patterns in Windows RT 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, memory mapped and cached files content.

Prerequisites: Basic and intermediate level Windows memory dump analysis: ability to list processors, processes, threads, modules, apply symbols, and walk through stack traces.

Audience: Software developers, software technical support and escalation engineers, reverse and security research engineers, digital forensic analysts.

  • Title: Advanced Windows RT Memory Dump Analysis, ARM Edition: Training Course Transcript and WinDbg Practice Exercises
  • Authors: Dmitry Vostokov, Software Diagnostics Services
  • Publisher: OpenTask (March 2014)
  • Language: English
  • PDF: 190 pages
  • ISBN-13: 978-1908043733

Table of Contents

When you purchase the PDF book you additionally get free named Software Diagnostics Library membership with access to more than 300 cross-referenced patterns of memory dump analysis, their classification, and more than 70 case studies. There is an option to buy 9 volumes of Memory Dump Analysis Anthology in PDF format (retail price $170) together with the course.

Purchase

Accelerated Mac OS X Core Dump Analysis: LLDB Exercises

Warning! Contains only exercises for LLDB debugger.

This is an update for Accelerated Mac OS X Core Dump Analysis: Training Course Transcript and GDB Practice Exercises (ISBN: 978-1908043405) book. In Mac OS X Mavericks GDB was replaced by LLDB debugger. All GDB exercises were reworked and updated for LLDB. The original first edition also contains slide transcripts and selected memory analysis pattern descriptions which are missing in this update. This update contains only LLDB exercises. If you don't have the first edition of this course then Accelerated Mac OS X Core Dump Analysis, Second Edition: Training Course Transcript with GDB and LLDB Practice Exercises (ISBN: 978-1908043719) is recommended instead of this update.

Table of Contents
Review
Amazon Reviews for the previous GDB edition

When you purchase the PDF book you additionally get free named Software Diagnostics Library membership with access to more than 300 cross-referenced patterns of memory dump analysis, their classification, and more than 70 case studies. There is an option to buy 9 volumes of Memory Dump Analysis Anthology in PDF format (retail price $170) together with the course.

If you purchased the first edition directly from us or attended corresponding training sessions you can get the second edition for just 50 USD. Please use the contact form if you would like to purchase your book upgrade.

Purchase

Cyber Space Defence Initiative (Cyber SDI)

One year passed since we launched Cyber Vostok I into cyber space. After a year of survey we now launch Cyberspace Defence Initiative. It is based on our Global Software Diagnostics Infrastructure program.

Book: Accelerated Mac OS X Core Dump Analysis, Second Edition

New! Now also includes EPUB version.

The second edition is fully updated for Mac OS X LLDB debugger.

The full transcript of Software Diagnostics Services Training with 12 step-by-step exercises.

  • Title: Accelerated Mac OS X Core Dump Analysis, Second Edition: Training Course Transcript with GDB and LLDB Practice Exercises
  • Authors: Dmitry Vostokov, Software Diagnostics Services
  • Publisher: OpenTask (March 2014)
  • Language: English
  • PDF: 406 pages
  • ISBN-13: 978-1908043719

Table of Contents
Slides from the training
Amazon Reviews for the previous edition

When you purchase the PDF book you additionally get its EPUB version and free named Software Diagnostics Library membership with access to more than 300 cross-referenced patterns of memory dump analysis, their classification, and more than 70 case studies. There is an option to buy 9 volumes of Memory Dump Analysis Anthology in PDF format (retail price $170) together with the course.

Purchase

Introducing Narrascope: A Narrative Debugger

We are partnering with Software Diagnostics Institute to develop the new type of a debugger and diagnostic tool based on pattern-oriented trace and log analysis and software narratology. Although the purpose of this narrative debugger is to identify common problems and patterns in any narrative form including generalized narratives comprised from memory snapshots the initial version of Narrascope® is aimed to analyze diverse narrative artefacts used in digital forensics, software support and maintenance. It will be a part of our Software Diagnostics Workbench and consist of a visual narrative editor and visualizer based on Narrative Presentation Foundation classes, extendable narrative analyzer framework, and a narrative compiler for Narralog programming language.

Presentation, Recording and Logs from Fundamentals of Physical Memory Analysis Webinar

Download presentation: FundamentalsPhysicalMemoryAnalysis.pdf

WinDbg log from a complete memory dump: fpma.txt

WinDbg log (scripting both 32-bit and 64-bit stack traces): fpma-full.txt

Presentation session WinDbg log: fpma-session.txt

Recording: http://youtu.be/T06Z7uqWPf4

Complete transcript: Fundamentals of Physical Memory Analysis

Pattern Diagnostics Channel

We created a YouTube channel where we started adding our presentations:

http://www.youtube.com/PatternDiagnostics

Software Prognostics

We set up and registered an operating subsidiary called Software Prognostics. It will develop the approach originally called Zero Fault Software Diagnostics.

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