Finding hidden things!

Hi there,

An interesting talk with one of my co-workers – a sales SE, got me thinking about this subject and I realized others would be interested so I figured to share it out.

It started with a customer who doesn’t want music on his array.  And he is used to checking backups and doing searches for mp3, or m4a, music files and deleting them.  He was skeptical we could do anything about it as his employees just renamed files and he could not find them.  Not sure how they played them but here here is how that customer could deal with this on a DataGravity array.

First I check on my Shared volume as that is where the company shared, and the team folders are.  In my experience people like to hide stuff somewhere other then their home drive. (Please note you can click on the images below to make them bigger.)

shared

What we see above is I have done a * search on the shared mount point.  I look down in the bottom left and see File Types show nothing about audio or video.  And that is done by mime-type and not by file extension so much harder to fool.  So nothing interesting here.  Now lets check out the home mount point.

We can see a bit more interesting stuff in this one.

home1

So we still have an * search and in the home mount point but look in the lower left to see how we do have music and video now.

But lets look closer.  If we select the check-box on Audio see what happens?

home2

Now we are only looking at Music files.  Sort of obvious that they are songs and where they are found and who owns them.  Lets click on one.

home3

So we see now when this file was created.  And we see I have not played it yet – no Read in Recent Activities. But I am curious about what else I can learn, so I expand File Details – seen in top right.

home4

Lots of cool info – right?

But the idea was to see if any music was hidden. So lets head back to the search window and scroll through it to see what we see.

found1

Look what we see at the end of the list – a PDF file.  But yet we are only looking at Audio files. Lets click on it to see what we can learn.

NewFound1

So we can see a bit of info here, but what about File Details?  I want to see if there is any metadata that helps us understand.

NewFound2

And yes, we can see it is a podcast.  Cool.  There was hidden music (podcast) found.  But here is something interesting.  Notice how the BitRate is 64, as seen above?

NewFound3

See how we can do a search?  Yes, it does have to be proper case. Another thing we can do is use the fingerprint we found and do a search with it to see what we find.

NewFound4

So this also confirms that we found music – we can see both files share the same fingerprint – not name, not file extension but fingerprint.

While this is about looking for music – without using a file extension, think about what we did.  It could work with other things like documents too!

Questions and comments are always welcome, and don’t forget you can use this tag to see all of my DataGravity search articles, or this tag to see all of my DataGravity technical articles – normally everything technical is in DGTech, and only search type articles in Search.

Michael

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Posted in DataGravity, How To
2 comments on “Finding hidden things!
  1. Chris Chua says:

    Ahh this brings me back. I had a whole system to scan home drives for music using tree size pro. Legal shut us down though. I guess plausible deniability is king.

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