Lotus Notes NSF File Forensics – The Perfect Solution

MailXaminer | August 1st, 2020 | Forensics

With the evolution of technology, now users can instantly connect and exchange information with the intended recipient at ease. Email applications play a significant role in one’s life to carry out communication with the end-users. It provides numerous features, which allows every individual to work with ease. At the same time, technology fails to keep itself immune from cybercrime activities, which are drastically increasing with every passing day.

In the case of Lotus Notes, the need for NSF file forensics has rapidly emerged. IBM Notes saves its data in Notes Storage Format (NSF). Therefore, to perform Lotus Notes email forensics, one has to investigate the NSF file, which is the soul of Lotus Notes. With the help of this write-up, we will focus on the finest approach to seamlessly examine suspected NSF files for investigation purpose.

Analysis of Lotus Notes NSF File – Dig in Here!

As email applications are becoming a weapon for offenders to commit frauds, there also arises a need for email forensics.

Note: NSF file format can be encrypted, thus it becomes a major challenge during the investigation. It stores all the .nsf file data under:

  • Indexed Storage: The database of Lotus Notes consists of all documents, chat history, archived data, message folders, etc. All these elements are examined forensically to acquire potential artefacts. Moreover, this data is saved into a username.nsf file. All the calendar’s entry and To-Do’s list are also saved in the same file.
  • Contacts Storage: Contacts are also an important part of the messaging environment. In Lotus Notes, the address book saves its contacts into .nsf file. It can be stored into readable format, i.e. vCard (VCF) or CSV for analyzing and investigation purpose.
  • Notebook: There is another important element, i.e. notebook, which can help in forensic investigation. It includes personal information and documents. It describes the priority documents of the custodian.
  • IBM Sametime: While working on Notes and Domino environment, many users get a protected platform for messaging, i.e. Sametime. It provides a mode to communicate with other users, which is a kind of replacement of email and phone calls. It is a quick chat, which is between two users or between groups of various users. The history of chat is stored automatically or as specified by the user. This record can be utilized to perform Lotus Notes NSF forensics.

Different Challenges & Requirement for Lotus Notes NSF File Forensics

Lotus Notes is a desktop-based email application, which is exclusively used at the organizational level. Moreover, in these giant companies, even a small loophole can lead to the occurrence of cybercriminal activities in order to gain access to highly confidential information. Thus, eventually, forensic experts have to intervene and play their part to investigate such compromised crucial business information. There are numerous challenges that are faced by the investigators while examining the NSF file, which is described in the below section.

  • File Encryption: NSF file is encrypted because of which there is a difficulty in investigation.
  • Encrypted Password: Sometimes, the account is password protected and the user id file has to be browsed for login. This is because without any id file, the user cannot utilize the database of that particular account.
  • Access to ACL: It creates a problem at the time of investigation, if the investigator is not having the user key. User key is the authority that admin holds to manage ACL (Access Control List) as per the requirement.

Do You Know?

The aforementioned are some of the security complexities, which can create a hurdle during the analysis. To make the Lotus Notes NSF File investigation a result-oriented task, users can utilize the perfect Email Examiner Software i.e., MailXaminer. It is an easy to use application to carve out the necessary evidence and helps to perform the investigation properly from the suspected NSF file. It can proficiently analyze the email data file, including Lotus Notes NSF file. Apart from that, it is capable enough to support email files from both desktop and web-based email applications.

Concluding Lines

The investigating officer may have to deal with various email data files for investigation purposes. In the case of IBM Notes NSF files, one needs to install the supported Lotus Notes email application to analyze each data item. Moreover, this approach to install the default email application to get access to the email data file i.e., NSF ends up being tedious and time-consuming.

Therefore, to smartly handle such situation, it is best suggested to avail MailXaminer software. It is induced with remarkable features, which allows examination of Lotus Notes NSF files in a seamless way.