Reading Time: < 1 minute

NTFS allows additional attributes. ( )

Under Linux :


getfattr file.123

getfattr file.123 –only-values > output.bin

Under Windows :

dir /r

streams myfile (Streams exe can be found at Systernals Microsoft)

Add a file to stream : expand mysecretfile.exe myfile:secretfile (this will add mysecretfile.exe to myfile as alternatice streams called secretfile)

Powershell :

Get-Content -Path myfile -stream ‘secretfile’

Add-Content -Path myfile -Value ‘Secret Information’ -Stream ‘secretfile’ (this will add the value ‘Secret Information’ in the extended attribute secretfile of the file myfile )

For Forensics, this can be particulary be interesting, because a few browsers will add metadata in extended attributes called “Zone.Identifier” to files downloaded.

Example : Go to your Download folder

Type : Streams mydownloadedfile.exe

streams v1.60 – Reveal NTFS alternate streams.
Copyright (C) 2005-2016 Mark Russinovich
Sysinternals –

C:\Users\xxxxxx\Downloads\ mydownloadedfile.exe :
:Zone.Identifier:$DATA 146

Then get the content in Powershell :

PS C:\Users\xxxxx\Downloads> Get-Content -Path mydownloadedfile.exe -Stream ‘Zone.Identifier’
HostUrl= mydownloadedfile.exe

Additional Information : Extended attributes on NTFS has been used and is been used in the wild by some Threat groups. Article on MITR :