Monday 29 July 2019

USBRIP- Simple Command Live Forensic Tool For Tracking USB device

USBRIP- Simple Command Live Forensic Tool For Tracking USB device

Simple command line forensics tool for tracking USB device artifacts (history of USB events) on GNU/Linux.

usbrip (derived from "USB Ripper", not "USB R.I.P." astonished) is an open source forensics tool with CLI interface that lets you keep track of USB device artifacts (aka USB event history, "Connected" and "Disconnected" events) on Linux machines.

usbrip is a small piece of software written in pure Python 3 (using some external modules though, see Dependencies/PIP) which parses Linux log files (/var/log/syslog* or /var/log/messages* depending on the distro) for constructing USB event history tables. Such tables may contain the following columns: "Connected" (date & time), "User", "VID" (vendor ID), "PID" (product ID), "Product", "Manufacturer", "Serial Number", "Port" and "Disconnected" (date & time).

Besides, it also can:
  • export gathered information as a JSON dump (and open such dumps, of course);
  • generate a list of authorized (trusted) USB devices as a JSON (call it auth.json);
  • search for "violation events" based on the auth.json: show (or generate another JSON with) USB devices that do appear in history and do NOT appear in the auth.json;
  • When installed with -s flag create crypted storages (7zip archives) to automatically backup and accumulate USB events with the help of crontab scheduler;
  • search additional details about a specific USB device based on its VID and/or PID.

Quick Start

usbrip is available for download and installation at PyPI:

$ pip3 install usbrip

Git Clone

For simplicity, lets agree that all the commands where ~/usbrip$ prefix is appeared are executed in the ~/usbrip directory which is created as a result of git clone:

~$ git clone usbrip && cd usbrip


usbrip works with non-modified structure of system log files only, so, unfortunately, it won't be able to parse USB history if you change the format of syslogs (with syslog-ng or rsyslog, for example). That's why the timestamps of "Connected" and "Disconnected" fields don't have the year, by the way. Keep that in mind.

DEB Packages

  • python3.6 (or newer) interpreter
  • python3-venv
  • p7zip-full (used by storages module)
  • ~$ sudo apt install -y python3-venv p7zip-full

PIP Packages

usbrip makes use of the following external modules:
  • terminaltables
  • termcolor

To resolve Python dependencies manually (it's not necessary actually because pip or can automate the process, see Installation) create a virtual environment (optional) and run pip from within:

~/usbrip$ python3 -m venv venv && source venv/bin/activate
(venv) ~/usbrip$ pip install -r requirements.txt

Or let the pipenv one-liner do all the dirty work for you:

~/usbrip$ pipenv install && pipenv shell

After that you can run usbrip portably:

(venv) ~/usbrip$ python -m usbrip -h
(venv) ~/usbrip$ python -h


There are two ways to install usbrip into the system: pip or

pip or

First of all, usbrip is pip installable. This means that after git cloning the repo you can simply fire up the pip installation process and after that run usbrip from anywhere in your terminal like so:

~/usbrip$ python3 -m venv venv && source venv/bin/activate
(venv) ~/usbrip$ pip install .

(venv) ~/usbrip$ usbrip -h

Or if you want to resolve Python dependencies locally (without bothering PyPI), use

~/usbrip$ python3 -m venv venv && source venv/bin/activate
(venv) ~/usbrip$ python install

(venv) ~/usbrip$ usbrip -h

alien Note: you'd likely want to run the installation process while the Python virtual environment is active (like it is shown above).

Secondly, usbrip can also be installed into the system with the ./installers/ script.

When using the ./installers/ some extra features become available:
  • the virtual environment is created automatically;
  • the storage module becomes available: you can set a crontab job to backup USB events on a schedule (the example of crontab jobs can be found in usbrip/cron/usbrip.cron).

Warning: if you are using the crontab scheduling, you want to configure the cron job with sudo crontab -e in order to force the storage update submodule run as root as well as protect the passwords of the USB event storages. The storage passwords are kept in /var/opt/usbrip/usbrip.ini.

The ./installers/ script removes all the installation artifacts from your system.

To install usbrip use:

~/usbrip$ chmod +x ./installers/
~/usbrip$ sudo -H ./installers/ [-l/--local] [-s/--storages]
~/usbrip$ cd

~$ usbrip -h

  • When -l switch is enabled, Python dependencies are resolved from local .tar packages (./3rdPartyTools/) instead of PyPI.
  • When -s switch is enabled, not only the usbrip project is installed, but also the list of trusted USB devices, history and violations storages are created.

Note: when using -s option during installation, make sure that system logs do contain at least one external USB device entry. It is a necessary condition for usbrip to successfully create the list of trusted devices (and as a result, successfully create the violations storage).

After the installation completes, feel free to remove the usbrip folder.


When installed, the usbrip uses the following paths:
  • /opt/usbrip/ — project's main directory;
  • /var/opt/usbrip/usbrip.ini — usbrip configuration file: keeps passwords for 7zip storages;
  • /var/opt/usbrip/storage/ — USB event storages: history.7z and violations.7z (created during the installation process);
  • /var/opt/usbrip/log/ — usbrip logs (recommended to log usbrip activity when using crontab, see usbrip/cron/usbrip.cron);
  • /var/opt/usbrip/trusted/ — list of trusted USB devices (created during the installation process);
  • /usr/local/bin/usbrip — symlink to the /opt/usbrip/venv/bin/usbrip script.


Cron jobs can be set as follows:

~/usbrip$ sudo crontab -l > tmpcron && echo "" >> tmpcron
~/usbrip$ cat usbrip/cron/usbrip.cron | tee -a tmpcron
~/usbrip$ sudo crontab tmpcron
~/usbrip$ rm tmpcron

To uninstall usbrip use:

~/usbrip$ chmod +x ./installers/
~/usbrip$ sudo ./installers/ [-a/--all]

When -a switch is enabled, not only the usbrip project directory is deleted, but also all the storages and usbrip logs are deleted too.

And don't forget to remove the cron job.



# ---------- BANNER ----------

$ usbrip banner
Get usbrip banner.

# ---------- EVENTS ----------

$ usbrip events history [-t | -l] [-e] [-n <NUMBER_OF_EVENTS>] [-d <DATE> [<DATE> ...]] [--user <USER> [<USER> ...]] [--vid <VID> [<VID> ...]] [--pid <PID> [<PID> ...]] [--prod <PROD> [<PROD> ...]] [--manufact <MANUFACT> [<MANUFACT> ...]] [--serial <SERIAL> [<SERIAL> ...]] [--port <PORT> [<PORT> ...]] [-c <COLUMN> [<COLUMN> ...]] [-f <FILE> [<FILE> ...]] [-q] [--debug]
Get USB event history.

$ usbrip events open <DUMP.JSON> [-t | -l] [-e] [-n <NUMBER_OF_EVENTS>] [-d <DATE> [<DATE> ...]] [--user <USER> [<USER> ...]] [--vid <VID> [<VID> ...]] [--pid <PID> [<PID> ...]] [--prod <PROD> [<PROD> ...]] [--manufact <MANUFACT> [<MANUFACT> ...]] [--serial <SERIAL> [<SERIAL> ...]] [--port <PORT> [<PORT> ...]] [-c <COLUMN> [<COLUMN> ...]] [-f <FILE> [<FILE> ...]] [-q] [--debug]
Open USB event dump.

$ usbrip events gen_auth <OUT_AUTH.JSON> [-a <ATTRIBUTE> [<ATTRIBUTE> ...]] [-e] [-n <NUMBER_OF_EVENTS>] [-d <DATE> [<DATE> ...]] [--user <USER> [<USER> ...]] [--vid <VID> [<VID> ...]] [--pid <PID> [<PID> ...]] [--prod <PROD> [<PROD> ...]] [--manufact <MANUFACT> [<MANUFACT> ...]] [--serial <SERIAL> [<SERIAL> ...]] [--port <PORT> [<PORT> ...]] [-f <FILE> [<FILE> ...]] [-q] [--debug]
Generate a list of trusted (authorized) USB devices.

$ usbrip events violations <IN_AUTH.JSON> [-a <ATTRIBUTE> [<ATTRIBUTE> ...]] [-t | -l] [-e] [-n <NUMBER_OF_EVENTS>] [-d <DATE> [<DATE> ...]] [--user <USER> [<USER> ...]] [--vid <VID> [<VID> ...]] [--pid <PID> [<PID> ...]] [--prod <PROD> [<PROD> ...]] [--manufact <MANUFACT> [<MANUFACT> ...]] [--serial <SERIAL> [<SERIAL> ...]] [--port <PORT> [<PORT> ...]] [-c <COLUMN> [<COLUMN> ...]] [-f <FILE> [<FILE> ...]] [-q] [--debug]
Get USB violation events based on the list of trusted devices.

# ---------- STORAGE ----------

$ usbrip storage list <STORAGE_TYPE> [-q] [--debug]
List contents of the selected storage (7zip archive). STORAGE_TYPE is "history" or "violations".

$ usbrip storage open <STORAGE_TYPE> [-t | -l] [-e] [-n <NUMBER_OF_EVENTS>] [-d <DATE> [<DATE> ...]] [--user <USER> [<USER> ...]] [--vid <VID> [<VID> ...]] [--pid <PID> [<PID> ...]] [--prod <PROD> [<PROD> ...]] [--manufact <MANUFACT> [<MANUFACT> ...]] [--serial <SERIAL> [<SERIAL> ...]] [--port <PORT> [<PORT> ...]] [-c <COLUMN> [<COLUMN> ...]] [-q] [--debug]
Open selected storage (7zip archive). Behaves similary to the EVENTS OPEN submodule.

$ usbrip storage update <STORAGE_TYPE> [-a <ATTRIBUTE> [<ATTRIBUTE> ...]] [-e] [-n <NUMBER_OF_EVENTS>] [-d <DATE> [<DATE> ...]] [--user <USER> [<USER> ...]] [--vid <VID> [<VID> ...]] [--pid <PID> [<PID> ...]] [--prod <PROD> [<PROD> ...]] [--manufact <MANUFACT> [<MANUFACT> ...]] [--serial <SERIAL> [<SERIAL> ...]] [--port <PORT> [<PORT> ...]] [--lvl <COMPRESSION_LEVEL>] [-q] [--debug]
Update storage — add USB events to the existing storage (7zip archive). COMPRESSION_LEVEL is a number in [0..9].

$ usbrip storage create <STORAGE_TYPE> [-a <ATTRIBUTE> [<ATTRIBUTE> ...]] [-e] [-n <NUMBER_OF_EVENTS>] [-d <DATE> [<DATE> ...]] [--user <USER> [<USER> ...]] [--vid <VID> [<VID> ...]] [--pid <PID> [<PID> ...]] [--prod <PROD> [<PROD> ...]] [--manufact <MANUFACT> [<MANUFACT> ...]] [--serial <SERIAL> [<SERIAL> ...]] [--port <PORT> [<PORT> ...]] [--lvl <COMPRESSION_LEVEL>] [-q] [--debug]
Create storage — create 7zip archive and add USB events to it according to the selected options.

$ usbrip storage passwd <STORAGE_TYPE> [--lvl <COMPRESSION_LEVEL>] [-q] [--debug]
Change password of the existing storage.

# ---------- IDs ----------

$ usbrip ids search [--vid <VID>] [--pid <PID>] [--offline] [-q] [--debug]
Get extra details about a specific USB device by its <VID> and/or <PID> from the USB ID database.

$ usbrip ids download [-q] [--debug]
Update (download) the USB ID database.


To get a list of module names use:

$ usbrip -h

To get a list of submodule names for a specific module use:

$ usbrip <module> -h

To get a list of all switches for a specific submodule use:

$ usbrip <module> <submodule> -h


Show the event history of all USB devices, supressing banner output, info messages and user interaction (-q, --quiet), represented as a list (-l, --list) with latest 100 entries (-n NUMBER, --number NUMBER):

$ usbrip events history -ql -n 100

Show the event history of the external USB devices (-e, --external, which were actually disconnected) represented as a table (-t, --table) containing "Connected", "VID", "PID", "Disconnected" and "Serial Number" columns (-c COLUMN [COLUMN], --column COLUMN [COLUMN]) filtered by date (-d DATE [DATE ...], --date DATE [DATE ...]) with logs taken from the outer files (-f FILE [FILE ...], --file FILE [FILE ...]):

$ usbrip events history -et -c conn vid pid disconn serial -d "Dec  9" "Dec 10" -f /var/log/syslog.1 /var/log/syslog.2.gz

Build the event history of all USB devices and redirect the output to a file for further analysis. When the output stream is NOT terminal stdout (| or > for example) there would be no ANSI escape characters (color) in the output so feel free to use it that way. Also notice that usbrip uses some UNICODE symbols so it would be nice to convert the resulting file to UTF-8 encoding (with encov for example) as well as change newline characters to Windows style for portability (with awk for example):

usbrip history events -t | awk '{ sub("$", "\r"); print }' > usbrip.out && enconv -x UTF8 usbrip.out

Remark: you can always get rid of the escape characters by yourself even if you have already got the output to stdout. To do that just copy the output data to usbrip.out and add one more awk instruction:

awk '{ sub("$", "\r"); gsub("\\x1B\\[[0-?]*[ -/]*[@-~]", ""); print }' usbrip.out && enconv -x UTF8 usbrip.out

Generate a list of trusted USB devices as a JSON-file (trusted/auth.json) with "VID" and "PID" attributes containing the first three devices connected on September 26:

$ usbrip events gen_auth trusted/auth.json -a vid pid -n 3 -d "Sep 26"

Search the event history of the external USB devices for violations based on the list of trusted USB devices (trusted/auth.json) by "PID" attribute, restrict resulting events to those which have "Bob" as a user, "EvilUSBManufacturer" as a manufacturer, "1234567890" as a serial number and represent the output as a table with "Connected", "VID" and "PID" columns:

$ usbrip events violations trusted/auth.json -a pid -et --user Bob --manufact EvilUSBManufacturer --serial 1234567890 -c conn vid pid

Search for details about a specific USB device by its VID (--vid VID) and PID (--pid PID):

$ usbrip ids search --vid 0781 --pid 5580

Download the latest version of usb_ids/usb.ids database (the source is here):

$ usbrip ids download

Download USBrip


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