Saturday, January 12, 2008

A file tool mark Library

Adding to Hogfly's idea about an application tool mark library and looking at my last post I think it might be interesting to have a File type tool mark library. What if you were able to look at a file and determine what program was used to create it? In my last blog I showed how a doc file that had been originally created in word once save in Word Perfect changed. Now how could this be important? Well if that file was found on a pc that did not have Word Perfect Installed then you can show that the file was not maintained there.



Keydet89 said...

What if you were able to look at a file and determine what program was used to create it?

Great idea, but how do you maintain this? What about a file tells you what app was used to create it? The setting you referred to in the previous post is part of the binary data contained in a Word doc. PDFs may contain this metadata, but how would you go about determining the "tool marks"?

Mark McKinnon said...


That is a good question. The problem exists that you would have to break the file down and see what would make it unique. From my prior post with WP there are the words "Corel Corporation" in the file. For the Docs created with MS Word, appear to be in the same format (Why you can get metadata from them). Now there is nothing to say that you may not be able to determine who created a file and what the tool marks are because the file format is open and strigent enough where every file looks fundementally alike.

I will say there will have to be a ton of analysis done on files and it may not be worth it for some files.

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