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I am using Ubuntu 12.04

I read the following tutorial on how to access the contents of RAM in Linux....

dd if=/dev/mem | hexdump -C | grep “string to search for”

So, I run the code...

sudo dd if=/dev/mem | hexdump -C > NAMEOFOUTPUTFILEHERE.txt

And... it starts pumping out HEX code, until a few seconds later, where it says:

dd: reading `/dev/mem': Operation not permitted
2056+0 records in
2056+0 records out
1052672 bytes (1.1 MB) copied, 0.44834 s, 2.3 MB/s

So basically.. I am able to get about 3.3 MB of RAM dump contents-- until the program stops, saying "Operation not permitted"

.... And so... I am wondering... why am I not able to dump the entire contents of RAM? Is this a deliberate limitation in Ubuntu, to stop malicious hackers..? Or, is it something else..? Does anybody know..? Thanks
Posted 7-Mar-13 1:49am

1 solution

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Solution 1

OK... forget it... turns out Ubuntu has 1 MB limit on RAM extraction, as defined in the kernel.. and obviously, that's good security, because then a hacker can't extract your passwords from RAM etc...

And so... yeah.... this thread is now SOLVED

Here is the full info, for anyone interested....

if your kernel was compiled with STRICT_DEVMEM=y (see e.g. /boot/config-KERNELVERSION) then only the first 1MB is read from /dev/mem . This isn’t so much a kernel version issue, as a result of how your own machine’s kernel was compiled; most distro kernels will have this restriction in place for good reason.

You can download and insmod the forensic kernel module fmem to work around this; at your own risk! rmmod it as soon as possible afterwards. The fmem module provides a /dev/fmem device without any security restrictions.

This content, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)

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