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mactime creates an ASCII timeline of file activity based on the output of the fls tool. It can be used to detect anomalous behavior and reconstruct events. The fls command must use the -m flag to generate a output with timestamps.

mactime reads the body file (using the '-b' argument), which contains a line for each file or event. mactime then sorts the data based on its temporal data and prints the result. It can optionally use a starting date or a date range to limit the data being printed.

The following reads body.txt and outputs all activity starting in March of 2002.

# mactime -b body.txt 2002-03-01 > tl.03.01.2002.txt

Some of the arguments for mactime help to make the output more readable. On a Unix system, the User and Group IDs can be mapped to actual names by using the '-p' and '-q' flags. The '-z' flag can be used to specify the time zone, if it is different from the local timezone.

# mactime -b body.txt -z EST5EDT 2002-03-01 > tl.03.01.2002.txt

The mactime output is text that contains the file activity.

If you are going to include the resulting timeline in a document, then it maybe better to supply the '-d' argument to output in comma delimited format. The resulting timeline can then be imported into a spread sheet and included as a table.

The '-i' option to 'mactime' creates an index summary file, including how many hits were found per day or hour. Using '-d' with '-i' allows one to easily import data into a spread sheet that can be graphed to spot suspicious behavior.

# mactime -b body.txt -d -i hour data/tl-hour-sum.txt > timeline.txt