Many people still seem to not be aware of EXIF data and the information it provides anyone that wants to view it. EXIF data is attached to image files as well as other files and provides all sorts of details from file creation time to exact GPS coordinates. This is the type of data that was extracted from an image uploaded by Vice Magazine that gave away John McAfee’s location when he escaped Belize. On Backtrack Linux there are numerous tools to extract EXIF data including exiftool which is written in Perl and easy to use. Below we will describe exiftool, which is located in /pentest/misc/exiftool/ or /usr/bin, and provide examples to show how easy it is to use.
I personally use exiftool to extract EXIF or Exchangeable Image File data from files including Microsoft Office files such as .doc, .xls, and .ppt. The newer versions of Microsoft Office have new file extensions as you know which are .docx, .pptx, and .xlsx. The version of exiftool on Backtrack Linux doesn’t extract EXIF data from the latest MS Office file formats however you can easily download the latest exiftool for use on Backtrack Linux 5. Use the information below to download the latest exiftool on Backtrack, install a necessary Perl library, and then start extracting EXIF data from the newer Microsoft Office file versions.