And there he stood, with a smoking datum in his hand

In early December 2008, Clifford Lambert, a retired Los Angeles art dealer, received a call from a New York estate lawyer with news that surely made his 74-year-old heart leap. Lambert was due to inherit some valuable artwork, the man said, from the estate of May Department Stores Co. heiress Florene May Schoenborn, who had died—curiously—in August 1995. Lambert arranged a meeting to discuss the purported details. Days later, three men arrived at Lambert’s home and stabbed him to death in the kitchen of his posh, 4,300-square-foot Palm Springs, Calif. home. They buried his body in the nearby desert.

Six people were ultimately convicted in Lambert’s murder, which was financially motivated. (The man on the phone, as you might expect, was no lawyer.) Much of the evidence against them was found inside their mobile phones…

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In this paper, we review how each layer of the software stack (kernel, file system, libraries, application) influences MACB timestamps on Unix systems such as Linux, OpenBSD, FreeBSD and macOS.

We examine how POSIX specifies the timestamp behavior and propose a framework for automatically profiling OS kernels, user mode libraries and applications, including compliance checks against POSIX.

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Based on 187 compliance tests and automated profiling covering common file operations, we found multiple unexpected and non-compliant behaviors, both on common operations and in edge cases.

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