During the 1980s, most digital forensic investigations consisted of "live analysis", examining digital media directly using non-specialist tools. In the 1990s, several freeware and other proprietary tools (both hardware and software) were created to allow investigations to take place without modifying media. This first set of tools mainly focused on computer forensics, although in recent years similar tools have evolved for the field of mobile device forensics. This list includes notable examples of digital forensic tools.
Day by day, smartphones and tablets are becoming ever more popular, and as a result, the technology used in development to add new features or improve the security of such devices is advancing too fast. iPhone and iPad are the game-changer products launched by Apple. Apple operating system (IOS) devices started growing popular in the mobile world. The latest smartphones or tablets can perform ideally most of the tasks which could be performed on a laptop or personal computer.
IOS devices provide larger storage space that could store emails, browsing histories, chat histories, Wi-Fi data and GPS data and more. From the forensics perspective, such devices could present lots of useful artifacts during the investigation. There are well-defined procedures to extract and analyze data from IOS devices which are included in this paper. This paper could be divided into the following sections. Introduction to the forensic processes focused towards mobile forensics, extracting logical and physical data from the IOS devices, IOS file system and storage analysis, analysis of logical data, data from the iTunes and iCloud back up, Wi-Fi and GPS data.
Mobile forensics is a field of digital forensics which is focused on mobile devices which are growing very fast. Due to the exponential growth of the mobile market, the importance of mobile forensics has also increased. The mobile phone generally belongs to a single person so analysis of it could reveal lots of personal information.
Due to the rapid growth, it also introduced challenges. The ratio of new models designed and launched is very high which makes it very difficult to follow similar procedures. Each case or investigation of the new model needs to be considered differently and requires following steps that could be different and unique to the case. With these challenges in mobile forensics, syncing mobiles phone to a computer using software becomes easy. One could extract data like SMS, contacts, installed applications, GPS data and emails, deleted data.
Preservation of evidence is a very crucial step in digital forensics. If it is very important to maintain evidence integrity throughout the investigation. For mobile forensics below steps are good practices to follow:
HFSX file system is a variation of HFS+ file system which is used in the Apple mobile devices. There is only one variation which is that it is case sensitive and it allows having two files with similar names but different case.
SQLite databases are most common data storage in IOS devices as well as other mobile platforms like Windows Phone. These databases are used to store data of native as well as third- party applications.
The Voicemail folder at /private/var/mobile/Library contains AMR codec audio files of each voicemail recorded message and voicemail.db database, where information related to each audio file like sender, the date, the duration and so on are stored.
Auto correction and auto-completion while typing are supported by IOS devices. Device caches user types in file dynamic-text.dat file. A file can be found via path /private/var/mobile/Library/Keyboard. In the same directory IOS stores, one file for each language is used and configured on the keyboard.
/private/var/mobile/Library/Springboard/ stores images used as wallpaper. Two types of wallpaper images are available. HomeBackgroundThumbnail.jpg which is related to the wallpaper when the device is unlocked. LockBackgroundThumbnail.jpg is related to the wallpaper when the device is locked.
/private/var/mobile/Applications/8F139264-9142-4B84-A7C3-421ADD6BA05F/ is the path where Google drive application is stored. There are two subfolders within it. Documents and Library. In Library another subfolders Caches, preferences, and Cookies.
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