During the 2016 holiday season, the Amazon Echo device was a top seller with Consumer Intelligence Research Partners estimating that the retail giant has sold 5.1 million of the smart speakers in the U.S. since it debuted two years ago.(1) These devices have grown in such popularity that they will soon become a common piece of evidence for digital forensics. Although we have just done some basics on the research, the benefit for most forensic investigators is that much of the Echo data is shared in the App and can be viewed with your forensic tools. As is common with many of the App programs, the data is stored in a SQLite file and can be viewed in a parser for that data.

We are pleased to welcome back Greg Kipper, who is a cyber-futurist, as a guest writer this month. We asked him to look at the biggest trends in 2017 and where they would take us in the world of cyber. Here is what he came up with.

The largest obstacle facing examiners is the ability to circumvent locked devices. One of the common methods that is used to get around the locks on a device for the Android operating system is the use of a bootloader. Many of the tool manufactures have been using these bootloaders but the examiners using them have received mixed results.

After spending time researching Tinder and realizing how happy I was to not be dating, I wondered what electronic nuggets it left behind as one of the top dating apps. As a popular tool for dating, or “getting together,” it becomes a tool of connection for many people and a great way to link forensic data to different individuals

Though we use the word JTAG often as a verb or a noun to describe the mobile forensic method of extracting data from a phone, the term is really an acronym for the Joint Test Action Group.