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WhatsApp network forensics: Decrypting and understanding the WahtsApp call signaling messages

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Reference

Karpisek, F., Baggili, I., & Breitinger, F. (2015). WhatsApp network forensics: Decrypting and understanding the WahtsApp call signaling messages. Digital Investigation, 15, 110 - 118. (ISI_2016: 1.66; ISI_2016_5year: 2.275)

Publication type

Journal Article

Abstract

WhatsApp is a widely adopted mobile messaging application with over 800 million users. Recently, a calling feature was added to the application and no comprehensive digital forensic analysis has been performed with regards to this feature at the time of writing this paper. In this work, we describe how we were able to decrypt the network traffic and obtain forensic artifacts that relate to this new calling feature which included the: a) WhatsApp phone numbers, b) WhatsApp server IPs, c) WhatsApp audio codec (Opus), d) WhatsApp call duration, and e) WhatsApp's call termination. We explain the methods and tools used to decrypt the traffic as well as thoroughly elaborate on our findings with respect to the WhatsApp signaling messages. Furthermore, we also provide the community with a tool that helps in the visualization of the WhatsApp protocol messages.

Persons

Organizational Units

  • Institute of Information Systems
  • Hilti Chair for Data and Application Security

DOI

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.diin.2015.09.002