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Watch What You Wear: Preliminary Forensic Analysis of Smart Watches

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Reference

Baggili, I., Odure, J., Anthony, K., Breitinger, F., & McGee, G. (2015). Watch What You Wear: Preliminary Forensic Analysis of Smart Watches. Paper presented at the Availability, Reliability and Security (ARES).

Publication type

Paper in Conference Proceedings

Abstract

This work presents preliminary forensic analysis of two popular smart watches, the Samsung Gear 2 Neo and LG G. These wearable computing devices have the form factor of watches and sync with smart phones to display notifications, track footsteps and record voice messages. We posit that as smart watches are adopted by more users, the potential for them becoming a haven for digital evidence will increase thus providing utility for this preliminary work. In our work, we examined the forensic artifacts that are left on a Samsung Galaxy S4 Active phone that was used to sync with the Samsung Gear 2 Neo watch and the LG G watch. We further outline a methodology for physically acquiring data from the watches after gaining root access to them. Our results show that we can recover a swath of digital evidence directly form the watches when compared to the data on the phone that is synced with the watches. Furthermore, to root the LG G watch, the watch has to be reset to its factory settings which is alarming because the process may delete data of forensic relevance. Although this method is forensically intrusive, it may be used for acquiring data from already rooted LG watches. It is our observation that the data at the core of the functionality of at least the two tested smart watches, messages, health and fitness data, e-mails, contacts, events and notifications are accessible directly from the acquired images of the watches, which affirms our claim that the forensic value of evidence from smart watches is worthy of further study and should be investigated both at a high level and with greater specificity and granularity.

Persons

Organizational Units

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

DOI

http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/ARES.2015.39