In its digital forensics tests it did with Snapchat for the iPhone, Stroz Friedberg found Snapchat maintains whats called the user.plist file which is not encrypted. The file is a way to identify, preserve and analyze that the user of the iPhone did send something to a recipient via Snapchat. Novak says its possible to clear the Snapchat plist file on the device if the user knows how.
He points out that other Snapchat-like services oriented toward mobile have sprung up -- such as Facebooks Poke, as well as Wickr and Silent Circle which take advantage of encryption as well. These type of services are presenting digital forensics with new challenges, Novak notes. Mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets that use these type of services remains a new and evolving field beyond traditional computer-based forensics which is now more automated.
Ellen Messmer is senior editor at Network World, an IDG publication and website, where she covers news and technology trends related to information security. Twitter: MessmerE. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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