Title: Mobile Forensic Process and Associated Key Challenges

Issue Number: Vol. 9, No. 1
Year of Publication: March - 2020
Page Numbers: 42-54
Authors: Vijaya S. Waghmare, B. B. Meshram
Journal Name: International Journal of Cyber-Security and Digital Forensics (IJCSDF)
- Hong Kong
DOI:  http://dx.doi.org/10.17781/P002651


Surge of smartphones in criminal activities has made mobile forensics an integral part of digital forensic investigation. However, there are several deterrents to the forensics of these smartphones. Rapidly increasing number of diversified models in the market, lack of industry standard for mobile forensic investigation process, lack of generic forensic tools and trained professionals are some of the critical challenges in this discipline. In this paper, the general mobile forensic process is studied in detail and the key challenges in each phase are indentified. In preservation phase, the identified challenges are: secure handling of seized mobile device, preventing alteration and/or deletion of data. In acquisition phase, the identified challenges are: enormous quantity of heterogeneous mobile phone models in the market, security mechanism provided by manufacturers, lack of standard format for data storage, dynamic nature of data, and use of cloud to store data. Challenges identified in examination phase are: possible flaws in the implementation of forensic tool, different report formats produced by different tools for the same set of data. Similarly, challenges identified in reporting phase are: maintaining proper documentation of each and every action as well as output produced by forensic tool, preserving evidence and reports for longer duration of trials.