Android forensics, location forensics, android location data, mobile device forensics, mobile device investigations, android investigations, google location history, cloud analyzer
Mobile device data continues to increase in significance in both civil and criminal investigations. Location data is often of particular interest. To date, research has established that the devices are location aware, incorporate a variety of resources to obtain location information, and cache the information in various ways. However, a review of the existing research suggests varying degrees of reliability of any such recovered location data. In an effort to clarify the issue, this project offers case studies of multiple Android mobile devices utilized in controlled conditions with known settings and applications in documented locations. The study uses data recovered from test devices to corroborate previously identified accuracy trends noted in research involving live-tracked devices, and it further offers detailed analysis strategies for the recovery of location data from devices themselves. A methodology for reviewing device data for possible artifacts that may allow an examiner to evaluate location data reliability is also presented. This paper also addresses emerging trends in device security and cloud storage, which may have significant implications for future mobile device location data recovery and analysis. Discussion of recovered cloud data introduces a distinct and potentially significant resource for investigators, and the paper addresses the cloud resources' advantages and limitations.
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Master of Science (M.S.)
College of Engineering and Computer Science
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Dissertations, Academic -- Engineering and Computer Science; Engineering and Computer Science -- Dissertations, Academic
Bell, Connie, "Providing Context to the Clues: Recovery and Reliability of Location Data from Android Devices" (2015). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2004-2019. 1354.