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Digital Forensics Analysis of Ubuntu Touch on PinePhone

by *,†, *,† and *
Department of Computer and Information Technology, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editor: Khaled Elleithy
Electronics 2021, 10(3), 343;
Received: 27 December 2020 / Revised: 12 January 2021 / Accepted: 27 January 2021 / Published: 1 February 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Digital Forensics Techniques: Theory, Methods and Applications)
New smartphones made by small companies enter the technology market everyday. These new devices introduce new challenges for mobile forensic investigators as these devices end up becoming pertinent evidence during an investigation. One such device is the PinePhone from Pine Microsystems (Pine64). These new devices are sometimes also shipped with OSes that are developed by open source communities and are otherwise never seen by investigators. Ubuntu Touch is one of these OSes and is currently being developed for deployment on the PinePhone. There is little research behind both the device and OS on what methodology an investigator should follow to reliably and accurately extract data. This results in potentially flawed methodologies being used before any testing can occur and contributes to the backlog of devices that need to be processed. Therefore, in this paper, the first forensic analysis of the PinePhone device with Ubuntu Touch OS is performed using Autopsy, an open source tool, to establish a framework that can be used to examine and analyze devices running the Ubuntu Touch OS. The findings include analysis of artifacts that could impact user privacy and data security, organization structure of file storage, app storage, OS, etc. Moreover, locations within the device that stores call logs, SMS messages, images, and videos are reported. Interesting findings include forensic artifacts, which could be useful to investigators in understanding user activity and attribution. This research will provide a roadmap to the digital forensic investigators to efficiently and effectively conduct their investigations where they have Ubuntu Touch OS and/or PinePhone as the evidence source. View Full-Text
Keywords: Ubuntu Touch OS; digital forensics; mobile forensics; security; privacy; operating system Ubuntu Touch OS; digital forensics; mobile forensics; security; privacy; operating system
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MDPI and ACS Style

Keim, Y.; Yoon, Y.H.; Karabiyik, U. Digital Forensics Analysis of Ubuntu Touch on PinePhone. Electronics 2021, 10, 343.

AMA Style

Keim Y, Yoon YH, Karabiyik U. Digital Forensics Analysis of Ubuntu Touch on PinePhone. Electronics. 2021; 10(3):343.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Keim, Yansi, Yung H. Yoon, and Umit Karabiyik. 2021. "Digital Forensics Analysis of Ubuntu Touch on PinePhone" Electronics 10, no. 3: 343.

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