SANS Digital Forensics and Incident Response Blog: Tag - Windows Mobile Forensics

Examining Windows Mobile Devices Using File System Forensic Tools

Windows Mobile file systems have similarities with other Microsoft operating systems that make for an easy transition into mobile device forensics for anyone who has performed forensic examinations of Windows computer systems. As with a desktop or laptop computer, Windows Mobile devices retain substantial information about user activities that can be relevant in a digital investigation involving Web browsing, user created files, and Windows registry entries.

Windows Mobile uses a variation of the FAT file system called the Transaction-safe FAT (TFAT) file system, which has some recovery features in the event of a sudden device shutdown. Here is the volume information of a memory dump from a Windows Mobile device, showing that it is FAT.

$ fsstat SamsungBlackjack.bin

File System Type: FAT16
OEM Name:

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Acquiring Data from Windows Mobile Devices

During the debut of SEC563 Mobile Device Forensics last week, Eugene Libster from ManTech brought to my attention the open sourceitsutils package for extracting from Windows Mobile devices. Components of this package, psdread and pdocread, can acquire more data from Windows Mobile devices than many commercial forensic tools, but there are several issues that forensic practitioners need to understand before using these utilities on an evidentiary device.

First, acquiring data using these utilities creates files on the device, necessarily overwriting data. Specifically, an executable file named "itsutils.dll" is copied onto the device, and an error log"itsutils.log"is created on the device. Second, these tools acquire data through a hardware