• Web browser artefacts in private and portable modes: a forensic investigation

      Flowers, Cassandra; Mansour, Ali; al-Khateeb, Haider; Babraham Research Campus; University of Bedfordshire (Inderscience, 2016-04)
      Web browsers are essential tools for accessing the internet. Extra complexities are added to forensic investigations when recovering browsing artefacts as portable and private browsing are now common and available in popular web browsers. Browsers claim that whilst operating in private mode, no data is stored on the system. This paper investigates whether the claims of web browsers discretion are true by analysing the remnants of browsing left by the latest versions of Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, and Opera when used in a private browsing session, as a portable browser, and when the former is running in private mode. Some of our key findings show how forensic analysis of the file system recovers evidence from IE while running in private mode whereas other browsers seem to maintain better user privacy. We analyse volatile memory and demonstrate how physical memory by means of dump files, hibernate and page files are the key areas where evidence from all browsers will still be recoverable despite their mode or location they run from.