Forensic Analysis of SQLite Databases: Free Lists, Write Ahead Log, Unallocated Space and Carving

SQLite is a widely popular database format that is used extensively pretty much everywhere. Both iOS and Android employ SQLite as a storage format of choice, with built-in and third-party applications relying on SQLite to keep their data. A wide range of desktop and mobile Web browsers (Chrome, Firefox) and instant messaging applications use SQLite, which includes newer versions of Skype (the older versions don’t work anyway without a forced upgrade), WhatsApp, iMessages, and many other messengers.

Forensic analysis of SQLite databases is often concluded by simply opening a database file in one or another database viewer. One common drawback of using a free or commercially available database viewer for examining SQLite databases is the inherent inability of such viewers to access and display recently deleted (erased) as well as recently added (but not yet committed) records. In this article, we’ll examine the forensic implications of three features of the SQLite database engine: Free Lists, Write Ahead Log and Unallocated Space.

See more on our site at http://belkasoft.com/sqlite-analysis.

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