Purdue University Graduate School
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Analysis of WeChat in Mobile and Computer Systems: Forensics Perspective

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posted on 2022-12-08, 20:21 authored by Jiaxuan ZhouJiaxuan Zhou

WeChat is one of the most popular applications in the world. By 2021, there were 1.24 billion users of WeChat. Many people call it the `super app` because it is an application for everything. Besides the basic messaging feature, it also supports online payment, video posts, news feeds, and more. Due to its wide usage, many criminals are using the platforms for illegal activities such as bank fraud, cyberbullying, and stalking. For these reasons, we need to understand WeChat forensically to assist investigators in cases involving WeChat.

Previous research was mostly focused on the messaging of the WeChat application. However, artifacts of other features remain on the device undiscovered. These features can provide crucial evidence to a case such as geo-locations or monetary transactions. WeChat keeps updates monthly, and these updates may add new features or modify the data structure. The official website does not provide a detailed description of its features so it is hard for a non-WeChat user to understand the functionalities. Therefore, research is required to analyze the background, structure, and possible artifacts remaining of the WeChat app to assist practitioners who encounter WeChat in an investigation. This study included all platforms that WeChat provides, Windows, MacOS, Android, and iOS.


Degree Type

  • Master of Science


  • Computer and Information Technology

Campus location

  • West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Dr. Umit Karabiyik

Additional Committee Member 2

Dr. Jin Wei-Kocsis

Additional Committee Member 3

Dr. Baijian Yang

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