Purdue University Graduate School
Post_Defense_GroupMe_Thesis.pdf (5.96 MB)

Forensic Analysis of GroupMe on Android and iOS Smartphones

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posted on 2021-07-30, 00:48 authored by Tanvi Milind GandhiTanvi Milind Gandhi
The growing popularity of instant messaging has led to the conception of several new applications over the span of the past decade. This has opened up an attack surface for cybercriminals to target susceptible app users. GroupMe is a free IM app widely used by students and so far, no comprehensive forensic analysis has been performed to aid forensic practitioners in recovering evidence from GroupMe on smartphones. This research performs a detailed analysis of the digital artifacts left by the app on Android and iOS devices. This was achieved by installing the app on two mobile phones (Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge and iPhone 6), and identifying each artifact created by performing a series of actions in the app ranging from sending texts, to sharing images and documents, along with their location. Using Cellebrite UFED and Magnet AXIOM, a significant number of artifacts were accurately recovered mainly from the “GroupMe.sqlite” and “GroupMe.sqlite-wal” databases. Out of the 335 artifacts populated on the iPhone, 317 were correctly recovered by both UFED and AXIOM, resulting in an accuracy of 94.62%. No GroupMe related artifacts could be recovered from the Android device. This was due to several physical imaging and rooting limitations imposed by the Samsung SM-935A model, which was used during the study.


Degree Type

  • Master of Science


  • Computer and Information Technology

Campus location

  • West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Marcus Rogers

Additional Committee Member 2

Umit Karabiyik

Additional Committee Member 3

John Springer

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