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Social Networks IM Forensics: Encryption Analysis

Nedaa B. Al Barghuthi1 and Huwida Said2
1.Advanced Networks Security Research Laboratory, Electrical and Computer Engineering, College of Engineering, University of Sharjah, Sharjah 31286, UAE
2.Advanced Cyber Forensics Research Laboratory, College of Technological Innovation, Zayed University, Dubai 19282, UAE

Abstract—In most regards, the twenty-first century may not bring revolutionary changes in electronic messaging technology in terms of applications or protocols. Security issues that have long been a concern in messaging application are finally being solved using a variety of products. Web-based messaging systems are rapidly evolving the text-based conversation. The users have the right to protect their privacy from the eavesdropper, or other parties which interferes the privacy of the users for such purpose. The chatters most probably use the instant messages to chat with others for personal issue; in which no one has the right eavesdrop the conversation channel and interfere this privacy. This is considered as a non-ethical manner and the privacy of the users should be protected. The author seeks to identify the security features for most public instant messaging services used over the internet and suggest some solutions in order to encrypt the instant messaging over the conversation channel. The aim of this research is to investigate through forensics and sniffing techniques, the possibilities of hiding communication using encryption to protect the integrity of messages exchanged. Authors used different tools and methods to run the investigations. Such tools include Wireshark packet sniffer, Forensics Tool Kit (FTK) and viaForensic mobile forensic toolkit. Finally, authors will report their findings on the level of security that encryption could provide to instant messaging services.

Index Terms— instant messages encryption; digital forensics; Andoird forensics; Yahoo; Google-Talk; Skype; Facebook; Whatsup; e-Buddyg; Gmail messenger; private web browsing.

Cite: Nedaa B. Al Barghuthi and Huwida Said, "Social Networks IM Forensics: Encryption Analysis," Journal of Communications, vol. 8, no. 11, pp. 708-715, 2013. doi: 10.12720/jcm.8.11.708-715