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Android Forensics: Investigation, Analysis and Mobile Security for Google Android

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The Android mobile platform has quickly risen from its first phone in October 2008 to the most popular mobile operating system in the world by early 2011. The explosive growth of the platform has been a significant win for consumers with respect to competition and features. However, forensic analysts and security engineers have struggled as there is a lack of knowledge and supported tools for investigating these devices. This book seeks to address issues not only by providing in-depth insights into Android hardware, software, and file systems but also by sharing techniques for the forensic acquisition and subsequent analysis of these devices. For readers with limited forensic experience, this book creates step-by-step examples that use free, open source utilities so the reader can directly participate in the examples. As the free Android software development kit provides a full Android emulator, readers do not even need to possess an Android device.

As Android devices grow in numbers, an increased awareness of the data they possess will equally grow. Unfortunately, much of that interest will come from cyber criminal organizations who realize that successful attacks against the platform will yield significant results as the devices contain enormous quantities of personal and business information. The solution to this threat requires a deep understanding of the platform not only from core Android developers and manufacturers but also from app developers and corporate security officers. More secure apps will prevent loss of sensitive information as well as strong policies that can be put in place by IT security managers.

Although most of the discussed statistics about Android focus on smartphones and now tablets, there are many more devices that currently or in the near future will run Android. Some examples include vehicles, televisions, GPS, gaming devices, netbooks, and a wide variety of other consumer devices. Android will be present in an increasingly significant percentage of investigations for both forensic analysts and security engineers. Finally, the appeal of Android is not specific to any particular country or region and as such will impact individuals, corporations, and agencies throughout the world.

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