mobile phone forensics

What is Snapchat?

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So what’s all the fuss about Snapchat?

First launched on 8th July 2011, Snapchat was originally called ‘Picaboo’. The application is a multimedia messaging application and used globally by over 188 million users generally for sharing multimedia. One of the principal original features of Snapchat was to retain pictures and messages for only a brief time before they became irretrievable to their recipients.

Recently the application has changed from not focusing on person-to-person sharing to one presenting users with “Stories” of 24 hours of chronological content. Although only displaying the media for 24 hours, the application is now set by the user, 1 second up to 10 second or not limited.

Fusion have recovered snap chat messages such as; ‘Communicate via Snapchat as the police can’t recover these messages!!’. Demonstrating that users believe the Snapchat messages are irretrievable.

Yes, Snapchats are recoverable forensically…..

Historically users of Snapchat believed that the data was gone for good, thus making the application popular with users who wanted to communicate in a stealthy or secretive manner. Unknown to most, the data was still available for recovery, being held on the handset but not user accessible in a database.

In later versions the data is stored in the cloud and would require a subscriber request to Snap Inc (the software providers of Snapchat).

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Snap Sunglasses

Today we are finding that Snapchat multimedia in the form of photos and video clips are being held in a third location that can be easily overlooked! Have you heard of Snap Spectacles? Well if you haven’t, they look like any regular sunglasses but can hold up to 4 GB in storage, up to 150 videos or 3,000 photos.

Fiona Litchfield