Webmail Forensics – Digging deeper into Browsers and Mobile Applications

Almost everyone who uses the Internet has a web-based email account. Many people have two or more, so the likelihood of a forensic investigator coming across a case involving webmail communication is very high. While law enforcement examiners can ask service providers for the email contents through a court order, corporate and non-government examiners have to rely on what evidence is left on the computer or mobile device.

The three largest webmail providers are Google’s Gmail, Microsoft’s Hotmail/Outlook.com, and Yahoo Mail. Together they account for well over one billion users. Each provider offers some unique features but they’re generally all quite similar in implementation from a forensics standpoint. This article will discuss how webmail artifacts are stored and investigated on a PC or laptop, mobile devices, and other applications that support and store webmail evidence…

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