Investigating America Online Instant Messaging Application: Data Remnants on Windows 8.1 Client Machine

Teing Yee Yang, Ali Dehghantanha, Kim-Kwang Raymond Choo, Zaiton Muda

Instant messaging applications (apps) are one potential source of evidence in a criminal investigation or a civil litigation. To ensure the most effective collection of evidence, it is vital for forensic practitioners to possess an up-to-date knowledge about artefacts of forensic interest from various instant messaging apps. Hence, in this chapter, we study America Online Instant Messenger (version 7.14.5.8) with the aims of contributing to an in-depth understanding of the types of terrestrial artefacts that are likely to remain after the use of instant messaging services and app on Windows 8.1 devices. Potential artefacts identified during the research include data relating to the installation or uninstallation, log-in and log-off information, contact lists, conversations, and transferred files.

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