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Abstract

Digital forensic practitioners are tasked with the identification, recovery and analysis of Internet browser artefacts which may have been used in the pursuit of committing a civil or criminal offence. This research paper critically compares the most downloaded browser, Google Chrome, against an increasingly popular Chromium browser known as Brave, said to offer privacy-by-default. With increasing forensic caseloads, data complexity, and requirements for method validation to satisfy ISO 17025 accreditation, recognising the similarities and differences between the browsers, developed on the same underlying technology is essential. The paper describes a series of conducted experiments and subsequent analysis to identify artefacts created as part of normal user browsing activity. Analysis of the artefacts found that Brave and Chrome share almost identical data structures, with on-disk artefact recovery successful, even for deleted data. The outcome of this research, based upon the results, serves to enrich understanding and provide best practice for practitioners and software developers, respectively responsible with the examination of Chromium artefacts for use in evidence production, and development of new forensic tools and techniques.

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.15394/jdfsl.2022.1752

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