Martin Westman (MSAB)

Abstract

This workshop delves into a study of eMMC memory chips on digital devices, which revealed widespread repurposing of used eMMC chips. The standardization of eMMC memory makes it straightforward to reuse them in a different device. As a result, new digital devices can contain data from the previous owner of a reused eMMC chip. This prior data can be extracted using chip off techniques and the lack of data sanitization presents significant risks. Recycling eMMC saves production costs for manufacturers and is positive for the environment, but must be performed responsibly to protect privacy. In the meantime, digital forensic examiners must deal with the reality of new devices potentially containing data from a prior life of the eMMC memory chips. This workshop addresses these issues, and discusses strategies for addressing the risk. The process and equipment of performing eMMC chip off is demonstrated, and the results are presented and analysed. Forensic examiners need to be aware of these issues and take it into account when dealing with devices that contain reused eMMC chips. This workshop also raises awareness of potential digital privacy risks associated with reused eMMC chips.