Authors: Christian Meng (University of Applied Sciences, Darmstadt) and Harald Baier (University of Applied Sciences, Darmstadt)



As of today mobile applications such as WhatsApp or Skype make use of the SQLite database format to store its data. From an IT forensics point of view it is therefore essential to extract all information related to an SQLite database. In this paper we focus on digital traces in the scope of SQLite that belong to deleted database data. We suggest to make use of a structural approach: we analyse the deletion behaviour of SQLite depending on different database parameters, which affect the erasure of database data. As SQLite pragmas are an important parameter during deletion, we examine the erasure behaviour dependent on the pragmas in use. Based on the results of our analysis, we develop a concept to parse and process deleted records. Our concept is implemented within our tool bring2lite, which is evaluated with respect to a common dataset of SQLite files. The overall result is that bring2lite achieves the highest recovery rate of approximately 53% compared to eight competing programmes.