Authors: Thomas Gloe (dence), Andre Fischer, Matthias Kirchner (Binghamton University)



Video file format standards define only a limited number of mandatory features and leave room for interpretation. Design decisions of device manufacturers and software vendors are thus a fruitful resource for forensic video authentication. This paper explores AVI and MP4-like video streams of mobile phones and digital cameras in detail. We use customized parsers to extract all file format structures of videos from overall 19 digital camera models, 14 mobile phone models, and 6 video editing toolboxes. We report considerable differences in the choice of container formats, audio and video compression algorithms, acquisition parameters, and internal file structure. In combination, such characteristics can help to authenticate digital video files in forensic settings by distinguishing between original and post-processed videos, verifying the purported source of a file, or identifying the true acquisition device model or the processing software used for video processing.