Electronic Evidence in the Internet of Things (IoT) Ecosystem

This publication provides a quick overview of the IoT environment and its components1 from a high-level perspective. It is not a technical guide and does not describe any forensics processes or procedures involving the search, seizure, capture, analysis, or presentation of electronic evidence2 in court proceedings. It provides a basic understanding of IoT devices, their components, and some of the challenges when electronic evidence resides within these technologies.
IoT is synonymous with a “connected world,” “smart” (for example, smart homes, smart cities, smart cars), or “intelligence” devices ranging from consumer appliances, gadgets, and wearables to industrial and business equipment that transmit, store, and share data. In this connected world, justice system professionals and law enforcement personnel will be dealing with IoT investigations involving crime, privacy, security, and liabilities.
IoT devices’ capabilities vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. The amount of electronic evidence obtained from any IoT environment depends, in many cases, on the level of sophistication of the device and the forensic investigator’s abilities to work with these new technologies.