The Truth Shall Set Thee Free: Enabling Practical Forensic Capabilities in Smart Environments

Leonardo Babun (Florida International University), Amit Kumar Sikder (Florida International University), Abbas Acar (Florida International University), Selcuk Uluagac (Florida International University)

In smart environments such as smart homes and offices, the interaction between devices, users, and apps generate abundant data. Such data contain valuable forensic information about events and activities occurring in the smart environment. Nonetheless, current smart platforms do not provide any digital forensic capability to identify, trace, store, and analyze the data produced in these environments. To fill this gap, in this paper, we introduce VeritaS, a novel and practical digital forensic capability for the smart environment. VeritaS has two main components: Collector and Analyzer. The Collector implements mechanisms to automatically collect forensically-relevant data from the smart environment. Then, in the event of a forensic investigation, the Analyzer uses a First Order Markov Chain model to extract valuable and usable forensic information from the collected data. VeritaS then uses the forensic information to infer activities and behaviors from users, devices, and apps that violate the security policies defined for the environment. We implemented and tested VeritaS in a realistic smart office environment with 22 smart devices and sensors that generated 84209 forensically-valuable incidents. The evaluation shows that VeritaS achieves over 95% of accuracy in inferring different anomalous activities and forensic behaviors within the smart environment. Finally, VeritaS is extremely lightweight, yielding no overhead on the devices and minimal overhead in the backend resources (i.e., the cloud servers).