To close out our list of Web Apps, we finished up on Discord. It has been an interesting experience for us to work with the three diverse apps over the last semester. Our analysis on Discord brought our research to a close. Seeing several key similarities with our first application Slack, it was an ideal application to close out our research for the side by side comparison.
With our final app, we utilized similar testing methods to Slack; we created a set of Test Channels and generated user data. After that was done, our team made a clone of the Virtual Machine, then deleted Discord on the original and promptly analyzed the images. In our findings, we noticed very similar behavior in storage of cached images when compared with Slack, although the content they each stored varied greatly. To read more about this topic, check our report which will be published soon.
In comparison of these apps, Dropbox was the most straightforward. However, it lacked the robustness of the other Web Apps as it lacked the expansiveness of XML. The app did not change much from the front end in terms of design. For the User Data, Dropbox’s local sql database provided information of what files were found on the Machine, along with deleted files visible in the cache. In contrast, Slack and Discord were two sides of the same coin. They both featured a strong use of XML to manage their styles, and featured images of user profiles and stored the urls of certain cached images. Discord did end up having one major difference. We were able to find bits of the messages amongst Win7enterpriseTest1\C\Users\User\AppData\Roaming\discord\Cache in messages?limit=50. We’ll have a deeper indepth look at this in our final report.
Analysis: Discord Artifacts
Going into Discord, we expected to find close to nothing on the local files of the web application, but after getting a closer look, we found out we couldn’t be more wrong. Discord has a strong security statement stating that they take the reasonable steps to ensure a user’s information is protected.
The uses of caching and SQLite formatting allowed us to recover artifacts such as the aforementioned chat logs to the images and files uploaded. Interestingly, one of Discords more interesting features is its database’s storage of frequently used Emojis. In comparison, the Business Web Applications tried to stick to the bare minimum and focus on the bare bones such as only having time stamps and ID values. Dropbox’s Local Database primarily focused on this with it having extensive storage on File information, though it was lacking in the niches of Discord, which, as mentioned before, even stored emoji usage. A more extensive comparison can be found in our Final Report.
With increased integration of platforms such as Discord, Dropbox and Slack, there will be an increased need for privacy. Implementation without security will continue to allow various security flaws to exist. However, it must be remembered that with the need for Security comes the need of usability. To remain a strong web application with a following, an ease of use, and efficiency must be maintained.
Through the process, our group learned a lot and got deeper insights on Web App Forensics. We hope this Blog can hold you over before the final report drops. Stay tuned!