Global Positioning Systems (GPS) fall into the category of wireless communications that hold a considerable amount of evidence that can be used in an investigation. People’s whereabouts are recorded in “second-by-second” detail on their TomTom navigation system and retrieving this type of information can provide powerful digital evidence for your case.
In recent years, the law enforcement community has seen a dramatic increase in the use of GPS devices as an instrument of a crime or as a “witness device” collecting and logging positional data while the crime is being carried out. TomTom and Garmin units are by far the most popular devices law enforcement have been encountering. The sales of portable navigation devices are at an all-time high.
Last year, more than forty million portable GPS devices like TomTom’s GO series or Garmin’s Nuvi series were sold worldwide.* In Europe, TomTom is the most widely used navigation system; and the big market share (47%) could be attributed to the TomTom built-in installation in vehicles. Forensic analysis of vehicle movements records can provide evidence of considerable value in crime detection. (While Cellebrite does not provide data extraction from built-in systems, we support decoding of chip-off data extractions from them, and then decryption of the triplogs).
Cellebrite supports a select list of TomTom devices, which can be found here. Aside from extracting timestamped GPS locations from the trip log files using unique decryption technology, Cellebrite also provides decoding support for contacts, calls and locations. Forensic analysis of such records can provide evidence of considerable value in crime detection.
Upon setting up a TomTom device for the first time, it prompts the user for permission to collect information from the navigation device. The information or triplogs shared is used to improve maps and other services offered by TomTom, such as traffic information related to where the user is. (These services are disabled if a user chooses not to share the information).
If the user accepts, his or her TomTom device is set to log all trips in dedicated binary files known as triplogs. These files are saved in the device file system under a directory named STATDATA. The triplogs collected illustrate a breadcrumb trail of where the person travelled to with the navigation system in very high resolution. TomTom triplogs are encrypted in order to protect user privacy, but also accumulate additional encryption obstacles to the ones that already exist.
Cellebrite offers a unique decryption service to our customers, as part of Cellebrite Advanced Investigative Services, that enables the extraction of timestamps and locations from the triplog files that reside in the STATDATA folder. The triplog files hold complete trip GPS information (including latitude and longitude), and thousands of locations, in a resolution of 1 to 5 seconds.
How can I send Cellebrite these triplogs?
Using UFED Physical Analyzer, open the extraction and then select Tools,TomTom menu, select Export to save the XML file generated from the triplogs, and submit to Cellebrite via CAIS. The decrypted data will be sent back to you within a few days, and ready to be imported into UFED Physical Analyzer- where the triplogs can be viewed in detail (3 second log when device was active). A kml-file can then be generated and viewed in Google Earth and other similar applications.
UFED Physical Analyzer enables TomTom extraction and decoding of the following information: home, favorites, recent, user entered, locations, last journey, location, date & time, routes, GPS fixes (also deleted), deleted locations (of all categories), as well as recovery of geotag visualization of location based data on Google Earth/Maps.
UFED Physical Analyzer has also been equipped with a covert feature that enables silent activation of triplog files, which means that you can connect a TomTom device to the UFED system and activate the logging feature. As soon as this is carried out, the device will start saving triplogs, once TomTom is in use again.
Send us an email to learn how Cellebrite Advanced Investigative Services can help with your encrypted triplog files, along with Google Earth KML files.
Watch the webinar below to learn how you can use UFED Physical Analyzer to extract TomTom files: