Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date


Subject: LCSH

Internet of things, Cloud computing


Computer Engineering | Computer Sciences | Electrical and Computer Engineering | Forensic Science and Technology | Information Security


Interactions with IoT devices generates vast amounts of personal data that can be used as a source of evidence in digital investigations. Currently, there are many challenges in IoT forensics such as the difficulty in acquiring and analysing IoT data/devices and the lack IoT forensic tools. Besides technical challenges, there are many concepts in IoT forensics that have yet to be explored such as definitions, experience and capability in the analysis of IoT data/devices and current/future challenges. A deeper understanding of these various concepts will help progress the field. To achieve this goal, we conducted a survey which received 70 responses and provided the following results: (1) IoT forensics is a sub-domain of digital forensics, but it is undecided what domains are included; (2) practitioners are already having to examine IoT devices even though they felt undertrained; (3) requirements for technical training, software and education are non-existent; (4) high priority on research should be to develop IoT forensic tools, how to preserve volatile data and methods to identify and acquire data from the cloud; (5) improvements to forensic tools should be aimed at data acquisition (imaging) and device disassembly / forensic process; (6) practitioners’ perspectives on research direction differ slightly to non-practitioners in that the focus should be on breaking encryption on IoT devices rather than focus on cloud data forensics; (7) future research should focus on developing initiatives and strategies to overcome data encryption and trail obfuscation in the cloud and ongoing development of IoT forensic tools. The responses to the survey question on the definition of IoT forensics helped us formulate a working definition. This has provided a clearer understanding of the subject, which will help further advance the research area.


Dr. Baggili was appointed to the University of New Haven's Elder Family Endowed Chair in 2015.

This is the authors' version of the paper published in ARES '19 Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Availability, Reliability and Security by ACM. ISBN: 978-1-4503-7164-3. The paper of record can be found at



Publisher Citation

Wu, T., Breitinger, F., & Baggili, I. (2019, August). IoT Ignorance is Digital Forensics Research Bliss: A Survey to Understand IoT Forensics Definitions, Challenges and Future Research Directions. In Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Availability, Reliability and Security, ARES '19 (Article no. 46). ACM.



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