TikTok Forensics: Data Extraction with Oxygen Forensic® Cloud Extractor

TikTok, released in 2016, has over 1 billion users in 2022. TikTok is a social media platform that shows users short-form videos that are catered to users through an algorithm. 

60% of users are between the ages of 16-24, and 26% are between the ages of 25-44.  

The popularity and amount of time users spent on the app increased in 2020 due to the pandemic. In 2021 users spent less time on the app and it is predicted to decrease in 2023.

TikTok is an app investigators can expect to see more during investigations because of its growing popularity.

TikTok Forensics

With any social media platform that is free to the public and has over a billion users, it is susceptible to crime. To help law enforcement, Oxygen Forensics created tools in Oxygen Forensic® Detective that offer the most comprehensive TikTok data extraction.

Security and Privacy Concerns

In 2019, TikTok was investigated in the U.S. over national security and user privacy concerns. In response to the accusations, TikTok released a transparency report, claiming that no user information was requested by China and that the U.S. TikTok app was separate from the Chinese version of the app.

In August 2020, former President Trump ordered the ban on new downloads of TikTok.  This ban was then dropped by the current President, Joe Biden.

In civilian cases, there was an instance involving a group of teens that found a bag of human remains on a Seattle shore and uploaded the footage to TikTok, immediately prompting a murder investigation by police. In cases like this, videos uploaded to TikTok accounts become evidence for crimes.

TikTok Extraction in Oxygen Forensic® Cloud Extractor

To start the extraction, open Oxygen Forensic® Cloud Extractor in the Oxygen Forensic® Detective home menu and select TikTok in the list of apps.

There are several ways to authorize a TikTok cloud account.

An investigator may use:

  1. Username and password
  2. Phone number and SMS
  3. Username and Google password
  4. Google master token obtained by username and password authorization
  5. Google master token for Android devices
  6. Token obtained by username and password authorization
  7. iOS or Android device token

 

Authentication parameters for access to TikTok data in Oxygen Forensic® Cloud Extractor

 

If an account is secured with two-factor authentication (2FA), the investigator may obtain an SMS code on the device or get the code on the account owner’s e-mail. It is also possible to extract data utilizing a proxy.

Alternatively, an investigator can import credentials or tokens from the Oxygen Forensic® Detective Accounts and Passwords section of extraction by clicking on Extract with the Cloud Extractor button located on the toolbar.

Once authorized, investigators can proceed to extract data, such as user account information, contacts, coins, login history, notifications, private messages, uploaded content, liked posts, comments, and files.

TikTok Cloud vs App

Both iOS and Android TikTok apps are supported in Oxygen Forensic® Detective. We recommend extracting data from both the app and the cloud since the datasets differ slightly.

For example, cookies and cache can only be extracted from a mobile device, whereas notifications and all liked videos are only available from the cloud because they are not stored locally on the device.

 

TikTok iOS data extraction window in Oxygen Forensic® Detective
TikTok app (iOS)

 

TikTok cloud data extraction window in Oxygen Forensic® Detective
TikTok cloud

Conclusion

With over a billion users, Oxygen Forensic® Detective TikTok data extraction was developed to help law enforcement successfully extract and analyze data that could help make this world a safer place.

Interested in trying this feature? Contact us for more information.

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