Untangling Airbnb

Airbnb is a popular online marketplace for arranging and offering lodging, homestays, or tourism experiences. The platform acts as a broker, connecting people across the globe and receiving a commission in return. It should be noted reservations simply require only an email address, phone number, and payment method. This service is really simply based on mutual trust between the owner and customer.  Airbnb does require positive identification information from hosts, and have also moved to have renters upload a government issued id to confirm their identity. 

However, as a result of a somewhat “laissez-faire” business model, Airbnb has seen its fair share of crimes. Robberies(Case 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6), murders (Case 1, 2, 3, 4, 5), scams (Case 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6), hidden cameras (Case 1, 2, 3), secret brothels (Case 1, 2), convicted criminals as hosts, squatters, house trashing, rape (Case 1, 2, 3), physical (Case 1, 2) and sexual (Case 1, 2, 3, 4) assaults, money laundering schemes and even kidnappings (Case 1, 2) – all of which take place at properties rented on Airbnb. The company policy has multiple loopholes that unnecessarily sometimes go unchecked which have, in turn, put users in danger.

More often than not nowadays, it falls to the investigator to follow-up on these Airbnb crimes; enter Oxygen Forensic Detective. Oxygen Forensic® Detective extracts data from the Airbnb application on Apple iOS and Android devices, as well as Airbnb cloud.

The data extracted from Apple iOS devices includes information regarding used accounts, contacts, inquiries, chats, as well as saved listings, logs, cookies, cache, pictures and snapshots.

Data extracted from an Apple iOS device

When it comes to Android devices, we have the ability to extract all information related to the user’s account. This includes trips and activities arranged via Airbnb, contacts, inquiries, chats, cache, and saved files.

Data extracted from an Android device

Investigators can log into the Airbnb cloud account using Airbnb or Google credentials, the user’s phone number, or a token, all of which can be extracted or generated during regular device extraction and then imported to the cloud extractor. With regards to Airbnb cloud, we can extract user account data, phone numbers, payment details, contacts, reviews, travel information, messages, saved stays, places, and experiences.

Airbnb cloud account authorization via Oxygen Forensic® Cloud Extractor
Data extracted from Airbnb cloud

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