OSINT Investigation & Android Studio

Android Studio

Far more folks use mobile devices than desktops to access social media sites than they use desktops. Since many Social Media sites are optimized and support more services, when accessed by a mobile device, OSINT investigators are better served by using mobile devices to search social media sites.

In the nineth edition of “OSINT Techniques: Resources for Uncovering Online Information”, the author recommended the use of virtual machines supporting an Android emulation. Examples using virtual machines (VMs), leveraging Oracle Virtual Box, are provided in the book.

There are multiple reasons to use VMs and an Android emulation over using a physical cell phone to do an investigation.

  1. If a physical cell phone is used to collect information and the information is used in a court case, defense attorneys can subpoena any physical cell devices that were used in an investigation.
  2. Oracle VirtualBox makes it possible to establish a baseline VM, clone the VM, do an investigation with the VM, and isolate the sharing of information from one investigation to another investigation.
  3. Instead of having to submit a physical cell phone as evidence, the cloned VM can be submitted as evidence. Much cleaner and less likely of any data leakage.
  4. Using a VM, a container is created, isolating the Android emulation from the host supporting the emulation.

In the tenth edition of “OSINT Techniques: Resources for Uncovering Online Information”, the author switched from a VM Android emulation to using Android Studio and the emulator provided by Android Studio.

Why choose Android Studio emulation over an VM and Android emulation?

  1. With Android Studio, it is relatively easy to switch between versions of Android.
  2. With Android Studio, it is easy to spoof the location of an emulation.
  3. With Android Studio, the emulation runs as a container separating the emulation from the host. In the author’s opinion, the virtualization is simply better with Android Studio than with VirtualBox.
  4. With Android Studio there is support for more hosts. (Mac OS, Linux, Windows, Chrome OS- XDA)

I used Chocolatey to install Android Studio. The downside — Admin privileges required. The upside – one command, and an error free install. It is the little things that are important:)

On Window: choco install androidstudio

Minute later, an error free install.

In search, look for Android Studio, and click on the App.

Android Studio

Doesn’t get much easier than that.

To understand more about the emulator and how to use it in an OSINT environment, I urge you to buy the tenth edition of the book, OSINT Techniques… Eleven pages in Chapter 7 and spot on insights.

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