Browser Info

Created: 12.10.2020

Many browsers are based on Chromium engine, that’s why they will have similar artifacts: Chrome, Opera, new Edge, Brave, Vivaldi. Also, there are lots of Electron applications that share some artifacts with them. Chrome is the point of convergence for all these application. On Magnet Summit it was suggested to explore and learn Chrome and it’s artifacts as well as OS common artifacts due to its popularity and reusing some of its components. Electron is a framework that is available for building applications, cross-platform. You’re creating a web-application that can be used as a desktop one (implementing both back- and frontend). Backend - node.js, and frontend - Chrome. So, a lot of artifacts can be shared with Chrome and buddies. It’s in wide use. For example, ⚠️ WhatsApp and Skype use it.

On Windows hiberfil.sys, pagefile.sys and swapfile.sys can also be used to retrieve this evidence from “RAM-on-disk”. Belkasoft EC can parse these files for browser artifacts.


πŸ“‚ IE %userprofile%\Application Data\Mozilla\ Firefox\Profiles\<random text>.default\downloads.sqlite πŸ“‚ Win7- 10 %userprofde%\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\ Firefox\Profiles\<random text>.default\downloads.sqlite

πŸ“‚ IE %userprofile%\Application Data\Mozilla\ Firefox\Profiles\<random text>.default\places.sqlite πŸ“‚ Win7- 10 %userprofde%\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\ Firefox\Profdes\<random text>.default\places.sqlite

πŸ›  Tools: Web Historian (dat, cookies and tmp), Firefox Forensics (cookies, download list and history), NetAnalysis πŸ’° (history), CacheBack (cookies and history), Encase πŸ’° (cookies, history and bookmarks), FTK πŸ’°(cookies, history and bookmarks), Autopsy (cookies, history and bookmarks).

Path: C: \Users\\*\AppData\ Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\\*.default\places.sqlite\*
Path: C: \Users\|*\AppData\ Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\\*. default\downloads. sqlite|*
Path: C: \Users\\*\AppData\ Roaming \Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\ |*. default| formhistory.sqlite|*
Path: C: \Users\|*\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\\*. default\cookies. sqlite|*
Path: C: \Users\\*\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\ \*.default\signons. sqlite|*
Path: C:\Users\ |* AppData\ Roaming\ Mozilla Firefox| Profiles |*. default| webappstore.sqlite|*
Path: C:\Users\ |* AppData\ Roaming\ Mozilla\Firefox| Profiles |*. default| favicons.sqlite|*
Path: C: \Users\\*\ AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\|*.default\addons.sqlite|*
Path: C: \Users\ \*\AppData\Roaming \Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\|*. default\search.sqlite|*

Most information is stored here: C:\Documents and Settings\%Username%\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox (Windows XP), C:\Users\%Username%\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Forefox\Profiles\%Profile%.default (Windows Vista+), /Library/Application Support/Firefox/Profiles (macOS), .mozilla/firefox/ for Linux. Use any SQLite DB Viewer to examine *.default files or any forensic platform. These profiles contain user activity such as searches, bookmarks, tabs etc.

Artifact Information
Localstore.rdf No real value for the examiner here, since it contains customized data on the interface. Can be cleared in the GUI with β€œReset toolbars and controls” option. [1]
addons.json I think, the file name speaks for itself. It contains all the data for installed addons.
Downloads.sqlite Firefox has a built-in download manager application that keeps a history of every file downloaded by the user. Contains the following data: 🐾 f_name, 🐾 size, 🐾 type, 🐾 download from and referring, 🐾 save location, 🐾 app used to open it, 🐾 start and end times of the download.
Index.dat/ Places.sqlite Many sites in history will list the files opened from remote sites and downloaded to the local system. History will record the access to the file on the site that was accessed via a link.


Most information is stored here: C:\Documents and Settings\%Username%\Local Setting\Application Data\Google\Chrome (Windows XP), C:\Users\%Username%\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome. On Windows machine leveldb is stored here: C:\%Username%\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\IndexedDB. Contains multiple folders, one for each domain. Usually have the extension leveldb. The LevelDB store for a particular domain will be found in the IndexedDB folder with a name in the form: [host with concurrent separators replaced an underscore]_[dbid].indexeddb.leveldb. IndexedDB is just an API to use, while LevelDB is the artefact that’s creted when this API is used.

C:\%Username%\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\
- Bookmarks
- Cookies
- Current Session
- Current Tabs
- Favicons
- History
- Last Session
- Last Tabs
- Preferences
- Shortcuts
- Top Sites
- Bookmarks
- Visited Links
- Web Data

Tools βš’οΈ: Magnet AXIOM πŸ’°, Chrome Analyser (cookies, history, download list, bookmarks), NetAnalysis πŸ’° (history), CacheBack (cookies and history), Autopsy (cookies, history and bookmarks), KAPE.


Tools πŸ› : Belkasoft Evidence Center πŸ’°


πŸ“‚ XP %userprofile%\Local Settings\History\ Flistory.IE5 πŸ“‚ Win7- 10 %userprofde%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\History\History.IE5 πŸ“‚ Win7- 10 %userprofile%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\History\Low\History.IE5

Artefact Description
Index.dat/ Places.sqlite Records number of times visited (frequency). Many websites list the files opened from remote sites and downloaded to the local system. History will record the access to the file on the site that was accessed via a link.
Index.dat file:// Stored in index.dat as: file:///C:/directory/filename.ext

✍️ A little-known fact about the IE History is that the information stored in the history files is not just related to internet browsing. The history also records local and remote (via network shares) file access, giving us an excellent means for determining which files and applications were accessed on the system, day by day.

Microsoft Internet Explorer uses a database file called β€˜index.dat’ to store web history information in a format known as MS IE Cache File Format. These database files can be examined with specialised tools. 1

Path: C: \Users\ \*\AppData Roaming \Microsoft\office Recent\index.dat
Path: C:| Users \* AppData\ Local\Microsoft Windows WebCache\WebCacheVO1.dat
Path: C: \Windows\ System32 \config\ systemprofile\AppData(Local|Microsoft\Internet Explorer\ Recovery
Path: C: \Windows\System32\config\systemprofile\AppData\ Local\Microsoft Windows\ History
Path: C: \Windows\ System32\ config\ systemprofile\ AppData\ Roaming\Microsoft Windows\ Cookies\
Path:C: \Windows\ System32\config\systemprofile\AppData\Roaming(Microsoft\Windows\ WebCache\
Path: C: Windows\ System32\ config| systemprofile AppData\Local\Microsoft|Windows Temporary Internet Files
Path: C:| Users)
|*| AppData\ Local\ Packages \Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge\_\*\AC\MicrosoftEdge\User\ Default| DataStore\Data\ nouser1\120712-0049 \ DBSto
Path: C: \Users |* MicrosoftEdgeBackups\ backups\MicrosoftEdgeBackup\*\DatastoreBackup\spartan.edb
InternetExplorer: Path: C:| Users\ |*\MicrosoftEdgeBackups\ backups MicrosoftEdgeBackup\*\DatastoreBackup\spartan.edb

C:\Documents and Settings\%username%\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5, C:\Documents and Settings\%username%\Local Settings\History\History.IE5, C:\Documents and Settings\%username%\Cookies for Windows 2000.

Since Windows 7 C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5. However, IE plugins can’t access it and OS created virtual folders for cached data unaccessible to general user. Cookies: C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Cookies and C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Cookies\Low for low-privileged access if protected mode is enabled.

There is also some data in registry for this browser: HKEY_USERS\.Default\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\TYPEDURLs and HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\TYPEDURLs contains search terms. If autocomplete was used, the final search term will be recorded.

Tools πŸ› . There is a huge amount of sowtware capable of parsing and collecting this information. Probably all of the forensic platforms can do it. At least, Autopsy and Magnet can. Also, free NirSoft software for web browser history parsing is available. Also, Web Historian can be used. Pasco (dat), Web Historian (dat, cookies, temp), Magnet AXIOM πŸ’°, Index.dat Analyser (dat), NetAnalysis πŸ’° (history), CacheBack (cookies and history), EncaseπŸ’° (cookies, history and bookmarks), FTKπŸ’° (cookies, history and bookmarks), Autopsy (cookies, history and bookmarks).


Tools πŸ› : Magnet AXIOM πŸ’°β“, NetAnalysis πŸ’° (history), CacheBack (cookies and history), EncaseπŸ’° (cookies, history and bookmarks), FTKπŸ’° (cookies, history and bookmarks), Autopsy (cookies, history and bookmarks)❓.

On macOS:

/Users/%username%/Library/Application Support/Google/Chrome/Default
/Users/%username%/Library/Application Support/Firefox/Profile
/Users/%username%/Library/Application Support/Opera/
/Users/%username%/Library/Application Support/Safari/

On Windows:

# Chrome
\Users\%username%\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default
# Firefox
# Chromium


Web Browsing Activity on Linux locations

β€’ /home/%username%/.config/google-chrome/ β€’ /home/%username%/.mozilla/Firefox/
β€’ /home/%username%/.config/Opera/
β€’ /home/%username%/.cache/



plutil -p "/Users/username/Library/Safari/RecentlyClosedTabs.plist" gives closed date and time

Apple Safari uses a macOS .plist file to store history under a user’s home directory. 1 p. 144










./0/root/Users/hansel.apricot/Library/Safari/Touch Icons Cache/TouchIconCacheSettings.db-shm

./0/root/Users/hansel.apricot/Library/Safari/Touch Icons Cache/TouchIconCacheSettings.db-wal

./0/root/Users/hansel.apricot/Library/Safari/Touch Icons Cache/TouchIconCacheSettings.db



./0/root/Users/hansel.apricot/Library/Safari/Favicon Cache/favicons.db-lock

./0/root/Users/hansel.apricot/Library/Safari/Favicon Cache/favicons.db

./0/root/Users/hansel.apricot/Library/Safari/Favicon Cache/favicons.db.FileSlack

./0/root/Users/hansel.apricot/Library/Safari/Favicon Cache/favicons.db-shm

./0/root/Users/hansel.apricot/Library/Safari/Favicon Cache/favicons.db-wal







Chrome Browser Data

β€’ /data/data/ Web Data

  • /data/data/ Cookies

  • /data/data/ Favicons

  • /data/data/ History

  • /data/data/

  • /data/data/

    Top Sites

  • /data/data/

    Sync Data/SyncData.sqlite3

  • /data/data/

  • /data/data/


  • /data/



Safari Browser Data

β€’ /private/var/mobile/Library/History.db

  • HomeDomain-Library/Sarfary/History.db

  • /private/var/mobile/Library/Safari/CloudTabs.db

  • /private/var/mobile/Containers/Data/Application/





Sheward, Mike. Hands-on Incident Response and Digital Forensics (p. 144). BCS Learning & Development Limited. Kindle Edition.