Monday 25 April 2016

An Initial Peep at Windows 10 Mobile (Lumia 435)

Ooh! Yeah, show me where you keep your store.vol you dirty winphone you!

At first glance, the Windows 10 Mobile GUI looks a lot like Windows Phone 8. This post will focus on some key mobile communication artifacts (Calls, Contacts, SMS, MMS, pictures/video) and hopefully excrete a few noteworthy nuggets (of information!) along the way.

Special Thanks to @TheHexNinja and our resident "Robotic Organic Soldering System" for their assistance in obtaining the test phone and data.
Unfortunately, as it is from a work phone, we cannot share the data (so please don't ask). However, if you have artifacts that you are researching, we may be able to check our limited data set to help confirm your findings.

We started with a lower priced 8 GB Nokia Lumia 435 Dual Sim (RM-1068) which came with Windows Phone 8.1 installed. We then updated to the latest version of Windows Phone 8.1 before upgrading to Windows 10 Mobile. A few days after upgrading, Microsoft released another Windows 10 Mobile update so we updated again to version 10.0.10586.218. The initial Win 10 upgrade process took 2-3 hours and seems to have left the previous Windows Phone 8.1 directories intact but with zero sized files (at least for the files it no longer seems to use).

After populating the phone with a troglodytic hermit's amount of test data, a chip off was performed and the data read into a binary image file.
FTK Imager (free) and X-Ways Forensics (commercial) were then used to view/browse the data.
OSForensics ESEDB Viewer (trial) and Nirsoft's ESEDatabaseView (free) programs were used to view ESE databases. Both of these were recently updated for handling Windows 10 ESE databases.
MS Calculator and DCode (free) were used to translate MS FILETIME values.

Similarly to Windows Phone 8, there were 27 partitions. The last 2 partitions were the only ones larger than 32 MB:
- MainOS [1543 MB]
- Data [5783 MB]
These partitions were formatted to use NTFS.

The phone was not encrypted by default. There is a Device Encryption option in the Settings, System menu and Windows 10 Mobile devices can also be enrolled in a Mobile Device Management scheme (ie remotely enforce IT policies such as data encryption and/or content protection).
There is also a "Find My Phone" device setting to "Locate, ring, lock and erase your device from".

By default, there is no PIN set but if you want to encrypt the device, a PIN must be set. A brief look at the SOFTWARE hive (the Registry is still stored under MainOS:\Windows\system32\config) shows that Win10 Mobile does not use the same PIN hashing mechanism as seen in Windows Phone 8 (see Francesco Picasso's post here ) ... D'Oh!

Here's a pic of our lovely Windows 10 Mobile incubator Assistant ... One of them looks a little green to me!

It seems Microsoft/Nokia went for the "You're NOT gonna lose THIS phone!" colouring scheme.

 The Lumia 435 has 1 GB RAM and 8 GB flash storage (all combined on the one chip). There were no In-Service-Programming ports found, so for a physical acquisition, it was chipoff or nothing.
We inserted our own FAT32 formatted 4 GB SD card along with a GSM SIM card. The default settings are to install to the internal memory but upon inserting the SD card (and restarting), the user is prompted to choose where to save various types of data (either to SD card or internal memory). If Apps are set to install to the SD card, their data is obfuscated/encrypted. Twitter was installed from the MS App Store to the SD card and while some filenames were visible, the actual file contents were not in plain text.
The device is too cheap to does not support Windows Hello biometric (face/fingerprint/iris) unlocking.


Microsoft have created a default Messaging app (one app per SIM card) which conveniently aggregates SMS, MMS and Skype chats. These records are stored in a store.vol ESE database under:

Unfortunately, the Messaging app only displays times with a minute resolution. In store.vol however, records are timestamped using 8 byte MS FILETIME (the number of 100 nanosecond intervals since 1JAN1601).

SMS content is viewable from store.vol's "Message" table.
Because this table has tens of columns, it is not yet known how similar it is to Windows Phone 8.1.
Flag values seem consistent between Windows Phone 8 and 10 but if columns have been added/removed, this will affect the offsets between data fields (and hence any previous Windows Phone 8 scripts). Due to time constraints, we haven't been able to confirm if these offsets have changed so any diagrams in this post will purposely leave out offset information.

Here's some diagrams showing the key SMS fields ... For readability, several fields have been omitted (marked by yellow strips).

Received SMS "Message" table record

Sent SMS "Message" table record
Note1:  The weird hexadecimal strings above each box is the actual column name as observed in the "Message" table. The names in the boxes are human readable strings made up by this monkey to keep track of things.
Note2: The PHONE fields are blank for Sent SMS

For Sent/Received SMS messages, the "Message" table's "001a001f" column is set to IPM.SMStext.
Other possible values are:  
- IPM.SMSText.SIM (possibly SMS stored on SIM) 

- IPM.MMS (for MMS) 

- IPM.Note (for email)
- IPM.MSG (for chat and drafts)

Draft messages have a JSON encoded text string containing the body text in column "0037001f" (TEXT field).
Draft messages also have their "0e070013" column (FLAG field) set to 44 (decimal).

Potential values for the Message record FLAG field are:
- Sent = 33
- Received unread = 0
- Received read = 1
- Draft = 41

To find the destination phone number for sent SMS/MMS, we can use the Message record's MSGID field to find the corresponding Recipient record ("Message" table's "00010003" column = "Recipient" table's "20040013" column). The Recipient record contains the destination phone number (PHONE field) as seen below.

"Recipient" table record for SMS/MMS

Alternatively, we can match a Message record's timestamp "0e060040" column (FILETIME2) to a Recipient record's "0e060040" (FILETIME) column. This was the method we used  in our previous Windows Phone 8 scripts.

We also found XML like strings depicting SMS content in: 

This ESE database is new in Windows 10 and appears to be related to the SmsRouter service. My Google-Fu was not strong enough to find much on this service. If it does see/store all SMS, then it may provide access to SMS which have been otherwise deleted from store.vol.
OSForensics ESEDB Viewer had difficulty parsing the SmsInterceptStore.db "Messages" table (showed no entries). However, NirSoft ESE DatabaseView returned 1 entry.
Searching SmsInterceptStore.db with WinHex for the UTF16-LE string "MessageType>Text" found 3 instances of SMS versus the one instance returned by Nirsoft ESE DatabaseView. The extra records may have been deleted from the database but still resident in the file.
The SMS contents seems to be complete (ie they are not snippets).

MMS also store records in store.vol's "Message" and "Recipient" tables. Additionally, MMS store attachment information in the "Attachment" table and the attached files and MMS message text are stored under Data:\SharedData\Comms\Unistore\data\7\

We can use the filesystem "Date modified" time of the attachment files to sort and assign attachments to their corresponding MMS.

Here's a diagram showing the MMS relationship (not all fields shown):

The Windows 10 Mobile MMS relationship isn't exactly clear ... Paging Dr Phil!

Every MMS will have a "Message" table entry. If it's a sent MMS, there will be a corresponding "Recipient" table entry (containing the Destination Phone number and FILETIME3).
Every sent/received MMS Message will have at least 2 "Attachment" table entries - one for a "smil" message layout XML file and one for each attached file (eg one for each dick pic attached). If there's any text in the MMS, there will also be a "Text_0.txt" entry.
Each file attachment will be stored in its own .dat file which will have a similar filesystem "Last Modified" timestamp to the "smil" layout .dat file. This "Last Modified" timestamp will approximately equal the relevant MMS's FILETIME2 value (within 1-2 seconds).

So to locate all MMS, we search the "Message" table for any records with the column "001a001f" set to IPM.MMS.
When we find an MMS, we note the MSGID value (column "00010003" value) and the FILETIME2 value (column "0e060040" value).
We take that MSGID value and search for a match in the "Attachment" table's column "20040013".
There should be at least 2 entries - one for the attachment, one for the "Smil.txt" markup file. There may also be one for MMS text.
We can also use the FILETIME2 value to find .dat files with a similar "Last Modified" timestamp under:
A bit messy but it seems to work for our limited test data ...
For further details on MMS hunting, check out our previous Windows Phone 8.1 MMS post here.


Contact information can be accessed via the default People app. The contact info is stored in store.vol's "Contact" table. The first row entry corresponds to the device owner.
Here's a diagram showing some relevant fields. Its probably incomplete due to our basic test data but it can still give you an indication of the types of data stored. And the duplication ... *whispers* duplication!

"Contact" table record structure (incomplete)

Using a hex editor, we can see that each Contact record ends with the binary sequence 01040000008200E00074C5B7101A82E008. This is the same magic number observed for Windows Phone 8.1 contact records and a good way to way locate Contact records from raw hex (eg from ESE transaction log files or the pagefile at Data:\pagefile.sys).

We also observed 2 pipe separated plain text contact lists stored in:
These contained non-Skype contacts.

Call History

The call history can be accessed via the Phone app (for an overall summary) and/or the People app (per contact call history). There is one Phone app available per SIM.
The source of the call history appears to be the store.vol's "Callhistory" table.
Here's a diagram showing some relevant fields. Unlike other tables, "Callhistory" actually uses human readable column names!

"Callhistory" table record

Inbound Private numbers do not appear in the "RawNumber" or "RawNumberHash" or "ResolvedNumber" columns.
Missed Calls have the same "StartTime" and "EndTime" and their "Type" field set to 2.
The "Line" column contains a GUID (eg {B1776703-738E-437D-B891-44555CEB6669} ) for the phone line which made/received the call. On a device with multiple SIM cards, there may be than one GUID. From previous Windows Phone 8 observations, the example GUID seems constant across several devices and is a good way to locate Callhistory records in hex dumps (GUID string is encoded UTF16-LE).
Our test Skype calls had the "Line" value set to "Microsoft.Messaging_8wekyb3d8bbwe" instead of the GUID.

Pictures / Video

The Data:\Public folder appears to be the default location for saved pictures/video. The Data:\Public folder can contain documents, sound recordings, downloaded files, music, saved pictures/video and ringtones.

We found camera pictures/video under Data:\Users\Public\Pictures\Camera Roll\
eg1 WP_20160414_09_08_08_Pro.jpg
eg2 WP_20160414_09_46_55_Pro.mp4

We were able to save pictures from the MS Edge browser under
Data:\Users\Public\Pictures\Saved Pictures

Other possible storage locations for pictures/video include:
- the user's OneDrive cloud storage.
- the user's SD card. From our testing, by default, media files saved to the SD card are not encrypted.
- the OneNote app.

Final Thoughts

Since we dumped our 435, Microsoft has issued another Win 10 Mobile update so the information in this post may have changed.

In addition to store.vol, remember to check any ESE transaction log files (eg USStmp.log) for data which maybe no longer be present in store.vol. This will probably involve using a hex editor to search for various unique strings or values.

Plugging the 435 into a PC via USB will let the PC user see the Data:\Public folder. This can contain documents, sound recordings, downloaded files, Music, saved pictures, saved video and ringtones. However, Windows 7 did not recognise the 435 as a physical drive when (for shiggles) we tried imaging it via FTK Imager over USB.

Also bundled with Windows 10 Mobile are the following apps - OneDrive, Skype, MS Edge Browser, Facebook, Excel, Word, Powerpoint, OneNote and Cortana.
Cortana was not activated for this testing as there were difficulties activating it for our region (Australia).
Skype chats were observed in:
- store.vol
- the Messaging SQLite database at Data:\Users\DefApps\APPDATA\Local\Packages\Microsoft.Messaging_8wekyb3d8bbwe\LocalState\XXX\main.db
- the Skype SQLite database at Data:\Users\DefApps\APPDATA\Local\Packages\Microsoft.SkypeApp_kzf8qxf38zg5c\LocalState\XXX\main.db

Note: XXX= Mixed string containing the User's Microsoft Account ID.

Users don't need the SIM inserted to view Messaging, Outlook, Skype and Facebook apps. They can also view those apps when in Airplane mode although Outlook will not synch so may not display any messages.

For more information on Windows 10 Mobile please read the following:
Windows 10 Mobile security guide
Secure boot and device encryption overview

Interestingly, the second reference mentions hardware providers blowing any JTAG fuses before the device leaves the factory. Ahem ... This suggests that retailed Windows 10 Mobile devices will not be readable via JTAG.
Additionally, given the lack of In Service Programming (ISP) ports on the budget level Lumia 435, it is likely that the more expensive Lumias will also not expose any ISP points.
This could mean that chipoff may be the only option for physical acquisition of Windows 10 Mobile Lumias.
But don't take this Sky-Is-Falling Monkey's word - have a go yourself and let the community know if you find an alternative to chipoff.

Overall, it's nice that most of the artifacts we looked at have not changed THAT much since Windows Phone 8. The store.vol file is still the key artifact especially since they amalgated the Windows Phone 8 "Phone" database into it for Windows 10 Mobile. I'm thinking it shouldn't be too difficult to update our Windows Phone 8 scripts to handle Windows 10. Ah yes, "shouldn't be" ... methinks getting comprehensive test data will be the main bottleneck - especially if chipoff is required.