Location: Apple iPhone Forensic Analysis Is Easy with a File That is Located on All iPhone and Computers Synchronized with That iPhone

Location, Location, Location: Apple iPhone Forensic Analysis Is Easy with a File That is Located on All iPhone and Computers Synchronized with That iPhone

Security data researchers Pete Warden and Alasdair Allan have discovered that Apple’s iPhone keeps track of where the phone goes – and saves every detail of location points to a secret file on the device which is copied to the owner’s computer when the two are synchronized.


The hidden file contains the latitude and longitude of the phone’s recorded coordinates along with a timestamp. A person with access to the iPhone or the computer could discover details about the owner’s movements using a simple program, which Warden and Allan have also make available at petewarden.github.com/iPhoneTracker. The program is available as a zip file or tar file and is known as ‘iPhone Tracker.’ No security checks on the program were investigated at the time of the posting of this article.

For some iPhones, there could be almost a year’s worth of data stored, as the recording of data seems to have started with Apple’s iOS 4 update to the phone’s operating system, released in June 2010. The researchers have not found a similar data file on any other phones