Forensic Content Detection through Power Consumption

Ulrich Greveler, Dennis Löhr, Benjamin Justus


Digital forensic investigators are facing challenging problems of finding clues and solving crimes involving digital data. Advanced metering devices (smart meters) are being installed throughout electric networks in Europe and in the United States. The high-resolution energy consumption data which are transmitted by some smart meters to the utility company allow identification and monitoring of equipment within consumers' homes. Our research shows that the analysis of the household's electricity usage profile at a 0.5s² sample rate permits identification of audiovisual content. By collecting a single household smart meter data over a period of one month, our forensic results also show that audiovisual content identification is not heavily obstructed by typical electric appliance activities in a household.


Tags: Audiovisual Identification, Digital Forensics, privacy, security, Smart Meters