- Ease of Use:
- Value for Money:
- Overall Rating:
- Strengths: Flexible platform for mobile device data acquisition.
- Weaknesses: Supports many devices, but device model determines what is or is not captured.
- Verdict: A good product for a good price that mixes adjustable reports and overall flexibility.
Paraben Device Seizure v4.6 is a software package that assists forensic investigators in the examination of mobile devices, allowing data acquisition of both logical and physical devices. The solution is available online for download and offers a demo of the software for up to 30 days or 23 executions. It can be purchased with or without additional hardware, including a power adapter, bag, remote charger, SIM card reader and cables to connect devices. Device Seizure comes with a one-year subscription that includes software updates and delivery of cables for new devices added to the system.
We installed Device Seizure on a personal computer and were able to start the program using the graphical user interface (GUI). We could read an Apple iPhone and iTouch device using the standard Apple USB cable. Within the GUI, it was easy to start a new case and acquire data from a device. Major functions - such as reports, data acquisition, bookmarks and sorting - are located in the top navigation bar, simplifying the process. The devices are grouped on the left, allowing access to individual devices with the option to expand further on a chosen device.
The user manual and update notes provided by the Paraben website list compatible devices and types of information users can extract and report on for each device. During the capture, we noticed that the iPhone (iOS 5.0.1) had to be unlocked to retrieve information. Another disadvantage is that owing to system settings by the manufacturer some AT&T and Motorola Android OS devices are unable to be acquired. As well, Apple iOS devices and Google Android devices must be unlocked before Device Seizure can execute.
Once data acquisition completes, it is easy to export the report to a wide variety of formats to view the organized results. We were able to view pictures, sent and received messages, system settings, as well as preferences (including version, if the device was locked or synched to a computer). We especially liked the reporting methods, which allowed PDF, HTML, text and other formats for exporting. The reports could range from an extensive report to a basic text report.
What we found especially interesting was Paraben's integration with Google Earth, allowing GPS points and routes to be tracked from Magellan and Garmin GPS devices. The ease of mapping data and location points allows a more interactive and detailed image of the assets, as well as providing a more thorough report. It is important to note that the type of information gathered depends on a device's specifications and its associated operating system. For example, our scan of a Garmin GPS device (Nuvi 1350) retrieved a route list.
Paraben's website provides access to support, training and release notes, compatible devices and pricing options. Customer service is available without cost 24/7 and consists of two tiers: basic and new/unsupported devices.
The cost of Paraben Device Seizure ranges from as little as $1,795 to $4,699, and offers the product, hardware, mobile field kits, deployable field kits and forensic bundles (including other Paraben products, such as P2 Commander and Forensic Replicator). Support subsequent to the initial one-year subscription costs $360 per year.