Paraben Device Seizure v. 1.1
Strengths: Simple to use; good reporting; lots of features.
Weaknesses: We'd like a little more documentation.
Verdict: If you are processing mobile devices, you need this tool.
This is what Paraben is noted for - Device Seizure is a neat little product that lets you seize and perform forensic analysis on cell phones, PDAs and other mobile devices. The single CD has everything you need, and it even comes with PDA and cellular device seizure procedures.
Set-up is about as simple as one could want. Put the CD in the computer you are going to use as your analysis computer, tell it to install, and stand back while the program does all the work. Once the installation is complete, you have a clean, easy to manage user interface that looks a lot like the typical forensic tool interface. Experienced forensic analysts will feel at home in the desktop’s familiar surroundings.
One excellent feature of Device Seizure is its embedded case management software. This allows the creation of detailed reports that can be provided with evidence, or used as standalone forensic reports. The product really is a collection of dedicated modules that install under a common user interface. The modules are very well integrated, but should it become necessary, it is easy to add new modules as they become available.
In addition to handling most of today’s popular cell phones, this nifty tool handles PDAs that use a variety of operating systems, including Palm, BlackBerry, Windows CE and Symbian, among others. Searching the device is a snap and full GSM SIM card information can be acquired. The tool reads email and can read the Windows CE registry. Virtually every function needed to perform a forensic analysis on a cell phone or PDA is here. Images are encrypted and hashed, of course, and the tool can be used to analyze PDA files, such as backups stored on a PC.
There is no manual with Device Seizure, but there is a help file. However, the product is intuitive and using it effectively is almost a no-brainer for digital forensic analysts with experience. Support is available 24/7, although we cannot imagine needing much. The price is right as well. At $895, we think it is a very good value and a must-have that won’t break the bank for any lab that needs to process cell phones and PDAs.