Paraben Device Seizure
Strengths: Simple to use cell phone forensic solution.
Weaknesses: Currently does not process all devices.
Verdict: The leader in the space for a reason, a solid product from start to finish.
SummaryParaben has been the market leader in hand-held forensics because the software is easy to use and covers a wide range of devices, including PDAs, smart phones and cell phones. We found Paraben Device Seizure to be the easiest of the utilities for cell phone forensics. We were able to recover the address book, as well as the incoming, outgoing and missed call log. We were also able to acquire pictures stored on the phone, as well as sounds saved to the phone. In many cases, the data recovery was so complete we recovered files we were unaware resided on the phone.
For testing we used two devices: a Motorola RAZR V3m and a Palm Treo 755p. The Palm device was not supported by Paraben or any other piece of cell phone forensic software.
The installation of Paraben Device Seizure is straightforward, and the only difficulty we encountered was in trying to get the product licensed. A quick phone call to Paraben tech support fixed the license issue and we were able to get into the software. The software interface is easy to understand and the software walks the user through the setup of a case.
The help file for the product is above average and covers most of the common usage. Reading the first few sections will provide the knowledge to perform basic tasks with the system.
The pricing for Paraben Device Seizure is $895 for the software alone, but often data cables are needed to attach PDAs and phones. Paraben offers a Device Seizure package, which includes the cables necessary to perform forensic analysis from most common PDAs and cell phones.
Paraben also offers a package at a list price of $1,595, which includes the Device Seizure software, the Device Seizure toolkit, and data transfer cables. The toolkit includes one nylon carrying case, four AAA batteries, one CR-2032 battery, two styli, a USB serial DB9 adapter and a plastic magnifying glass. Either option is at the low end of the price spectrum for devices in the cell phone forensic market.