Strengths: Simple-to-use mobile-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 established itself as the market leader in hand-held forensics because its software is easy to use and covers a wide range of devices including PDAs, smartphones, and mobile phones. It supports handsets from the major manufacturers, and various PDA operating systems including BlackBerry.
We found Device Seizure to be the easiest of the tools for mobile-phone forensics. We managed 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 plus sounds saved to the handset. In many cases the data recovery was so complete that we recovered files we didn't even know were 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 mobile-phone forensic software.
The installation of Paraben's Device Seizure is very straightforward, and the only difficulty we encountered was in trying to get the product licensed. A quick phone call to Paraben technical support fixed this issue and we were able to get into the software. The interface is very easy to understand and the software walks the user through the setup of a case.
The help file for Paraben is above average and covers most of the common usage of the product. Reading the first few sections will provide users with the necessary knowledge to perform basic
tasks with the system.
The pricing for Device Seizure is £442 for the software alone, but data cables are often needed to attach PDAs and phones. Paraben offers a Device Seizure package that includes the cables required to perform forensic analysis from most common PDAs and mobiles.
The company also offers a package at a list price of around £800, which includes the Device Seizure software, the toolkit and data transfer cables. The toolkit also includes one nylon carrying case, four AAA batteries, one CR-2032 battery, two stylii, 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 mobile-phone forensic market, making Paraben's offering good value for money.