ProDiscover Forensic 4.9
Strengths: Easy to use for a single-system forensic investigation
Weaknesses: Greater flexibility for evidence sources would help
Verdict: A solid forensic application that is above average for this kind of package
SummaryProDiscover Forensic 4.9 is a solution that is best used to analyse an entire system. It includes utilities for viewing the registry, event log and internet activity from a captured image. Everything needed for forensic analysis is included in one clean interface that resembles Windows Explorer.
ProDiscover allows for scripting of commands using Perl script programming language. The scripts can be handy to automate tasks that are routinely performed as part of a forensic investigation. The product is pretty feature-rich, but having internal viewers as opposed to loading the applications would be a time saver.
ProDiscover needed around three minutes to create a forensic image of a 1GB drive. Importing the image file into the tool was so quick that it was impossible to time. ProDiscover recovered more deleted files than any other program, including some files that had supposedly been wiped using a program from a well-known manufacturer.
ProDiscover found many deleted executables, directory and picture files. The password-protected files were not highlighted, and the investigator would only know their status after double-clicking on the file to open it in the external application. The product also did not detect the presence of
any steganographed files. The picture files merely opened in picture preview.
Since ProDiscover is designed to read an imaged system disk rather than individual files as inputs, we were unable to test it against VMWare disk files to ascertain if it would view the VMWare file as a flat file or a virtual file system.
The installation was as easy as for any offering in this group. The solution installed from a downloaded file (around 100MB), which set up the ProDiscover program as well as ActivePerl for forensic scripting on the system. The licence file was copied to the program directory and the installation was done.
The help file is above average and covers most of the common usage of the product. Reading the first few sections will provide the knowledge to perform basic tasks with the system.
At a price of £12,995, ProDiscover is at the upper end of the price spectrum.