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Forensic investigations optimize speed storage with Samsung SSDs Forensic investigations optimize speed storage with Samsung SSDs

Forensic investigations optimize speed storage with Samsung SSDs

Forensic investigations optimize speed storage with Samsung SSDs

SUMURI develops forensic analysis hardware tooling and software kits that can be used in investigations of crimes committed on computers.

 

SUMURI’s end-user customers are forensic investigators around the world. SUMURI manufactures both hardware workstations and portable software packages to aid investigations and recovery of sensitive information on computers.

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The Challenge:
Forensics Require Quick, Reliable Real-Time Capture

SUMURI needed a way to transfer and image large amounts of volatile data from a running system as quickly as possible and then facilitate the transfer of that data to forensic workstations outside the scene of an active investigation — all within a device that could easily be ported from location to location in all environments and use patterns. A rugged and durable, yet easily portable solution was in high demand.

 

SUMURI was founded to help law enforcement and corporate clients investigate potential electronic wrongdoing. In particular, the technologies SUMURI developed — both software- and hardware-based — are mainly used to fight sexual exploitation and other crimes. SUMURI’s product offerings include custom cryptanalysis workstations for password recovery, forensic recovery workstations to capture evidence in potential investigations, e-discovery workstations and more. SUMURI’s clients range from small law enforcement agencies to larger metropolitan agencies, states and large governmental clients like Homeland Security, NASA, and Intel.

 

Law enforcement and other actors often require access to computers used by parties involved in an investigation. With the strong encryption and data protection schemes built into systems today, often investigators’ only chance at recovering evidence from a machine, if they don’t possess its passwords, is if the machine is found live, running and logged in. Experienced forensic investigation personnel need a solution to ensure the data is collected quickly enough that its evidentiary value is preserved while also providing an assurance of integrity that the data was not modified and is suitable to be presented in a court of law.

 

When investigations are happening out in the field, timing matters — and when investigators happen upon a potential crime scene with computers either running or not, being able to depend upon a forensic solution is critical. “If it’s something of this importance, basically, you don’t want it to fail,” said Steve Whalen, SUMURI’s cofounder. “Between the speed and reliability, those are two of the main things we’re looking for when it comes to in-the-field technology.”

 

SUMURI has tried non-Samsung drives in the past as part of an effort to secure licensing for its products. While they experienced limited success at first, the drive vendor ultimately migrated to an inferior chipset. “We had nothing but a nightmare that we were trying for a long time to find our way out of,” says Whalen.

The Solution:
A Fast Forensics Software Solution Backed by Reliable Samsung SSDs

SUMURI’s product, RECON TRIAGE, is a “Swiss army knife” of forensics based on Samsung T5 portable solid state drives (SSDs), which can be plugged in via included USB Type-C or USB Type-C to Type-A cables directly into a subject machine. It’s specifically targeted at cases where Macintosh computers are implicated or otherwise involved in crimes, and disputes where active investigation and analysis need to happen quickly. RECON TRIAGE automates live imaging, volatile data collections, RAM imaging and more, and it’s designed to be up and running in seconds. This allows it to capture potentially invaluable information about an active attack or offense before the operations are shut down and actionable evidence is lost forever. RECON TRIAGE is built to automate much of the forensics process so that information is gathered and saved rapidly, even if the forensic investigator is not familiar with Mac operating systems and Mac forensics in particular.

 

For its Macintosh forensics application, RECON TRIAGE, SUMURI chose to partner with Samsung and use the tech giant’s T5 SSDs for three primary reasons: speed, reliability and portability. SUMURI’s software and hardware is based around Samsung products “wherever we can get it in,” said Whalen, because “they are top of the line when it comes to SSD technology.”

 

“One of our specialties is in Mac forensics,” says Whalen. “And so I developed a lot of software that focuses around the forensic acquisition, triage and analysis of Mac products.” The T5 is the reliable solution needed for even the latest Macs where privacy features and encryption end up meaning investigators have a limited opportunity to acquire useful evidence.

The T5’s durability, portability, and capacity create an optimum device for field investigations that require always-on capabilities.

The T5’s durability, portability, and capacity create an optimum device for field investigations that require always-on capabilities.
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There were many other advantages to the Samsung T5:

 

  • The T5 is a blazing fast drive that transfers data up to 540MB per second, allowing capture of a running machine in under a minute, even with today’s large capacity hard drives.
  • Samsung has the most consistent results across the board with read/write speeds, so how that input and output is handled, with a stable speed, is critically important.
  • The T5, being the size of a business card, is portable and practical and can be transported to the scene of a crime, to a lab, to a courtroom, or wherever else the data may need to go with no problem or hassle.
  • Samsung drives have a much longer time between failures compared to other solutions.

 

“Time is always of the essence. We deal with a lot of cases on the law enforcement side where you may have a missing child that they’re trying to find,” says Whalen. “And they may have phones or computers from relatives where they think information is. We can’t have that computer go down. We don’t have time to ship out another SSD when a child’s life is at stake.” SUMURI has found Samsung’s legendary reliability to be a critical benefit.

Portable SSD T5 1 TB Portable SSD T5 1 TB
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