Today's forensic technology aids investigators in solving cases, tools that include mobile technology such as fingerprint biometric solutions in the field. The growing number and diversity of consumer electronic devices offer criminals and terrorists a wealth of opportunity to hide harmful information. As a result, many crimes today have a digital component. Following are some of the latest and most advanced forensic solutions from industry leaders. 1. AccessData Group
AccessData Group AccessData Group's Forensic Toolkit(r) (FTK(r)) is recognized around the world as the standard in computer forensics software. This court-accepted digital investigations platform is built for speed, analytics and enterprise-class scalability. Known for its intuitive interface, email analysis, customizable data views and stability, FTK lays the framework for seamless expansion, so an agency's computer forensics solution can grow with an organization's needs.
New expansion modules deliver industry-first malware analysis and state-of-the-art visual analytics as part of an integrated platform. Cerberus is a malware triage technology that is available as an add-on for FTK 4. The first step toward automated reverse engineering, Cerberus provides threat scores and disassembly analysis to determine both the behavior and intent of suspect binaries.
Users can view data in multiple display formats, including timelines, cluster graphs, pie charts and more. Investigators quickly determine relationships in the data, find key pieces of information, and generate reports that are easily consumed by attorneys, CIOs or other investigators.
With this integrated computer forensics solution, create images, process a wide range of data types from forensic images to e-mail archives, analyze the registry, conduct an investigation, decrypt files, crack passwords, and build a report all with a single solution. Other features include: Recover passwords from 100+ applications; KFF hash library with 45 million hashes; Advanced, automated analysis without the scripting.
Unlike other products on the market, FTK is database-driven so users won't experience the crashing associated with memory-based tools. In addition, FTK components are compartmentalized, so if the GUI crashes, the processing workers continue to process data.
FTK is different from other computer forensics solutions in that it processes data up front, so users are not wasting time waiting for searches to execute during the analysis phase. However, the product is designed to provide the fastest, most accurate and consistent forensic processing possible with distributed processing and true multi-threaded / multi-core support. Every copy of FTK includes a total of four processing workers - one on the examiner machine and three distributed.
FTK processes and indexes data up front, so search and analysis is faster than other products. Leveraging the powerful dtSearch engine, as well as a full-featured regular expression engine for binary searches, FTK produces fast and accurate results.
2. Applied Biosystems / Life Technologies
The AutoMate Express(tm) Forensic DNA Extraction System is an easy-to-use, robust bench-top instrument that utilizes the PrepFiler Express(tm) and PrepFiler Express BTA(tm) chemistries packaged in pre-filled, foil-sealed cartridges. Life Technologies has designed the PrepFiler chemistry specifically to improve the quantity and quality of DNA isolated from forensic samples, thereby increasing the potential to obtain maximum information from downstream Short Tandem Repeat (STR) analysis.
Key features include: Designed to improve the yield and overall purity of DNA isolated from both routine and challenging forensic samples; Provides high quality DNA, free of PCR inhibitors and suitable for downstream applications such as quantitative real-time PCR and short tandem repeat (STR) analysis; Simple and fast separation of substrate from lysate with the unique PrepFiler LySep(tm) Column; Quick and easy run setup with ready-to-use pre-filled cartridges; Closed system that minimizes the risk of View More contamination and transposition errors; Processes 1 to 13 samples in a single run; Rapid implementation with pre-validated, pre-programmed instrument protocols; Integrated solution including novel reagents, consumables and automation to provide time-saving, cost-effective and reliable DNA extraction; Improves downstream genotyping (STR) success rate and profile quality.
The Automate Express(tm) System utilizes two different configurations of PrepFiler(tm) Chemistry. The PrepFiler Express(tm) Forensic DNA Extraction Kit is suitable for the majority of standard sample types encountered in forensic laboratories such as bodily fluids on different substrates including FTA paper, cotton swabs, cotton cloth, denim and many others. The PrepFiler Express BTA(tm) Forensic DNA Extraction Kit was designed specifically for challenging samples such as bones, teeth and adhesive based samples such as cigarette butts and tape lifts. Both formats come with all the reagents and plastic components including the PrepFiler LySep(tm) Columns needed to perform 52 DNA extractions on the AutoMate Express(tm) Instrument. Plastics-only kits are also available in the two formats including 52 sets of all the plastic components.
3. BIO-key International Inc.
BIO-key is introducing FMID (Fingerprint Mobile Identification Device) technology for the Apple iPad and iPhone; referred to as "iFMID." Bio-Key develops and delivers advanced identification solutions to commercial and government enterprises, integrators and custom application developers.
BIO-key's award-winning, biometric finger identification technology accurately identifies and authenticates users of wireless and enterprise applications. Their solutions are used in local embedded OEM products as well as some of the world's largest identification deployments to improve security, guarantee identity, and help reduce identity theft.
FMID is a fingerprint reader device that attaches to, or wraps around the iPad or iPhone. The technology was developed to offer fingerprint authentication and identification solutions in mobile environments. FMID technology is available on the WinMobile platform and can also be used on certain Android phones such as the ES400 and Atrix; a fully integrated Android solution will be available before the end of the year.
The FBI Next Generation ID System uses BIO-key's award-winning software, which tested fastest and most accurate. Now with iFMID there are no limitations to proving identify and accessing enterprise applications. Using FMID technology could potentially increase the performance and timeliness of future forensic investigations.
4. Biometrics4ALL Inc.
Biometrics4ALL is a leading biometrics technology company specializing in FBI Certified Live Scan and related products and services for Applicant Background Check, Criminal Booking, and Biometrics Identity Management. Biometrics4ALL leads the industry in superior Live Scan software architecture, creativity, technology innovations, customer service, and cost effective pricing.
Their LiveScan software, Central Management Solution (Store & Forward), and Web-based application manages the largest LiveScan network on a single heterogeneous network in North America with over 800 LiveScans connected, transmitting over 600,000 transactions annually (and rapidly growing).
Biometrics4ALL provides complete integration with all major Live Scan hardware vendors, including: Cross Match Technologies, Identix (L1 Identity Solutions), and i3 (Identification International Inc.)
In addition, there is a complete line of Livescans for applicant background check, criminal booking, and ID issuance enrollment. Their user-friendly and function-rich Live Scan software is designed to be fully compatible with all Live Scan scanners hardware on the market (e.g., 1000Px, 500P, Guardian, ID-500, TP-5900, TP-5300, TP-4100, TP-3000, or i3 DigID Mini). It is FBI certified to meet the highest IAFIS Image Quality Specifications (IQS) and is compatible with IAFIS.
AccuKeystroke descriptor entry prevents the operator from making invalid text entries; reduces processing time, lessens operator frustration, and minimizes submission rejection. Driver License Reader captures all information about the applicant without typing the information manually. It improves data entry accuracy and increases processing throughput.
HandGuider technology guides the operator to position the fingerprints accurately and consistently. The operator gets immediate notification when fingerprints are out of sequence, allowing for fingerprint image repositioning without the need for a rescan.
Personalized AutoCapture capability allows each operator to set the auto capture timing at their comfort level and optionally eliminate the need for foot switch during capture.
5. CAO Group Inc.
The UltraLite ALS(r) solid-state forensic light from CAO Group is now the UltraLite ALS(r) Turbo, with double the output. Through the use of light interaction techniques, UltraLite ALS Turbo helps in the detection of trace evidence, body fluids, fingerprints, blood spatter, gunshot residues and explosive accelerants.
These substances may otherwise be difficult to detect against background materials so evidence can remain unseen. It can reveal subcutaneous bruising, injuries and wounds on bodies living and dead, and assist in the location of evidence containing DNA. Doubling the output power means greater levels of evidence visualization.
The UltraLite ALS Turbo features Blue-Merge Technology (BMT(tm)) Turbo. BMT Turbo is the perfect merging of forensic wavelengths. It is proven that shorter wavelengths such as 450 nm are more useful in body fluids, teeth and bone fragments, bite marks and bruise work, while longer wavelengths such as 480 nm are more useful in finding trace evidence and fingerprint work.
BMT mixes a unique profile of forensic wavelengths to produce the perfect blend. With the BMT light, users only need to go over the scene or evidence one time with one filter to complete 99.5 percent of evidence detection, collection and documentation work.
The UltraLite ALS in BMT Turbo produces over 2000 milliwatts of power. In addition, it produces more blue wavelength output power than any other semiconductor-based ALS.
Each unit has an output intensity selector button that allows users to select 500 mw, 1000 mw, 1500 mw and 2000 mw. All of the new Turbo Heads are compatible with all of the existing UltraLite ALS handles, batteries, chargers, filters and other accessories.
6. 3M Cogent Systems
3M Cogent brings over 20 years of biometrics knowledge and LiveScan development to their range of LiveScan workstations. The company's 500-1,000 ppi resolution FBI-certified LiveScan palm print and tenprint scanners, coupled with either their CIS 202 high-speed dual iris scanner or mugshot capture module, provide law enforcement agencies with an efficient multi-biometric acquisition workstation.
Available in portable, desktop and ruggedized cabinet configurations, the 3M Cogent LiveScan solution comes with real-time image quality check, sequence verification, auto-center, and auto-contrast functions, ensuring the capture of high-quality print images. By interfacing with third-party systems, such as record and jail management systems, the application avoids redundant data entry and improves efficiency.
3M Cogent's ruggedized cabinets are ergonomic, constructed of solid steel for durability, and designed to provide users with ample space to install additional input devices. The 3M Cogent LiveScan can come equipped with a LiveScan scanner, mugshot capture module, network camera, backdrop and lighting. Add-on options and combo kits are available for increased capabilities.
The 3M Cogent LiveScan with Iris Capture configuration comes equipped with CIS 202, our NIST SAP level 40, rugged dual-iris capture scanner. CIS 202's user-friendly goggle design eliminates discomfort for the subject while adhering to industry interchange format specifications by supporting ANSI NIST Type-17 records.
7. CSI Mapping Inc.
CSI Mapping is the supplier for SceneWorks in the U.S. and Canada. They have a long history of providing forensic mapping and crime scene documentation products and training in North America, Europe and Australia. Following the introduction of SceneWorks in November 2011, they now offer SceneWorks SceneCam with Scanlight.
This stripe light source has 40 focused third-generation white LEDs. Each LED is factory calibrated and constantly regulated more than 10,000 times per second in its optical intensity. The Scanlight is attached directly to the camera's sensor head and rotates around the vertical axis while the precisely focused quad column LED array illuminates the inkiest shadows.
Lighting issues are completely resolved with Scanlight. A room with no external light has been captured to compare the same room lit by ScanLight alone. Here is where SceneWorks High Dynamic Range shows its strength. The spherical image is captured with 26f-stops. Users have full control over viewing the complete contrast range by rolling the mouse wheel.
The new Sokkia SRX Robotic total station for forensic mapping features single-person operation with innovative auto-tracking and EDM technology that maximize the robotic forensic mapping capability. The RED-tech 800 EDM provides increased accuracy and range in distance measurements with or without reflectors. It measures up to 19,680ft distance with a single prism, and up to 3,280ft in reflectorless mode when brightness at object surface is 500 lux or less, regardless of ambient brightness conditions. From crime scenes to accident reconstruction, this auto-tracking instrument can ensure the most out an agency's resources.
8. Dell Inc.
The Dell(tm) Digital Forensics Solution provides investigators greater flexibility to analyze cases through: The ability to open multiple instances of forensics software from a single session - single-pane-of-glass approach; Consolidated storage repository that allows for greater team collaboration while maintaining full evidence chain of custody; Complete end-to-end solutions for both field "Triage" operations and in-lab forensics investigations. These and other solution features offer a host of efficiencies, including:
Secure: Dell has worked with law enforcement agencies to ensure chain of custody throughout the collection process is securely maintained to eliminate unauthorized data leakage.
Collaboration: Utilizing centralized secure storage, team members can now work on various aspects of the same case in close collaboration.
Supportability: Dell provides a single point of contact for all hardware and software related matters and Dell award-winning service in the field.
9. Sirchie Fingerprint Laboratories Inc.
Sirchie's new KSSLABKAM laboratory video-based RUVIS (Reflected Ultraviolet Imaging System) integrates the same technology of the Krimesite Imager into a digital video system that allows the user to search evidence and capture latent print images of superior quality. The video system features a digital video feed in a true grayscale, and allows images to be captured in a variety of formats, including uncompressed files RAW, TIFF and PNG.
The capture software also includes a note field for each image that can be saved as a text file, enabling case notes to be added for each save. The software is user-friendly, allowing the operator to begin looking for latent prints minutes after setup. In addition, the software is completely portable, so it can be loaded on other PCs and allows anyone to be a viewer of the captured images.
The NARK(r) II Drug Identification/Test pouches from Sirchie have the capability of presumptively identifying several families of substances suspected of being abused drugs. Designed to function as a transportable narcotics laboratory, NARK(r) II pouches are available for use wherever the need for its capability might arise. Each of the tests is comprised of one or more chemical reagents. When a predictable color or series of colors occur within a specific testing sequence, a positive confirmation may be presumed.
Mobile Crime Investigation Vehicle
To help combat computer / cyber crimes, Sirchie has developed a Mobile Computer / Cyber Crime Investigation Vehicle. The vehicle package includes: rack mounts for servers and department supplied equipment; reliable, clean power supplies compatible with computer / electronic equipment; climate controlled interior for operator comfort and functioning of electronic equipment; secure work area with lockable bulkhead door; fully insulated and finished interior to produce a comfortable work environment. In addition, an optional perimeter camera system allows monitoring of vehicle exterior.
Forensic Photography Stand
The SirchStand(tm) is a high-quality, versatile and portable copy stand for forensic photography. It features an easy to adjust column, allowing one-hand operation to raise and lower the camera. The base is magnetic, finished in a matte black, and etched with a 1 cm square grid for scaling.
The stand also features flexible arms both on the base and on the camera mount where SIRCHIE(r)'s TMX LED forensic lights (white, UV 395nm and 455nm blue) can be used for oblique light photography, or with camera filters for photographing bodily fluid stains, enhanced cyanoacrylate fuming results, or fluorescent powder developed latent prints. The unit supports most mid-range to large cameras, and guarantee a 90-degree angle to the object. It weighs 22 pounds, and has an easy-to-remove column, so it can be taken directly to the crime scene or to the Medical Examiner's office.
Laser Trajectory Kit
Sirchie's LTF200 Advanced Laser Trajectory Kit incorporates advances in lasers and digital measurement to provide the officer with the most accurate measurement and tools available. This kit allows a single investigator to do a detailed ballistics or shooting reconstruction.
LTF200 includes four anodized aluminum penetrating rods, centering cones and grommets. These are placed in holes created by the projectiles, allowing the investigator to photograph the trajectory, measure the various angles of entry, and also attach strings or lasers to further reconstruct the path of the bullet. LTF200 contains two digital angle finders, the DMANGLE, which with an adapter, can be placed directly on penetration rods to determine the angle of trajectory, and the DMPRO, a digital protractor that measures any angle by simply placing the bottom edge at the measurement point, and opening the other leg to the point of measurement. The digital read-out is accurate to 0.2 degrees.
Finally, for documenting the trajectory path beyond the rods, the kit provides for two methods, stringing and laser trajectory. For stringing, LTF200 includes elastic string, which when tightened does not sag like conventional string. Included are six spools (two bright yellow, two bright orange, one neon green, and one highly reflective silver). For laser trajectory, LTF200 contains two lasers, a red laser and a new 15mw green laser. The lasers can be attached to the trajectory rods or placed on an included tripod mount to project the path of the bullet.
Jennifer Gavigan is the Managing Editor of LAW and ORDER, Tactical Response and Police Fleet Manager. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org