There are so many different Apps out that trying to stay on top of the trends is an impossible job. Many times, Paraben checks into Apps based on requests and demands associated with specific cases. That is true of the App TextNow. It came to our attention because of a case demand, so some digging needed to happen to see what was available from the App.


Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), aka drones, continue to gain popularity with commercial and hobby operators domestically. Unfortunately, ISIS and other non-state actors are finding consumer UAVs to be extremely effective on the battlefield, malicious actors are using them domestically for surveillance and payload delivery, and civilians use them while violating long standing laws such as voyeurism and disturbing the peace.

During the 2016 holiday season, the Amazon Echo device was a top seller with Consumer Intelligence Research Partners estimating that the retail giant has sold 5.1 million of the smart speakers in the U.S. since it debuted two years ago.(1) These devices have grown in such popularity that they will soon become a common piece of evidence for digital forensics. Although we have just done some basics on the research, the benefit for most forensic investigators is that much of the Echo data is shared in the App and can be viewed with your forensic tools. As is common with many of the App programs, the data is stored in a SQLite file and can be viewed in a parser for that data.

We are pleased to welcome back Greg Kipper, who is a cyber-futurist, as a guest writer this month. We asked him to look at the biggest trends in 2017 and where they would take us in the world of cyber. Here is what he came up with.

The largest obstacle facing examiners is the ability to circumvent locked devices. One of the common methods that is used to get around the locks on a device for the Android operating system is the use of a bootloader. Many of the tool manufactures have been using these bootloaders but the examiners using them have received mixed results.