By Jad Saliba, Founder and CTO of Magnet Forensics
Today we launched Magnet AXIOM! (View Press Release) Our team has been working hard to create a complete digital investigation platform that builds on the processing power of Magnet IEF, and I’m excited to announce that it is now available to the digital forensics community.
AXIOM incorporates our leading acquisition tool, Magnet ACQUIRE, and adds new analysis tools and features to enable acquisition, analysis and reporting of smartphone and computer evidence.
As I’m sure you can imagine, Magnet AXIOM wasn’t built in a day. In fact, it’s something we’ve been working on for some time now. Before I get into the details of how Magnet AXIOM came to be, I want to extend my thanks to my entire team at Magnet, who has worked tirelessly on building a platform that I’m proud to attach the Magnet Forensics name to. I’d also like to thank the great group of customers from across the globe who donated time to beta test AXIOM over the last eight months. You provided us with invaluable feedback and suggestions. You were a big part of this – thank you.
Empowerment For Greater Impact
When I started developing early versions of IEF, I wanted to build something that would help me, and other law enforcement agents, recover more Internet artifacts, faster. Arming investigators with a tool that would speed up artifact recovery and help them discover more evidence meant I could empower them to dig deeper into their cases.
Not much has changed in our approach to building forensic software today. Our mission is to build tools that uncover the truth and empower others to make a difference.
That mission holds true today and we continue to look for ways to ease the processing tasks involved in your examination workflow and provide enhanced analysis capabilities that improve your ability to find the important evidence. We rely on our customers to tell us what they need or want to see in our products. You guys are the ones doing the investigations, so it makes sense for us to listen.
We want to continue to focus on the needs of the law enforcement digital forensics community. You’ve probably noticed a trend in the industry, where digital forensic tools originally developed for law enforcement have evolved into broader platforms that are also used for e-discovery and cyber security. I believe that the needs of law enforcement are actually very unique, which is why our solutions are, and will continue to be, designed very specifically to meet the needs of those of you working on criminal investigations.
Why AXIOM? We Listened and We Took Action
Did we need to evolve IEF? Our customers told us that we did. Over the last couple of years, we collected a ton of really valuable input from customers. This input always comes in different forms. Sometimes we get great ideas for new product features and other times we learn about the big challenges that come from managing increasing workloads and the changing landscape of technology. Here is a sample of things we’ve heard:
- “I would like to be able to stack up multiple search and filter criteria to quickly zoom in on the important stuff.”
- “I’m spending way too much of my time on acquiring, processing, and running scripts, this stuff is the bottleneck that prevents me from getting more done.”
- “I wish I had a tool that would make reporting easier, I spend too much time configuring exports of my findings to look a certain way for my reports and I constantly have to manipulate everything to make it fit the template.”
- “There needs to be a faster way of verifying artifact data within IEF rather than having to launch other tools.”
- “I’d like to be able to easily look at all the other artifacts related to a specific piece of evidence.”
All of these examples, along with the hundreds of other ideas we got from customers, added up to a need for a more robust, end-to-end platform that supports the examination of computers and smartphones. And it needed to have Magnet Forensics’ much-loved simplicity and ease of use.
And so, the idea for Magnet AXIOM was born.
We built AXIOM with three objectives in mind:
- Simplify the process: Integrate acquisition and artifact recovery/processing into a single stage that can be executed automatically, freeing up time for analysis.
- Go deeper than IEF: Build in-depth analysis capabilities based on the IEF features that our customers like; find new ways to show related evidence; and give examiners new ways to view the data. All while keeping things simple and easy to use.
- One tool for many devices: Investigations regularly involve smartphones, tablets, and computers, and the expectation should be that one tool can be used to examine all the evidence.
We built AXIOM as a complete platform and we broke it down into two interfaces – AXIOM Process and AXIOM Examine.
AXIOM Process is designed to allow you to execute all the acquisition and processing tasks for a case more efficiently and with less manual intervention. Examiners can set up devices and let AXIOM automatically acquire and process the evidence in one shot. Just like with IEF, you can rely on AXIOM to do a thorough job of recovering and processing data from hundreds of different artifact types. We think AXIOM Process will eliminate a bunch of the little processing bottlenecks that slow you down and will allow you to spend more time doing the analysis work.
Find out more about Magnet AXIOM Process
AXIOM Examine integrates a collection of powerful analysis capabilities into one tool, to allow you to dig deeper into data. We’ve made improvements to the artifact analysis capabilities previously found in IEF Report Viewer and added new capabilities like file system and registry explorers. AXIOM is our way of allowing you to dig deeper into the data to verify and validate artifact data by jumping directly into the details in the source image, and dig deeper when needed, doing any manual analysis as required.
Find out more about Magnet AXIOM Examine
One tool. Many devices.
Like IEF and Magnet ACQUIRE, AXIOM is a platform for the examination of smartphones, computers or both. We believe that AXIOM will be one of the most important tools in your toolbox. Note that I said ‘one of’. Magnet Forensics software has always worked with other tools and AXIOM is no different. We firmly believe that having tools that can interoperate and work together is the best way to have the greatest impact. We should have a common goal – empower you to put away the bad guys and protect the innocent. That’s a pretty simplistic way of saying it, but it’s true.
We’ve put a lot work and thought into building AXIOM, but we’re not done. We’ve already got exciting features in development for future releases of AXIOM. We are committed to continuous improvement and innovation. Those of you that have been using IEF and downloading our monthly updates already know that we won’t be standing still.
Oh, and if you are wondering why we chose the name Magnet AXIOM, here’s a clue. The dictionary definition of AXIOM: A self-evident truth that requires no proof. =)
Jad Saliba (@Jadatmagnet)