In a cynical attempt to jump on the bandwagon created by Apple’s move into the sanitary product market, I’d like to offer a Monkey’s eye view of what it would look like if Apple entered the computer forensics field.
- The writeblocker, iBlock, would only image at 1 mb/s and would have a non-replacable internal battery with a 12-month lifespan. When everyone who was going to buy one had done so, they’d release an iBlock ‘s’ – this writes at a speed approaching the commercial standard but still has the battery problem. Apple dismiss this as a ‘false negativity point by uncreative people’ and sue anyone publicly criticising it.
- The software imaging tool, iMage, would only create .aef (Apple Evidence File) images. This is a proprietary format that only Apple products can read or create. It wouldn’t be able to compress data, and would only store one item of metadata. Although marketed in a cutesy, hip, fluffy, anti-corporate way, any attempt to open the format would be met by an annihilating swarm of lawyers, screaming out of the cloudless California sky like a squadron of Stukas, complete with a court-ordered press blackout. aef files can only be read if stored on an Apple-branded hard drive. Plugging this drive into a workstation other than your own would delete all of the files on it.
- A clause in the .aef DRM licence would stipulate that any data acquired in it becomes the property of Apple, which they would rent back to the investigating authority. The upside of this would be that Steve Jobs would be imprisoned indefinitely for being the biggest ever possessor of indecent images of children. Whilst in prison he would develop the iShiv, a piece of white shiny plastic sharpened to a vicious point, perfect for passing from palm to palm in the exercise yard; and a new smaller iPhone that he could hide between his scrawny buttocks during a cell search. This would come with an app for working out the price of any given commodity in a cigarette-based currency.
- The forensic analysis suite, iNalyse, would only work with .aef files. Although it would have a cute interface, the software would actually do very little. All of the messy behind-the-scenes hex and filesystem info would be hidden and any files that were shown to the analyst would be converted into an equivalent Apple format first – for example any photo collections the suspect had would be converted into iPhoto databases, and all videos would become Quicktime files. This would, of course, render them evidentially worthless but it’d make the end user experience far more in line with the Apple way of doing things.
- The whole collection would be launched by Steve Jobs in front of an audience vetted by Apple’s Department of User Sycophancy. Although Jobs would fail to make any useful remarks, his every word would be lapped up and cooed over by his followers. The BBC would report breathlessly on the whole event with no attempt at balance, and their whole Technology reporting team would then ritually sacrifice their credibility on a shiny white plastic altar, in exchange for continued access to Apple press events. Following this, every story involving computer forensics would only mention the Apple tools, as if they had invented the field.
- An intensely irritating TV ad campaign would follow, with ‘iForensics’ represented by some disgusting hipster and’traditional’ forensics by Idi Amin.
Let the hate-mail commence.