What is a faraday box in forensics?

Forensic Box| Ranatec

There exists numerous reasons for isolating or shielding wireless devices within different areas. However, in this article our focus will be on law enforcement and military use and explain what a faraday box for forensics is, the so-called forensic box.

How a forensic box is used

Forensic investigators regularly seize devices such as cell phones, laptops, tablets, smart watches, GPS units, etc., at crime scenes or directly from a criminal suspect. There are three primary issues which requires the use of signal-blocking technology such as a forensic box after a device seizure: 

  • Evidence integrity: Ensure no text message, GPS points, emails, etc,. enter or leave the device after it has been seized.
  • Remote wiping and/or locking: Cloud-based services such as iCloud allow users to remotely wipe or lock the device in an instant, potentially eliminating critical evidence.
  • Remote locating: Law enforcement and military are vulnerable to being remotely located with devices which have been seized from criminal suspects.

A faraday box in forensics is mainly used by forensics technicians to be able to perform electronic device interrogations without being susceptible to the risk mentioned above. 

The importance of the faraday box in forensics

Keeping digital evidence effectively shielded is of grave importance within law enforcement. Lives may be lost and criminals let free if the digital evidence is either corrupted, removed, or spread. For this reason, many forensics technicians require a forensic box with a high shielding capability. 

The faraday bag

How do you protect the device between the crime scene and the faraday forensics box? Although turning the device off might seem like a good enough solution, in practicality, this procedure is flawed. The investigator may accidentally leave the device powered on, the device may “refuse” to turn off, or there simply may not be enough time to power multiple devices off. 

In such cases, the faraday bag offers a secure alternative that virtually eliminates the risk of an human error occurring. 

The concept of the faraday bag is pretty much identical to the faraday box. They provide a secure space which shields the device from signals to prevent the associated risks mentioned above. 

Choosing faraday forensics boxes and bags

If you need a faraday forensics bag or forensic box, be very careful in your considerations. There are many cheap, consumer grade “knock-off” products on the market, where terms such as “semi-forensic” also complicates the landscape.