Atola TaskForce: A Reliable and High-Performance Forensic Imager You Can Trust
When it comes to forensic imaging, having a dependable and high-performance tool is essential. That's where Atola TaskForce comes in. TaskForce is an advanced forensic imager designed to work with both functional and damaged media. With its advanced features and user-friendly interface, TaskForce is the preferred solution for forensic professionals who require speed, accuracy, and versatility.
Unveiling the Capabilities of Atola TaskForce
Simultaneous Imaging Sessions: 12+ Devices at Once
Atola TaskForce sets a new standard for multitasking in the forensic market. Its server-class hardware enables the launching and management of 12+ parallel imaging sessions, ensuring efficient and rapid processing of multiple devices simultaneously. With a cumulative imaging speed of 15 TB/hour, TaskForce delivers unparalleled performance in data acquisition.
Comprehensive RAID Autodetection and Imaging
One of the standout features of Atola TaskForce is its advanced RAID autodetection module. This powerful algorithm allows TaskForce to effortlessly identify and image RAID arrays with unknown configurations. Whether it's RAID 0, 1, 5, 10, JBOD, or even mdadm-created RAID, TaskForce identifies and applies the appropriate configuration with a single click. It supports a wide range of file systems, including NTFS, ext4/3/2, XFS, exFAT, APFS, HFS/HFS+, and FAT32/16.
Unmatched Support for Damaged Drives
Dealing with physically damaged hard drives and problematic solid-state drives can be challenging. However, Atola TaskForce rises to the occasion by offering a comprehensive imaging approach that aims to retrieve as much data as possible. TaskForce excels in imaging data from good heads only, handling freezing drives, drives with surface scratches, and even those with firmware issues. With in-depth drive diagnostics, pause/resume functionality, and current sensors on all SATA, SAS/SATA, and IDE ports, TaskForce provides a robust solution for handling damaged media.
Multi-User Access from Any Device
Atola TaskForce understands the importance of collaboration and accessibility. Its highly intuitive and task-oriented user interface allows for simultaneous operation by multiple users. Whether you're using a computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone, TaskForce can be accessed via the Chrome browser, providing seamless access to the powerful forensic imager from any device within the same local network.
Three Flexible Connectivity Options
TaskForce offers three convenient ways to manage your forensic imaging tasks:
- **10Gb Ethernet Network**: By simply entering the IP address in Google Chrome, TaskForce can be accessed from any device within the same local network. With two 10 Gbit Ethernet ports, support for dynamic (DHCP) IP or static IP address, and secure connections with password-protected network folders, TaskForce ensures a smooth and secure imaging process.
- **Standalone Mode**: The compact size of the TaskForce system makes it ideal for fieldwork. With its built-in touch screen, TaskForce operates independently, eliminating the need for additional computers.
- **Remote Wi-Fi Connection**: TaskForce can be easily supplemented with a WiFi 802.11n 150 Mb/s adapter, enabling a secure network for remote control via laptops, tablets, or smartphones. This feature provides flexibility and convenience, especially when working in remote locations.
Additional Features for Enhanced Forensic Imaging
Atola TaskForce goes beyond its primary imaging capabilities. It offers a range of additional features to support your forensic analysis:
- Wiping with various methods: Pattern, Secure Erase, NIST 800-88, DoD 5220.22
- Browse files on any connected device
- SMART viewing + recording it before and after image acquisition
- Hash calculation (linear and segmented): MD5, SHA1, SHA256, SHA512
- HPA & DCO control and recovery
- Automatic report generation
- Case management system
When it comes to digital investigations and forensic tasks, having reliable and high-performance hardware is crucial. Atola TaskForce is a state-of-the-art forensic hardware unit designed to support multiple simultaneous imaging sessions and various forensic tasks. With its robust components, advanced features, and comprehensive support, TaskForce offers the reliability and efficiency required for professional forensic analysis.
The TaskForce hardware unit is built using top-quality components to ensure optimal performance. It features a server-grade motherboard, an 8-thread Xeon CPU running at 3.7 GHz, and ECC RAM. These high-capacity components, along with rigorous testing on hundreds of storage devices, guarantee the quality and efficiency of the tool. TaskForce is suitable for both lab and standalone use in different types of digital investigations.
Ports, Indicators, and Switches:
TaskForce provides a range of ports, indicators, and switches for seamless connectivity and efficient operation:
- Ports: It offers 6 SATA ports, 6 SATA/SAS ports, 4 USB ports, an IDE port, and an extension slot for Thunderbolt, Apple PCIe SSD, and M.2 SSD extension modules.
- Source/Target Switch: Each of the 18 ports is equipped with a source/target switch for hardware write protection in the source mode. This feature ensures safe connections to the examined evidence drives.
- Flexible Port Configuration: TaskForce allows any of its ports to serve as a source or target, providing flexibility based on your specific needs.
- LED Indicators: Each of the 18 ports has two indicators. One indicator is located next to the port's source/target switch, illuminating when the source mode is enabled.
- Two 10Gb Ethernet Ports: TaskForce includes two 10Gb Ethernet ports for efficient handling of multiple imaging sessions in the lab and fast connections with modern portable NAS solutions in the field.
TaskForce offers additional features to enhance forensic imaging and analysis:
- Displays: The main display is a Microsoft Surface Pro 7/6/4 with a 12.3" PixelSense Display, touch functionality, and detachable capability. Additionally, an IP display with a 20x2 character OLED screen is available.
- Physical/Environmental Features: TaskForce is enclosed in an aluminum case, measuring 12x10x3 inches (30x25x7.5 cm) and weighing 4.5 lbs (3.6 kg) with the screen. It operates within a working temperature range of 0°C – 40°C (32°F – 104°F) for TaskForce and 0° – 35°C (32° – 95°F) for the screen. The power consumption averages 60 Watts, with a peak of 280 Watts. It supports a supply voltage of 100-240 VAC, 50-60 Hz.
- Other Specifications: The internal operating system of TaskForce is Linux with a custom kernel. The control interface is a web-based TaskForce application. It features a removable NVMe SSD for the internal case management database and supports an optional WiFi 802.11n 150 Mb/s adapter for easy connectivity (adapter sold separately).
Inside the Forensic Hardware Unit:
The TaskForce forensic hardware unit is a specialized Linux-based computer designed to handle hard disk failures and damaged media effectively. It incorporates a highly customized and fine-tuned Linux kernel with specific features:
- High-Speed DMA Data Transfers: TaskForce enables data transfers at speeds of 500+ MB/s using high-speed DMA.
- Low-Level Port Control: It provides full low-level control over SATA, USB, and IDE ports, ensuring optimal performance and compatibility.
- Native SATA Support: TaskForce offers full native SATA support for seamless integration with SATA devices.
- Reset and SATA PHY control are crucial features of TaskForce hardware for handling severely damaged hard drives.
- These features are made possible by disabling all BIOS and standard kernel functions, allowing TaskForce to take low-level control over the SATA, SAS, USB, and IDE ports.
With this control, TaskForce can effectively handle devices that fail to initialize properly, have numerous bad sectors, or frequently freeze due to mechanical failures. The SATA PHY control feature enables TaskForce to reset frozen hard drives without requiring a power cycle, saving time during the imaging process and reducing the risk of further degradation and failure.
TaskForce hardware also incorporates Atola's proprietary circuitry for ultimate drive power control, which includes:
- Current Sensor: The current sensor provides in-depth hard disk diagnosis, allowing TaskForce to detect electronic or mechanical damage even in failed drives.
- Automatic Overcurrent and Short-Circuit Protection: This protection mechanism detects abnormal current draw from a drive and automatically stops it to prevent further damage.
- Overvoltage Protection Circuit: In the unlikely event of a forensic hardware malfunction, the overvoltage protection circuit ensures that the attached drives are not damaged.
These features are essential for safely handling damaged drives during the forensic imaging process, ensuring data preservation and preventing additional harm.
TaskForce hardware unit is fully controlled by the software through the Chrome browser interface, eliminating the need for Linux experience to operate it. The user-friendly interface provides easy access to TaskForce's advanced features and functionality.
Magnetic screen cover
Additionally, TaskForce comes with a magnetic screen cover for added protection during transportation. The cover is made of sturdy 2-mm thick aluminum, offering scratch and break resistance while maintaining a lightweight and thin profile. The cover can be quickly attached to the TaskForce unit using five magnetic screws on the upper panel, and it can be easily removed with a measured pulling motion.
Starting from September 2020, the magnetic screen cover is included in the standard package for TaskForce units. Customers with an active TaskForce subscription can receive a complimentary cover by contacting Atola support, providing their unit's serial number and shipping address.
Note: While the magnetic screws have been tested and shown not to damage drives, it is recommended to avoid placing any storage or other devices near the magnets to ensure optimal safety and performance.