The Disklabs Faraday Bag Story


Disklabs have been designing and manufacturing faraday bags for over 14 years but where did the original idea come from in relation to Digital Forensics?

In 1843 Michael Faraday performed a simple experiment with a pewter ice pail, which for the first time demonstrated the principles behind electrostatic and electromagnetic shielding. The same principles are still used today in a wide range of enclosures which isolate devices and sometimes whole buildings from RF.

Traditionally faraday cages utilise solid metal enclosures making them a cumbersome solution for many shielding applications. The introduction of metallised fabric made possible new types of Faraday enclosure.

With a background in hard drive repair and data recovery, in 2004, Disklabs became one of the first companies to develop the capability to forensically analyse mobile phones and computers. It quickly became apparent to the Disklabs team that a simple method of isolating these devices from wireless networks was essential to prevent data being wiped or over written. Moreover, it became clear that a cost-effective, field deployable solution that allowed the user to view screens and manipulate controls whilst in this safe environment would be required to facilitate a forensic examination.

A simple sleeve was thought to be the most practical solution however many of the materials that the Disklabs team tested exhibited inconsistent shielding performance across the range of wireless frequencies. The Disklabs team was looking for material that offered a consistent shielding performance at all frequencies and was robust enough to be used in the construction of a reusable Faraday bag.

After working with the manufacturers a suitable higher specification shielding material combined with a water resistant out cover was developed. The team still had solved the problem of maintaining the Faraday characteristics in the assembled product as the sewing process could degrade the shielding performance. Special threads, sewing technics and repeatable sealing method had to be developed to maintain the required properties once assembled into a bag or pouch.

After many manufacturing trials, a reliable process was developed and the Disklabs team then worked with DeMonfort University to develop test procedures which could be applied to confirm the performance of each new product.

The Disklabs Faraday bag where soon in great demand by Police and Forensic organisations who realised the advantages over hard case Faraday enclosures. Over the last 14 years, demand for bags to shield a multitude of digitals devices has resulted in the comprehensive range of faraday bags Disklabs offers today, helping to solve and prevent crime around the world.