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Magnet Forensics Buys Tech to Help Cops Peer into Devices

The $5 million deal, involving a U.A.E.-based company, is focused on tech for extracting data from devices' volatile memory. That will help police and companies investigate digital evidence as well as cyber attacks.

laptop with images representing all the kinds of data it holds
Magnet Forensics, a tech firm that helps police and companies extract and manage data from devices, has made a $5 million deal to add a new investigative tool to its arsenal.

The Canadian company — which does more than half of its business in the U.S. — has purchased intellectual property from the U.A.E.-based company Comae that will give it a foundation to develop tools focused on volatile memory. Volatile memory, such as RAM, is the data storage on a device that requires power.

For Magnet’s law enforcement customers, that will mean a greater ability to gather investigative information and evidence from laptops, cellphones and other devices. It will also be useful in identifying the activities of hackers during cyber incidents.

“Memory analysis plays a critical role in incident response investigations because it allows enterprises and public safety agencies to recover buried evidence and understand what happened on devices involved in cyber incidents," said Adam Belsher, Magnet Forensics’ CEO, in a press release. “Very few organizations have the expertise and knowledge to develop memory analysis solutions. With Comae’s platform and the help of its memory analysis experts, Magnet Forensics can address a growing need for our customers while continuing to build on our comprehensive digital investigation platforms.”

Magnet Forensics is based in Waterloo, Ontario, but a majority of its business is in the U.S. — according to the company’s latest quarterly financial report, $10.3 million out of its $19.8 million in revenue in the first quarter of the year came from this country. It has government clients in several states, including West Virginia, Florida, Ohio, Texas and North Carolina.

The company paid $2 million to Comae up front for the intellectual property, but will pay up to another $3 million in the next three years contingent on Comae hitting integration goals. According to the statement, the company intends to develop its memory analysis capabilities with Comae’s technology alongside police and enterprise participants in its Magnet Idea Lab.