The iPhone Spy Stick, $199.00, is the first USB stick that captures information from an iPhone running 3.2.1. and earlier. The system uses a USB flash drive and a cable that plugs into the iPhone and your computer to extract information. The device isn’t designed to be covert but can easily pass for a standard USB flash drive and replacement iPhone cable.
At first glance, the device looks like a regular USB flash drive and iPhone cable, but after being told that these things are actually high tech forensics tools, I was really excited to try it out on my old iPhone and see what I could find.
The iPhone Spy Stick consists of a USB flash drive a USB cable. The USB flash drives has the iPhone Spy Stick program on it and the cable is for connecting your iPhone to your computer.
The iPhone Spy Stick is designed to look like an ordinary USB flash drive with a cap to keep the inside protected from dust and accidental damage. There is also a USB cable that attaches the iPhone to the computer. The USB cable isn’t the standard cable that comes with the iPhone, but it does look like many replacement iPhone cables I’ve seen. Both the USB cable and the USB flash drive wouldn’t draw any unwanted attention because they booth look like standard accessories.
Setting up the iPhone Spy Stick is as simple as plugging in the iPhone Spy Stick into the USB flash drive into the computer and using the USB cable to attach the iPhone to the computer. From here all I had to do was go to the My Computer folder and open up the contents of the USB flash drive. Within this folder is the iRecoveryStick icon. After clicking on the icon the installation process began and took a few minutes to install.
After installation, the iPhone Spy Stick program opened up and gave me three options and some installation instructions. The three options are Start Recovery, Open Workspace, and Start Import from iTunes Backup. The directions were pretty clear so I chose Start Recovery to start downloading information from my iPhone. From this point I waited about 15 minutes for all of the iPhone’s data to get extracted.
Once the data was exported from the iPhone, looking over the gathered information was extremely simple and straightforward. On the left side of the program is the Acquired Data menu which gave me the option of viewing:
- Call history
- Internet Data
- Recovered Data
- Other Data
From here I clicked through the categories to see just what the iPhone Spy Stick had found. I found I had my entire phonebook copied onto my PC, and decided I’d be productive and save it just in case something were to happen to my phone. I then clicked over to the Recovered Data section to look over deleted phonebook contacts. Found some numbers that I happily deleted and was happy to get back the phone number of a distant friends who’s number I accidentally deleted a while ago.
Being in the Recovered Data section I could view all the photos from my phone that I had stored. I then navigated to the Maps History section and was pretty shocked of how good the location information was. I figured it would say something along the lines of what city or state I had been to. But in fact the location was so specific that I got the exact GPS data like longitude and latitude.
I then proceeded to check out the texting and calling history. It gave me the exact time, date, phone number dialed, missed, or received and even showed how long each phone call lasted. As for the text messages I got to see all the details of the text and exactly what was said. When looking to check up on your phone and text message usage this was even better than having the phone bill in hand.
- Easy-to-use and navigate
- Device is small, portable, and doesn’t draw any attention to itself
- Not only brings up the current data, but some deleted information (like calls and text messages) as well
- Great for extracting data from both, the iPhone and the iTunes backup data as well
- Only works on the iOS 3.2.1 and earlier. Although, the update for iPhone 4 is to be released in October 2010
- The USB flash drive has the logo on it which might draw some attention, but can simply be covered up with a sticker
- Only restores recent data that hasn’t been overwritten yet. This is just the way memory cards and technology works and nothing can be done about it.
After trying out the iPhone Spy Stick I was pleasantly surprised by how such powerful forensic tools could be stored on a simple USB flash drive and extract all of the iPhone’s data so fast.
I also really liked the simple and straightforward installation process and easy to use software interface that made it really simple to find what I was looking for. Overall, this is a a great product for getting information out of the iPhone and even looking up deleted data. The only downside to the product is that it doesn’t yet work on the iPhone 4, but an updated patch should be coming out this October.