DFRWS-EU Open to Both Physical and Online Attendees in First-Ever Hybrid Event

Forensic Focus

A hybrid in-person / online event is the order of the month for the Digital Forensic Research Workshop (DFRWS), which is returning at the end of March to Oxford, United Kingdom.

Participants will have the option either to attend the keynotes, papers and presentations, hands-on workshops, poster and demo sessions, and networking events in person at the Mathematical Institute in the University of Oxford, or online via Zoom during the week of March 28.

For the in-person experience, DFRWS organizers will be following the guidelines from the UK Government and Oxford University regarding coronavirus precautions.

For the online experience, the various sessions will be livestreamed. The Digital Forensics Rodeo will be back and delivered as a hybrid session, while a virtual Birds of a Feather lunch session is planned for Thursday.

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Dates (and extras) to plan for

The DFRWS event will take place between March 29, 2022 and April 1, 2022. However, two “extra” events are planned both pre- and post-event:

The Women in Forensic Computing Workshop is co-locating with DFRWS and will be held on Monday 28th March 2022, which requires a separate registration. Part of a free workshop series that started in 2019, the workshop seeks to encourage students and researchers  – particularly those who identify as female, though participants of all genders are welcome – to consider digital forensic science as a career or research field.

This year, workshop presentations include:

  • Incident Response and Memory Forensics (note: co-presenters Svenja Mischur and Christian Müller will offer a hands-on workshop later in the day)
  • Digital Forensics Research: A Roadmap
  • Distant traces and their use in crime scene investigation
  • Reliability of digital forensics for criminal investigations
  • Analysis of Digital Evidence Application by National Courts
  • Searching for relationships between forensic artifacts and their attributes
  • Media Coverage Needs YOU! (editorial note: this is offered by Forensic Focus’ managing editor, Christa Miller)
  • Interactive Demo of the Cyber Sleuth Science Lab (CSSL)

Additionally, female-identifying applicants to the workshops may inquire about the availability of scholarships to DFRWS-EU.

On April 1, following the conference, an excursion to Bletchley Park is planned. “At DFRWS we do our best to bring the DFIR community together, provide opportunities for both technical education and social interaction in an informal setting, and an outing to Bletchley Park seemed like a great opportunity to do both,” said Daryl Pfeif, DFRWS chief organizational officer. “Certainly this trip is inspired by a desire to pay respects for the work of Alan Turing and his contributions to Computer Science, but the work of many code breakers, engineers, scientists, mathematicians and cryptologists from all across Europe are prominently featured on the site.”

To reserve a spot, select this option during in-person registration, and the trip will be included in the registration fee. In addition, Pfeif said, guest tickets are available that include round trip transportation from Oxford and a day pass to the park.

The main DFRWS event

Keynotes this year focus on the proverbial “30,000 foot view” of incident response. In “Enterprise Forensics: Traditions vs Reality in Modern DFIR,” Emre Tınaztepe, founder and CEO of Binalyze, will discuss digital forensics’ 40-year history, strengths, and weaknesses with an eye towards introducing “the next era of digital forensics” – enterprise forensics – and a proper balance between traditional and novel solutions.

The following day, Serge Droz, director of the Board Forum of Incident Response and Security Teams (FIRST), will cover “Global Incident Response.” Positing that incident response has moved from technical to geopolitical challenges, Droz will look at global collaboration among incident responders, their challenges, and their needs for future success.

Tuesday, March 29 will feature four three-hour, hands-on workshops for DFRWS attendees to choose between. First, Tom Lancaster will present “Level up with YARA!” while Harm van Beek and Hans Henseler workshop “The Future of Digital Forensics as a Service.” (Editorial note: for background, read our article about the concept, currently in use in the Netherlands as Hansken.)

Following a break, Adeen Ayub and Irfan Ahmed will present “Network Forensics of Industrial Control Systems” while Radek Hranický, Ondřej Ryšavý, and Nelson Mutua present “Cloud Application Forensics.”

All four workshops will be delivered in the hybrid format.

Wednesday, March 30 and Thursday, March 31 will offer DFRWS’ core roundup of research papers. This year, broad topics consist of:

  • File system forensics
  • Memory forensics
  • Programmable logic controller (PLC) forensics
  • Network forensics
  • Forensic methods
  • Emerging areas

Also on these days, shorter presentations and poster sessions will be offered.

Your call to share

DFRWS always offers options for attendees to share their work, even at the last minute:

  • Posters are a great opportunity for students to promote their work, meet potential research partners and prospective employers. This year, posters will be physically exhibited on all three days of the conference, with a dedicated session for the authors to be available to answer questions. Online participants will be able to find these authors’ posters and contact details on the conference web page to learn more, as well as to attend any lightning talks offered by authors, although Pfeif said a time slot option might also be available for virtual attendees.
  • Lightning Talks are a 3-minute, 3-slide chance to talk about current research, new initiatives, or other news that doesn’t fit any of the other categories.

A sign-up sheet will be available on site for both.

Sponsors and scholarships

DFRWS is sponsored by Bern University of Applied Sciences, Compelson, DeSales University, Evimetry, Forensic Focus, Google, Grayshift, Magnet Forensics, Qintel, and Riscure. These sponsorships make scholarships possible for students (first author) who present their accepted research papers. To learn more, visit dfrws.org.

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