Digital Forensics For National Security Symposium – Alexandria, VA, December 10th-11th

On the 10th and 11th of December 2019, the inaugural Digital Forensics For National Security Symposium will take place in Alexandria, VA, USA. Below is an overview of the subjects and speakers that will be featured at the event.

Tuesday December 10th

Registration will be open from 8:00-8:45am, after which Retired Special Agent Jim Christy will present some opening remarks and welcome everyone to the event.

The initial session will be run by Dr. David B. Muhlhausen from the National Institute of Justice, who will describe some of the initiatives the NIJ are currently using to enhance digital forensic evidence acquisition and analysis. This will include a discussion of open source tools that can be used by law enforcement officers, as well as an update on various collaborations which are currently helping to improve the status of digital forensic investigations.

Jude Sunderbruch will then talk about how digital forensic methods are used in conflict situations, including how serious offences such as major hacking and cyber terrorism can be investigated more effectively.

Following a break in which attendees will be able to visit sponsors and partners in the exhibit hall, John Pettus from the FBI will talk about the importance of using digital forensic techniques and evidence to protect the FBI network from cyber attacks and breaches. It is important to view digital forensics as a discipline that can provide information that can be used to prevent breaches, rather than something that is only useful after the fact; Pettus’ talk will spend some time focusing on how this can happen.

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Dr. Cliff Wang from the Army Research Office will then take to the stage to show how advanced computer frameworks can be used to help the Warfighter to outmanoeuvre cyber attacks, and how to mislead and ultimately defeat adversaries in a conflict situation.

Following a lunch break, Lam Nguyen from the Department of Defense will discuss DoD strategy, with particular attention to counterintelligence and counter-terror efforts. The talk will also focus on how to test and validate digital forensic tools for reliability, performance, and reproducibility, underlining the importance of standardisation in today’s world.

Working across all levels of law enforcement is not always easy, particularly when there are gatekeeping measures in place to ensure that information is not shared beyond its authorised limits. However, sharing information about criminal activity, particularly when it comes to cyber threats, can be very important. Matt LaVigna from the National Cyber Forensics & Training Alliance will be speaking on this topic at 2:15pm, discussing some emerging threats and outlining ideas for how law enforcement can collaborate with SMEs to ensure that investigations are as up-to-date and well-informed as possible.

Yong Guan, a Professor at Iowa State University and Cyber Forensics Coordinator at NIST, will then demonstrate a mobile app forensic evidence project for law enforcement practitioners. Following a break for refreshments, Major David B. Bain from the Marine Corps will show how updating the Expeditionary Forensics Exploitation Capability will help teams to collect, analyse and store data more effectively/

The final session of the day will see Dr. Kathryn Siegfried-Spellar from Purdue University demonstrating some toolkits for network forensics and child protection investigations, including chat analysis software that helps investigators to identify child sex offenders.

Wednesday December 11th

Following an opening address from Jim Christy, day two of the conference will begin with a talk by SA Laukik Suthar from NCIS, who will show how digital forensic capabilities can be used in counter-terror investigations and how to identify cyber threats in the Naval domain.

Colonel Zane Jones from the Defense Forensics and Biometric Agency will then demonstrate some current CID initiatives that aid investigators in the analysis of digital devices, as well as looking at new initiatives that might be brought into play in the future. He will also show how soldiers and analysts are currently being trained to take advantage of digital forensic tools, and how this can help them to better understand the cyber battlefield and how it relates to traditional battlefield operations.

A representative from BlackBag Technologies will then discuss how some of their tools are being used by law enforcement, and their potential applications for national security and defense.

At 11:10am there will be a panel discussion, moderated by Linda Grody from the FBI, discussing how to facilitate the analysis and preservation of digital evidence in support of digital forensic investigations, with particular attention to the provision of forensic services for law enforcement agencies at all levels. Child protection, counter-terror, violent crime and national security will be among the topics covered by the panel.

Following a networking lunch, Barbara Guttman from NIST will discuss how investigators can ensure that their digital forensic tools are reliable, and talk about how we might develop tools to test computer forensic software, including the evergreen question of finding appropriate test sets.

The final session of the second day will see Dr. Daniel Gonzales from RAND Corp talking about recent updates in cloud-based digital forensics, including showing how some open-source processing applications can help to reduce the time taken on investigation and analysis.

There will also be networking events taking place throughout the conference, which will be advertised during the conference and in the program. Find out more and register to attend here.

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