TDFCon 2015 – Middlesbrough 15th May

On May 15th 2015, Forensic Focus will be attending TDFCon – the Teesside Digital Forensics Conference – at Teesside University, Middlesbrough. If there are any topics you would like us to cover in-depth, or if there are any speakers you think we should interview, please let us know in the comments.

TDFCon has been running for eleven years, and this year’s conference is being sponsored by Avatu and the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences. There will be a number of international speakers flying in for the conference, which will provide an in-depth look at current academic research in the field, as well as a wide range of industry presentations. There will also be opportunities to discuss research one-to-one with the speakers themselves, and a series of workshops where attendees can find out more about the subjects being presented.

Below is a brief overview of the talks and events at TDFCon 2015.

Unconventional Conventions of Cyber Security

John Walker of Nottingham Trent University will discuss recent cyber security breaches of high-profile companies, and the ways in which organisations can work towards delivering a more robust defence against such attacks. The day-to-day effectiveness of automated security applications will also be covered, and attendees will be invited to consider whether companies need to take a less conventional approach to cyber defence.

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Are We Self-Sufficient?

The second talk of the day will look at potential outcomes of a large-scale security breach, and how this would affect national infrastructure. Talking through the vulnerabilities of standard protocols, Jack McIntyre will look at the implications of a cyber attack on the UK’s communications systems and what we as a society can do to improve current defences.

What Is Cyber Warfare and How Will It Change in the Future?

Rowan Knight of Teesside University will discuss the definition of cyber warfare, the likelihood of it happening on an international scale, and whether the UK’s defence systems are ready for the possibility of a cyber war. There will also be historic case studies of prior threats, as well as a discussion of the increasing use of drones and their potential implications for the future.

Forensics Challenges with the Whonix Operating System

Timmi Lee Strand Jaeger is one of the international speakers at TDFCon. Hailing from Norway, he will consider the concepts of anonymity, privacy and security from the perspective of the general public, with a particular emphasis on the media’s reporting of organisations’ tracking abilities. The Whonix operating system will be presented as a case study for potential anonymity, and the talk will cover best practice, forensics methodologies and investigative challenges of the OS.

An Insight into Ethical and Security Concerns Facing the Increasing Use of Big Data

Big data, a buzzword in the world of information technology, will be looked at from a digital forensics perspective. Ethical questions will be addressed – how much data should companies be allowed to collect? How can it be securely stored? – and potential solutions to the unreliability of database protection mechanisms will be posited.

The Legal Issues Facing Digital Forensic Investigations in a Cloud Environment

Janice Rafraf will discuss how the increasing adoption of cloud environments is impacting digital forensic investigations. The international nature of cloud storage solutions will be considered, with an overview of legislation in different countries as well as an examination of authorisation procedures and the delays this can cause for forensic investigations.

A Review of the Insecurities Associated with 4G Cellular Data Networks and the Potential Repercussions for its Future Successors

Taking a look at plans by the European Commission and the Japanese Olympics Committee, Scott Stappard will review some of the security vulnerabilities that have been seen in 4G cellular data networks, and the implications of these for plans concerning new 5G “Smart” networks around the world. The significance of 5G for digital forensic investigators will also be discussed, including the challenge of big data in the context of these cellular networks.

Workshop Presentations

As well as the talks from the main stage, a number of workshop presentations have been organised to allow attendees to take a more in-depth look at some of the challenges being discussed throughout the conference. Highlights include Glenn Nor’s workshop on the disconnect between an increasingly networked society and the low level of competence of its users; a discussion of the ‘CSI effect’ and its potential impact on future cybercrime; and the use of virtual environments for covert communications.

Rebecca Morgan will run a workshop focusing on how much personal information social media sites store and how these data are used. The question of responsibility will also be posed – is it time that the users themselves started to take more responsibility for what they share on social networks?

The Tor network will be discussed again in the workshop presentations, with Jordan Madden looking at its implications for political activism. Arron Martin Zeus-Brown will then round off the workshops with a consideration of how to ensure that academia and industry are working together to build a strong future for the field of digital forensics.

Poster Presentations

Five poster presentations will also be hosted at TDFCon, focusing on forensic triage using a Raspberry Pi; collating data for 3D visual representations of crime scenes; a look at current and future methods of covert communication; the security risks of near field communication technologies; and the complications of using social networks in investigations.

Forensic Focus will be in attendance throughout the conference, and you can see the full programme here. If there are any topics you would particularly like us to cover in-depth, or if there are any speakers you think we should interview, please let us know in the comments or email with suggestions.

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