Techno Security & Digital Forensics 2018 – San Antonio September 17-19

From the 17th to the 19th of September 2018, Forensic Focus will be attending the Techno Security & Digital Forensics Conference in San Antonio, Texas, USA. If there are any topics you’d particularly like us to cover, or any speakers you think we should interview, please let us know in the comments.

Below is an overview of the subjects and speakers that will be featured at Techno Security. The conference has four tracks: audit / risk management; forensics; information security; and investigations, along with sponsor demos. Forensic Focus will be concentrating on the digital forensics track throughout the event.

Monday September 17th

The conference will begin at midday on the 17th of September, with specialists from SUMURI talking about APFS and considerations for forensic investigators. Alongside this, Jessica Hyde from Magnet Forensics will be discussing how the nature of communication is becoming increasingly interconnected, and taking a look at the implications of this for digital forensics.

GDPR is a hot topic internationally at the moment, so this will also be a subject of discussion on the first day, with John Wilson from Discovery Squared leading a session on what data processors need to know about GDPR requirements. Alongside this, Julie Lewis from Digital Mountain will show us how to acquire and analyse digital data from social media and smartphone apps.

Now that cloud storage is one of the most popular ways to save personal data, it’s becoming increasingly relevant to digital forensic investigations. Katherine Helenek from Digital Intelligence will talk us through trace analysis of cloud storage in the early afternoon, followed by product demos by Oxygen and Magnet Forensics.

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John Priest from Cellebrite will spend some time in the afternoon discussing drones – “the threat from above” – and how these are being used in crimes around the world. Meanwhile Donald Malloy from OATH will be demonstrating how to secure smart devices, with a particular focus on new developments in the Internet of Things.

Several sessions will focus on computer security, including talks about the tenets of a robust information security program; the impact of resiliency on cyber security; and a look at how trade secrets are under attack and what to do about it. The final session of the day will look at the growing “digital data universe” – the sheer number of items forensic investigators have to examine nowadays – and how companies can adapt and thrive in this environment.

Tuesday September 18th

The day will begin at 8:00am with some investigations sessions, which are currently being developed. There will also be a talk by Abdul Hassan of the International Counter Terror Foundation looking at how to use social media in counter terror investigations. In the cyber security track alongside these talks, NIST’s framework will be discussed; and there will also be a conversation about recent advances and current controversies in facial biometrics.

Product demos from Magnet Forensics will be available throughout the morning, and CRU will be showcasing some of their new acquisition hardware and its abilities. SecureWorks will be talking through some of their case studies from 2018, with various different types of attacks under discussion.

Renata Spinks from Resilient Cyber Services will be talking about risk management in cyber security, alongside a demo from Oxygen Forensics looking at data acquired from drones. Meanwhile Rich Frawley from ADF Solutions will show some best practices in digital forensic acquisition, from getting a warrant to ensuring your paperwork is courtroom-ready.

What do you do about litigation in digital forensics? Perhaps it’s not something your company has given much thought to yet, especially if you’re new to the field. It’s an important part of running any company though, and when dealing with sensitive case data it can be fraught with complications. Gregory Braunton is going to spend some time on Tuesday morning talking through some of the pertinent points for consideration and how to make sure you’re up to speed.

Keith Leavitt from Cellebrite will be taking a look at how to identify and isolate malware on Android devices, while John Wilson from Discovery Squared will talk about Bitcoin and how it’s sometimes possible to uncover a cryptocurrency trail in an investigation.

Resuming the topic of large data sets and the interconnected nature of communication, Nick Drehel from AccessData will show attendees how to use QUIN-C to collaborate on investigations.

After lunch there will be product demos from Cellebrite, followed by Kimberly Calhoun from ILC looking at how artificial intelligence is being used in predictive policing analytics. Alongside this Jamie McQuaid from Magnet Forensics will talk about how mobile forensic investigations have changed over the past few years, and what developments we can expect in the future.

The mid-afternoon sessions will begin with a talk about the hidden recesses of the dark web and its marketplaces, alongside a demonstration by Amber Schroader of Paraben showing us how to process smartphones and the data we should find when we do. The final sessions of the day will focus on damaged device forensics and machine learning.

Wednesday September 19th

Jeff Shackleford from PassMark will kick off the final day of the conference with a talk about using Windows PowerShell and the command prompt as investigative tools. Kim-Kwang Raymond Choo will be looking at how to bridge the gap between research and practice when bringing new investigators into the field. ‘Securing the Digital Homeland’ will be another topic of discussion during the morning sessions, followed by a look at Alexa and similar devices from a security perspective.

Auditing big data systems is next on the list for the cybersecurity stream, while over in digital forensics we will be looking at how to use open source tools to get past encryption. Mark Spencer from Arsenal Consulting will share the same information he presented at Techno Security Myrtle Beach earlier this year, looking at high stakes evidence tampering and the failure of digital forensics. If you didn’t catch that session at Myrtle Beach, it’s certainly recommended!

At 10.30am Jason Hale from One Source Discovery will take a look at the current state of USB device forensics and how to improve it. Meanwhile Vico Marziale from BlackBag will show us how Mac’s Spotlight feature can be of use in investigations.

Triage and backlogs are always huge topics for investigators, and automating as much of the process as possible can be a big help. That’s what Andrew von Ramin Mapp from Data Analyzers will be focusing on directly after lunch, alongside another session about GDPR implications for the industry, and a look at how organisations are securing Microsoft cloud data on their devices.

Chuck Easttom will be showing us how to conduct dark web investigations in the afternoon, followed by Mark Hallman from SANS demonstrating how to filter Plaso data for use in investigations. The final session of the day will focus on how to use G Suite reports in digital forensic cases.

To view the full conference program and register to attend, please visit the official website. Forensic Focus readers can enjoy a 30% discount on the registration price by entering the code FFOCUSTX18 when booking. 

If there are any talks you would specifically like us to cover, or any speakers you’d especially like to see interviewed, please leave a comment below or email

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