RELATED INFO
* National White Collar Crime Center
* Purdue Department of Computer and Information Technology

April 5, 2007

Workshop will focus on new trends in digital forensics

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue University will have a one-day, advanced-level workshop on May 10 for digital forensic examiners, law enforcement officers and other investigators.

Emerging Trends in Digital Forensics will take place from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Cyberforensics Laboratory in Knoy Hall, Room 228. The free workshop is sponsored by Purdue's Department of Computer and Information Technology, the Indiana State Police and the National White Collar Crime Center.

James Goldman, professor and associate head of the Department of Computer and Information Technology, said that while Purdue has been the site of many collaborative digital forensics workshops in previous years, this seminar explores topics that investigators may be unfamiliar with but have an increasing need to know about.

"What we will be talking about is cutting-edge and up-to-the-minute - the very methods and technologies that criminals are using right now to break the law," he said. "We haven't touched on these topics in trainings before, but this is just the type of knowledge that examiners on the front lines need to know about.

"The knowledge of bad guys is rapidly evolving, so that means we must constantly increase our knowledge as well."

The following sessions are planned for the workshop:

*  An update on what's new in small-scale digital devices, led by Rick Mislan, assistant professor of computer and information technology at Purdue.

*   Macintosh and iPod forensics, led by Marc Rogers, an associate professor of computer and information technology at Purdue, and graduate student Blair Gillam.

*   An overview of VMWare, which is visualization software that enables personal computer users to virtually use more than one computer to run software, led by Jerry Jones of the National White Collar Crime Center.

*   Steganography, which is the ability to hide text inside images, led by Goldman and graduate student William Eyre.

*   A synopsis of new trends involving such topics as live system memory analysis, Bluesnarfing (unauthorized access of information from a wireless device through a Bluetooth connection), anonymizers and remailers, and sight-sucker software.

Each session will emphasize why law enforcement personnel should be aware of these emerging trends and technologies, how they can deal with the use of these methods effectively, and what future trends are expected.

Goldman said one example of how the world of digital forensics has changed within the last couple of years can be seen in the rapid expansion of the use of Macintosh computers.

"It used to be that 99 percent of computers seized were Windows-based machines," he said. "Now that Macintosh computers can run Windows applications, and with the popularity of the iPod, we're seeing more people using these machines to commit crimes and hide evidence, so there is a corresponding need for training. For many of the attendees, this will be the first time they will be exposed to a Macintosh environment."

The course is open only to law enforcement officials who have previous training in digital forensics investigation. The workshop is limited to 20 participants. To sign up or for more information, go to http://www.nw3c.org/ocr/courses_details.cfm?id=310

Writer: Kim Medaris, (765) 494-6998, kmedaris@purdue.edu

Sources:   James Goldman, (765) 494-9525, jegoldman@tech.purdue.edu

Maj. Larry Turner, Indiana State Police, (317) 232-4338, lturner@isp.in.gov

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; purduenews@purdue.edu

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