Advances in Computer Security and Forensics Conference

I’m really glad I got the opportunity to attend this event. It’s given my own research and writing a bit of a boost, but its also shown me just how important advances in this field are.

On day one we heard from Merseyside High Tech Crimes (HTC) Unit, about their day to day challenges and how they’re overcome. We also heard from a career digital forensic analyst about recovering data from all makes and models of mobile devices: handhelds, phones and the like, and the ways and means of recovering data from the removable media they commonly use.

On day two there was a practitioner talk from Henrik Kiertzner, about the technology’s propensity to nurture self-selecting constituencies, groups of like minded (though possibly geographically dispersed) individuals with ideologies in accelerated development – and how we’re unlikely to even notice them until they make their move.

We heard from Mark Taylor about scoping corporate forensic investigations, which gave me additional avenues of inquiry for my own research.

The keynote speaker Jim Gamble from the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre brought us insights – with wit and wisdom – from a truly difficult field and a call to developers to understand the difference their expertise can make to young individuals. Many of the techniques they use in the kind of cybercrime they combat are traditional. Knowing your enemy being one of them.

I’d assumed this would be a dry and technical conference, so its surprising how far social concerns pervaded the discussion sessions and the conference as a whole.