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Student team scores big in digital forensics competition

ARTICLE HIGHLIGHTS

  • Team from College of Engineering and Science competed in their first Digital Forensics Challenge, hosted by the Department of Defense’s Cyber Crime Center.
  • Louisiana Tech team is Christopher Barbera, Delvin Jackson, James Poore, and Nathan Wallace.
  • Digital forensics involves legal evidence found in computers and on digital storage media.

A team of students from Louisiana Tech University’s College of Engineering and Science had a successful run in their first Digital Forensics Challenge, hosted by the Department of Defense’s Cyber Crime Center.

The team, known as 0x4BADD00D5, finished third out of eight in the U.S. Graduate Team Division, fifth out of 14 in the Graduate Overall Division, 27th out of 114 in the U.S. Teams Division, and 42nd overall out of the 188 teams participating in the Grand Champion Division.

Christopher Barber, a masters student in electrical engineering; Delvin Jackson, a masters student in computer science; and James Poore and Nathan Wallace, doctoral students majoring in engineering cyberspace, comprised the team from Louisiana Tech.  The students prepared for the competition in their spare time and did not receive class credit for the effort.

College of Engineering and Science Dean Stan Napper said he is pleased to see Louisiana Tech engineering and science students recognized again. “I see this as the first of many forms of national recognition for our growing cyber engineering program, which is the first degree program of its kind in the nation, as well as our highly regarded Center for Secure Cyberspace”.

Every year since 2006, the Defense Department’s Cyber Crime Center, known as DC3, has held the Digital Forensics Challenge as an international, online event that challenges computer aficionados to pioneer tools for digital forensics.  Digital forensics involves legal evidence found in computers and on digital storage media.  Topics covered in the competition include file signatures, suspicious software, meta data, passwords, breaking encryption, finding concealed data, and developing new tools.

Established in 1998 with a defense computer forensics lab and a training academy to train criminal and counterintelligence investigators in the Department of Defense, the DC3 investigates criminal and counterintelligence cases that range from terrorism and espionage to child pornography and murder.

DC3’s clients include the investigative arms of the military services – including the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, the Army Criminal Investigations Command, the Army’s military intelligence branch, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and others.

The objectives of the annual Digital Forensics Challenge competition are to establish relationships within the digital forensics community, resolve issues facing the digital forensics community, and develop new tools, techniques, and methodologies for the digital forensic community.

Written by Catherine Fraser – cfraser@latech.edu