June 22, 2008
June 22, 2008
June 25, 2008
13.264.1 - 13.264.10
Building an Education Program for Engineers in Digital Forensics David A. Dampier Jansen Cohoon Department of Computer Science and Engineering Mississippi State University firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
This paper describes an innovative laboratory based program that offers life-long learning activities to working professionals in the law enforcement community while simultaneously including students at the undergraduate and graduate levels in digital forensics service, learning and research. The program has been highly successful with involvement of PhD students, Master’s level students, and undergraduates who are focusing on the computer security/digital forensics area of interest. Computer crime is a rapidly growing problem throughout the connected world. Not only are computer crimes becoming more numerous and commonplace, the sophistication of computer criminals is also increasing. As technology has increased in sophistication, and criminals have exploited new technologies, computer forensics investigators trying to solve those crimes have had to learn new techniques. This trend has necessitated the inclusion of new classes in computer science and criminal justice programs.
At Mississippi State University, the Center for Computer Security Research, with the assistance of the Mississippi Attorney General's Office and others developed a digital forensics training program that provides no-cost training to law enforcement officers throughout the Southeast United States in subjects ranging from basic computer skills and introductory courses in cyber crime to very advanced commercial training in using the most sophisticated investigative and analysis software available. Law enforcement officers have been very receptive to this program, with over 1400 law enforcement officers from over 200 departments in 18 states taking advantage of the training. Students in computer science, software engineering and computer engineering programs at Mississippi State University have also benefited from this program. An introductory course in computer forensics has been standing room only for the last several years, and advanced graduate classes in digital forensics are also very popular.
Funding for this center is provided by the United States Department of Justice, and has not only supported the forensics training center, but has also helped to establish a one-of- a-kind Cyber Crime Fusion Center in Jackson, Mississippi, where law enforcement agents from Federal, State, and local law enforcement agencies as well as students and staff from Mississippi State University work together to solve computer crimes. Additionally, the support has enabled Mississippi State University to build a world-class digital forensics laboratory that can be used by researchers, law enforcement agencies, and students alike to experiment with new technologies and build a foundation for pursuing digital forensics as a profession. This paper describes the center, as well as provides evidence of the proven value of such work for the university and the nation.
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