More than 700 law enforcement officers, prosecutors and investigators from across the U.S. and Canada recently attended the seventh annual National Cyber Crime Conference hosted by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey.
The three-day conference serves as the largest of its kind and aims to help equip law enforcement officials and prosecutors with tools and skills to detect and defeat cyber crime.
“Nearly every crime committed today involves digital forensics, and this conference provides critical training that keeps law enforcement in step with those who use technology, the internet and mobile devices to commit crimes,” said Healey in opening remarks at the conference.
The conference consisted of nearly 100 breakout sessions of labs, lectures and certification programs in which attendees were trained on a range of topics, including drone investigations, virtual currency and Bitcoin forensics, the Dark Net, mobile device forensics and Facebook investigations. Other seminars addressed new technology to combat labor trafficking, digital artifact reconstruction and analysis of digital tactics used by terrorists.
Randolph D. Alles, director of the United States Secret Service, delivered the keynote address. He was sworn in as the 25th Director on April 25, 2017, and previously served as acting deputy commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Director Alles’ speech focused on how the Secret Service has evolved and adapted in its 153-year history when it comes to combatting financial crimes.
“The partnerships formed here are critical to successfully combatting cyber crime,” he said during his keynote address. “Information sharing from law enforcement to private and public sector stakeholders continues to be vital.”
The conference also featured five lunchtime speakers over the three days, including Special Agents Pete Manning and Greg Squire, who have worked on child exploitation investigations at the Department of Homeland Security for more than a decade. They spoke about using unconventional investigative techniques on the Dark Web, such as lifelike props, undercover communications and account takeovers.
On Tuesday during the conference, Detective Ed Michael, a digital forensics examiner with the Orlando Police Department who consults on cases around the world, spoke about the after-action collection and processing of more than 350 digital evidence items during the Pulse Nightclub mass shooting investigation. Special Agents Lesley Hill and Mark Zivilik with the Department of Homeland Security also spoke about the benefits of coordinating with state and local law enforcement officers.
The conference was hosted by the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office in partnership with Cellebrite, the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C), the National Attorneys General Training & Research Institute and SEARCH.
Attendees represented 33 states, as well as Canada, Ireland, England and Japan. Law enforcement, prosecutors and investigators attended from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Secret Service, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Marshall Service, U.S. Probation Department, U.S. Coast Guard, Massachusetts State Police, Boston Police Department and district attorney’s offices and police departments across the country.
The Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office has made the prevention and prosecution of cyber crime a priority, according to a press release issued following the conference. The office has a Digital Evidence Lab in Boston, Mass., which has statewide capacity to deal with cyber crime and more efficiently process the digital evidence that is present in investigations.
Since 2008, the office has provided cyber training for more than 18,000 state and local law enforcement personnel from across the Commonwealth and the nation, the release added.
Source: Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office
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