Digital Forensics & Incident Response

Andrew Case & Jamie Levy | August 2-5

On This Page


Digital forensics and incident response are two of the most critical fields in all of information security. The staggering number of reported breaches in the last year has shown that the ability to rapidly respond to attacks is a vital capability for all organizations. Unfortunately, the standard IT staff member is simply unable to effectively respond to security incidents. Successful handling of these situations requires specific training in a number of very technical areas including filesystem implementation, operating system design, and knowledge of possible network and host attack vectors. During this training, students will learn both the theory around digital forensics and incident response as well as gain valuable hands-on experience with the same types of evidence and situations they will see in real-world investigations. The class is structured so that a specific analysis technique is discussed and then the students immediately analyze staged evidence using their newly gained knowledge. Not only does this approach reinforce the material learned, but it also gives the investigator a number of new skills as the course proceeds. Upon completion of the training, students will be able to effectively preserve and analyze a large number of digital evidence sources, including both on-disk and in-memory data. These skills will be immediately usable in a number of investigative scenarios, and will greatly enhance even experienced investigators' skillset. Students will also leave with media that contains all the tools and resources used throughout the training.


Day 1

• Overview, high level discussion of forensics capabilities
• Overview of Disks and Storage Mediums
• Forensics Imaging
• Filesystem theory (FAT & NTFS)
• The Sleuthkit
• File Carving
• Browser Activity Analysis
• Recycle Bin Analysis
• LNK File & Jump List Analysis

Day 2

• Application Analysis
• Windows Cache Analysis
• Windows Registry Analysis
• System Restore Point and Volume Shadow Service
• Event Log Forensics
• Office Metadata Examination
• Picture Forensics

Day 3

• Outlook/PST Analysis
• Exchange Forensics
• IIS Forensics Analysis
• MSSQL Forensics Analysis
• Timelining
• Detecting and Handling Anti-Forensics

Day 4

• Overview of Memory Forensics
• Windows Memory Acquisition Techniques
• Windows Memory Analysis with Volatility
• Final Investigation
• Wrap up and Conclusion

Student Requirements

The course assumes previous forensics knowledge equivalent to that of a junior investigator. Systems administrators and other IT staff often have these skills even if they were never applied to forensics. The hands-on exercises are designed to provide a learning experience to investigators of all skill levels (there will be different objectives based on previous skill-set). Scripting experience (python, perl, ruby, etc) will be helpful to automate the analysis and reporting of results from the exercises.

What Students Should Bring

• Laptop with the following minimum specifications:
• 2.0 GHz CPU
• 2 GB of RAM
• 20 GB of disk space
• DVD-ROM drive OR USB 2.0/3.0 ports
• Wireless Network Interface Card

• Laptops must have access to a Windows installation either as a virtual machine or on the laptop directly. VMware workstation or VMware player must be installed. VMplayer can be downloaded and used for free for purposes of this course. A PDF reader is also required. If students wish to examine evidence from their own Windows installation, they must have a decompression tool that can handle a wide variety of formats (tar, gzip, bzip, RAR, etc) installed. 7zip and Winrar meet this criteria and are free.

What Students Will Be Provided With

A DVD with
1. a Backtrack Linux VM setup with the needed Linux tools installed
2. all of the lab material
3. select relevant reading material such as whitepapers and presentations.


Andrew Case is a senior digital forensics, incident response, and reverse engineering trainer at The Hacker Academy. He is also a GIAC-certified digital forensics investigator and has conducted numerous large scale investigations. Andrew's previous experience includes penetration tests, source code audits, and binary analysis for large corporations and products. Andrew is the co-developer of Registry Decoder, a National Institute of Justice funded forensics application, as well as a developer on the Volatility memory analysis project. He has delivered trainings in the fields of digital forensics and incident response to a number of private and public organizations as well as at industry conferences. Andrew's primary research focus is physical memory analysis, and he has published a number of peer-reviewed papers in the field. He has presented his research at conferences including Black Hat, RSA, SOURCE, BSides, OMFW, GFirst, and DFRWS.

Jamie Levy is a senior digital forensics, incident response, and reverse engineering trainer at The Hacker Academy. Her prior experience includes working on various R&D projects and forensic cases at Guidance Software, Inc. Jamie has taught classes in Computer Forensics and Computer Science at Queens College (CUNY) and John Jay College (CUNY). She has an MS in Forensic Computing from John Jay College and is an avid contributor to the open source Computer Forensics community. She is an active developer on the Volatility Framework. Jamie has authored peer-reviewed conference publications and presented at conferences (OMFW, CEIC, IEEE ICC) on the topics of memory, network, and malware forensics analysis. Additional technical articles and blog posts by Jamie can be found at