My Review of the National White Collar Crime Center's (NW3C) DF330 course - Advanced Digital Forensics Analysis (ADFA- Mobile I)

 


It’s Sunday, November 1st, 2020, the year the world fell into chaos and pandemonium thanks to COVID-19 and American politics. Though awful and terrible events have occurred because of this perfect storm, some good has come from it as well. Many conferences and classes that would normally cost thousands of dollars or several days away from home and work, have been made freely available online instead. This has given greater opportunity for global audiences to attend and network where it would have been impossible before.

One such course was offered last week by the Nation White Collar Crime Center, or NW3C. I attended DF330 Advanced Digital Forensic Analysis (ADFA- Mobile I) and could not have hoped to have more fun while learning. The Instructors, Chris Atha and John McLead were amazingly personable and well-versed in their field of knowledge. Though Chris was suffering badly from a horrible head cold, he soldiered through and gave us the very best of himself. The class was designed in such a way as to incorporate both bottom-up and project-based learning, with their method of lecture-demonstration-and practical.

The course materials were given freely so that students could follow along and study at home even after the class was over. The one thing that I loved the most, however, was the use of Capture The Flag (CTF) to demonstrate practical skill acquired from the course of instruction. It was so much fun and it coincided with another CTF underway at the time being offered by Cellebrite, which honestly warrants its own individual write up as it was so incredibly fun and informative. The team at Cellebrite really put in a lot of work on this challenge and it showed. If you didn’t participate (and I almost didn’t) then you missed out on something seriously special. You can however join in on the next CTF challenge and right now, Magnet Forensics is doing them weekly! See the link below.

So, while this was my first experience with participating in any CTF whatsoever, I found myself involved with two at the same time! What I learned from this however, is that there is no better or more entertaining way to learn the concepts and hone your skill in Digital Forensics than through friendly competition. I am now more excited than ever about learning new techniques and getting involved in more CTF challenges. I am also eager to attend more courses through NW3C and hopeful to run across these two superb instructors once again. If you haven’t yet taken a virtual-live online course though NW3C, then you need to sign up. They are free of charge and offer a wealth of knowledge that immediately produces visible results in your developing skillset. You would only be robbing yourself by not taking advantage of this opportunity. Follow the link below to sign up to the NW3C and look through their course selections. They have On-Demand courses as well. Let me know in the comments what courses you have taken there and if you have had the same awesome experience as I have.

 

·         National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C) Homepage

https://www.nw3c.org/

·         Cellebrite Homepage

https://www.cellebrite.com/

·         Magnet Forensics Weekly CTF Page

https://www.magnetforensics.com/blog/magnet-weekly-ctf-challenge

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