SANS Computer Forensic Instructors are real-world practitioners who specialize in the subjects they teach. All instructors undergo rigorous training and testing before earning SANS Certified Instructor status. This helps us guarantee that what you learn in class will be up-to-date and relevant to your job.
"The instructor was very helpful in making sure that the class has a good understanding of the information covered to date", - Debbie Moeker, 3M.
Rob Lee is an entrepreneur and consultant in the Washington, DC area, specializing in information security, incident response, and digital forensics. Rob is currently the curriculum lead and author for digital forensic and incident response training at the SANS Institute in addition to owning his own firm. Rob has more than 15 years of experience in computer forensics, vulnerability and exploit discovery, intrusion detection/prevention, and incident response.
Rob graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy and served in the U.S. Air Force as a founding member of the 609th Information Warfare Squadron, the first U.S. military operational unit focused on information warfare. Later, he was a member of the Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI) where he led a team conducting computer crime investigations, incident response, and computer forensics. Prior to starting his own firm, he directly worked with a variety of government agencies in the law enforcement, U.S. Department of Defense, and intelligence communities as the technical lead for a vulnerability discovery and an exploit development team, lead for a cyber forensics branch, and lead for a computer forensic and security software development team. Rob was also a director for MANDIANT, a company focused on investigating advanced adversaries, such as the APT, for four years prior to starting his own business.
Rob co-authored the book Know Your Enemy, 2nd Edition. Rob earned his MBA from Georgetown University in Washington DC. He was awarded the Digital Forensic Examiner of the Year from the Forensic 4Cast Awards. Rob is an ardent blogger about computer forensics and incident response topics at the SANS Computer Forensic Blog. Rob is also a co-author of the MANDIANT threat intelligence report M-Trends: The Advanced Persistent Threat.
Steve began working in the security arena in 1994 whilst serving in the UK Royal Air Force. He specialized in the technical aspects of IT security from 1997 onward, and before retiring from active duty, he lead the RAF's penetration and TEMPEST testing teams. He founded Logically Secure in 2006 to provide specialist security advice to government departments, defense contractors, the online video gaming industry, and both music and film labels worldwide.
When not teaching for SANS, Steve provides penetration testing and incident response services for some of the biggest household names in gaming and music media. To relax Steve enjoys playing Battlefield to loud music and developing collaborative DFIR tools.
Steve Armstrong's energy is contagious. Although the day was long, I felt alert and engaged at all times. - Amr Zakaa Khalife, Vodafone Egypt
George Bakos has been interested in computer security since the early 1980s when he discovered the joys of BBSs and corporate databases. These days he is Technical Fellow & Manager of Cyber Threat Assessment & Awareness at Northrop Grumman, a global leader in Cybersecurity, Aerospace & Defense. While at the Institute for Security Technology Studies, George was the developer of Tiny Honeypot and the IDABench intrusion analysis system and led the Dartmouth Distributed Honeynet System, fielding deception systems and studying the actions of attackers worldwide. He developed and taught the U.S. Army National Guard's CERT technical curriculum and ran the NGB's Information Operations Training and Development Center research lab for two years, fielding and supporting Computer Emergency Response Teams throughout the United States. A recognized authority in computer security, he has contributed to numerous books and open source software projects; has been interviewed on radio, television, and online publications; briefed the highest levels of government; and has been a member of the SANS Institute teaching faculty since 2001. Outside the lab, George enjoys the beauties of his home state, Vermont, through skiing, ice and rock climbing, and mountain biking.
George teaches you practical skills and provides real-world examples of IT security issues. - Mark Lian, Northrop Grumman
Ovie Carroll has over 20 years of federal law enforcement experience. Ovie was a special agent for the Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI) and Chief of the Washington Field Office Computer Investigations and Operations Branch responsible for investigating all national level computer intrusions into USAF computer systems. Following his career with the AFOSI he was the Special Agent in Charge of the Postal Inspector General's computer crimes unit where he was responsible for all computer intrusion investigations and for providing all computer forensic analysis in support of USPS-OIG investigations. Ovie is currently the Director for the Cybercrime Lab at the Department of Justice, Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section (CCIPS) and an adjunct professor at George Washington University teaching computer crime investigations. In addition to his career fighting computer crime, Ovie has conducted investigations into a variety of offenses including murder, fraud, bribery, theft, gangs and narcotics.
"Ovie is just an awesome instructor. He has a wealth of knowledge and really made the course a live and exciting joy." - Mohamed Abdelsalam, Glencore
"Ovie has got this thing down, pat! He is informative, personal, very very knowledgeable, and, entertaining on top of it all! Really enjoy his teaching methods." - Mike Bowden, Boeing
Michael is the lead analyst for Lockheed Martin CIRT's Intel Fusion team, charged with collecting and managing intelligence on adversaries intent on stealing the organization's intellectual property, and development of new detection and analysis techniques. Michael has worked as a security analyst in various sectors including the Financial, Federal Government, and Defense industries. He has an undergraduate degree in Computer Engineering from the University of Dayton, an MS in Computer Science from The George Washington University, has received a variety of industry certifications including SANS GCIA, GREM, and GCFA, and is a SANS Forensics and IR blog contributor. Michael's past speaking engagements include the DC3 Cybercrime Conference, IEEE, and SANS amongst various others.
Sarah is a senior digital forensic analyst who has worked with various federal law enforcement agencies. She has performed a variety of investigations including computer intrusions, criminal, counter-intelligence, counter-narcotic, and counter-terrorism. Sarah's research and analytical interests include Mac forensics, mobile device forensics, digital profiling, and malware reverse engineering. Sarah has presented at the following industry conferences; Shmoocon, CEIC, BsidesNOLA, TechnoSecurity, HTCIA, and the SANS DFIR Summit. She has a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology from Rochester Institute of Technology and a Master's in Information Assurance from Capitol College.
Jess Garcia, founder of One eSecurity, is a Senior Security Engineer with over 15 years of experience in Information Security.
During the last 5 years Jess has worked in highly sensitive projects in Europe, USA, Latin America and the Middle East with top global customers in sectors such as financial & insurance, corporate, media, health, communications, law firms or government, in areas such as Incident Response & Computer Forensics, Malware Analysis, Security Architecture Design and Review, etc.
Previously, Jess worked for 10 years as a systems, network and security engineer in the Spanish Space Agency, where he collaborated as a security advisor with the European Space Agency, NASA, and other international organizations.
Jess is a frequent speaker at security events, having been invited to dozens of them around the world during the last few years. Jess has also contributed to several books, articles, SANS courseware, the GIAC program, etc. Jess is an active security researcher in areas such as Incident Response and Computer Forensics or Honeynets. He is currently a SANS Principal Instructor.
Jess holds a Masters of Science in Telecommunications Engineering from the Univ. Politecnica de Madrid.
Philip Hagen has been working in the information security field since 1998, running the full spectrum including deep technical tasks, management of an entire computer forensic services portfolio, and executive responsibilities.
Currently, Phil is an Evangelist at Red Canary, where engages with current and future customers of Red Canary's managed threat detection service to ensure their use of the service is best aligned for success in the face of existing and future threats.
Phil started his security career while attending the US Air Force Academy, with research covering both the academic and practical sides of security. He served in the Air Force as a communications officer at Beale AFB and the Pentagon. In 2003, Phil shifted to a government contractor, providing technical services for various IT and information security projects. These included systems that demanded 24x7x365 functionality. He later managed a team of 85 computer forensic professionals in the national security sector. He has provided forensic consulting services for law enforcement, government, and commercial clients prior to joining the Red Canary team. Phil is also a certified instructor for the SANS Institute, and is the course lead and co-author of FOR572, Advanced Network Forensics and Analysis.
"Philip's speaking style draw you in and he's very personable. Useful tools and nice tour of technology which I was not previously aware of." Frank J. Quinn
Listen to Phil discuss "IT'S ALIVE!!! Investigating with Network-based Evidence" in this SANS webcast that every DFIR professional should listen to.
Paul A. Henry
Paul Henry is a Senior Instructor with the SANS Institute and one of the world's foremost global information security and computer forensic experts with more than 30 years of experience covering all 10 domains of network security. Paul began his career in critical infrastructure / process control supporting power generation and currently manages security initiatives and incident response for Global 2000 enterprises and government organizations worldwide.
Paul is a principal at vNet Security, LLC and is keeping a finger on the pulse of network security as the security and forensic analyst at Lumension Security and as a retained security expert for multiple financial and healthcare firms.
Throughout his career, Paul has played a key strategic role in launching new network security initiatives to meet our ever-changing threat landscape. Paul also advises and consults on some of the world's most challenging and high-risk information security projects, including the National Banking System in Saudi Arabia, the Reserve Bank of Australia, the Department of Defense's Satellite Data Project (USA), and both government as well as telecommunications projects throughout Southeast Asia.
Paul is frequently cited by major and trade print publications as an expert in perimeter security, incident response / computer forensics and general security trends and serves as an expert commentator for network broadcast outlets, such as FOX, NBC, CNN, and CNBC. In addition, Paul regularly authors thought leadership articles on technical security issues, and his expertise and insight help shape the editorial direction of key security publications, such as the Information Security Management Handbook, where he is a consistent contributor. Paul serves as a featured and keynote speaker at seminars and conferences worldwide, delivering presentations on diverse topics including anti-forensics, network access control, cyber crime, DDoS attack risk mitigation, perimeter security, and incident response.
Listen to Paul discuss "Incident Response and Forensics in the Cloud" in this SANS webcast that every DFIR professional should listen to.
Nick is the Director of Klein & Co. Computer Forensics, the leading independent computer forensic team from Sydney, Australia. He has over fifteen years of IT experience, specialising in forensic technology investigations and presenting expert evidence in legal and other proceedings. Nick and his team have been engaged as experts in hundreds of cases including commercial litigation and electronic discovery, criminal prosecution and defence, financial fraud, corruption, employee misconduct, theft of intellectual property, computer hacking and system intrusion.
He was previously a senior director in Deloitte Forensic and a team leader in the High Tech Crime Team of the Australian Federal Police, where he worked on international police investigations and intelligence operations including counter terrorism, online child abuse, computer hacking, and traditional crimes facilitated by new technologies.
Nick has presented expert evidence in civil and criminal matters in Australia and overseas, including providing expert testimony in the Bali bombing trials in Indonesia in 2003. He has appeared before Australian State and Commonwealth Parliamentary Committees and participated in Government working groups on cybercrime issues including the Fraud Taskforce of the Australian Banking Association and the Critical Infrastructure Protection forum of the Australian Commonwealth Government. Nick is a regularly presenter at industry forums and a guest lecturer at several institutions including the School of Law at the University of New South Wales and the Centre for Transnational Crime Prevention, Faculty of Law at the University of Wollongong.
Heather Mahalik is leading the forensic effort for Ocean's Edge as a project manager. Heather's extensive experience in digital forensics began in 2003. She is currently a certified instructor for the SANS Institute and is the course lead for FOR585: Advanced Smartphone Forensics. Most of Heather's experience includes:
- Smartphone forensics: including acquisition, analysis, vulnerability discovery, malware analysis, application reverse engineering, and manual decoding
- Forensic instruction on mobile, smartphone, computer and Mac forensics in support of the U.S. Government, LE, and commercial level
- Co-author of Practical Mobile Forensics, currently a best seller from Pack't Publishing
- Technical editor for Learning Android Forensics from Pack't Publishing
Previously, Heather led the mobile device team for Basis Technology, where she focused on mobile device exploitation in support of the U.S. Government. She also worked as a forensic examiner at Stroz Friedberg and the U.S. State Department Computer Investigations and Forensics Lab, where she focused her efforts on high profiles cases. Heather maintains www.smarterforensics.com where she blogs and hosts work from the digital forensics community.
Listen to Heather discuss "Bypassing Locked Smartphones - Are you really locked out?" in this SANS webcast that every DFIR professional should listen to.
"I have been working with phones since 2009, and Heather very casually showed me how much I don't know. Excellent!" Harbin Combee- MPDC
"I am learning so much, it's exciting. Heather is an excellent instructor. Very smart. Knows her stuff." Tris Matthews - Goodhue County Sheriff's Office
"Heather is a great instructor. The only downside will be not being able to bring her back to my office so we can pick her brain every day!" C. McCollom - Clark County Sheriff's Office
Detective Cindy Murphy works for the City of Madison, WI Police Department and has been a Law Enforcement Officer since 1985. She is a certified forensic examiner (EnCE, CCFT, DFCP), and has been involved in computer forensics since 1999. She earned her MSc in Forensic Computing and Cyber Crime Investigation through University College, Dublin in 2011. She has directly participated in the examination of many hundreds of hard drives, cell phones, and other items of digital evidence pursuant to criminal investigations including homicides, missing persons, computer intrusions, sexual assaults, child pornography, financial crimes, and various other crimes. She has testified as a computer forensics expert in state and federal court on numerous occasions, using her knowledge and skills to assist in the successful investigation and prosecution of criminal cases involving digital evidence. She is also a part time digital forensics instructor at Madison College, and a part time Mobile Device Forensics instructor for the SANS Institute.
Listen to Cindy discuss "Advanced Smartphone Forensics" in this SANS webcast that every DFIR professional should listen to.
"Cindy Murphy is a force to be reckoned with! Very happy I signed up for this class." - Reza Z., DirectTV
"Cindy is Awesome! She fully understands what is happening in the field and how to do our job better." - John P. Shell Oil
"The more I sit in the class, the more I realize how amazing Cindy is. She's the Yoda of phone forensics!!" -FOR585 student, San Francisco 2014
"This is my first sans class and I'm impressed. It is all thanks to Cindy's style and the in-depth knowledge of the material." --FOR585 student, San Francisco 2014
Mike Pilkington is the technical incident response lead for a Fortune 500 company in the oil & gas industry. In his role, Mike regularly works malware and intrusion cases, evaluates and implements both commercial and open-source forensic tools, and consults with various groups within the organization.
Over the years, Mike has accumulated a broad range of technical expertise, having spent significant time performing software quality assurance, Windows systems administration, LAN and WAN network administration, firewall and IDS/IPS security administration, computer forensic analysis, and incident response. As a forensic analyst, he worked numerous HR investigations, including cases involving intellectual property theft, inappropriate use of the Internet, employee hacking, IT administrator privilege abuse, and illegal downloading of copyright materials. In 2009, Mike was selected to start the company's incident response program. While responding to numerous incidents that year, he developed the company's initial cyber incident response plan. Since then, the program has steadily matured and Mike has remained the lead responder, handling cases from commodity malware infections to nation-state attacks targeting strategic groups within the organization.
Since 2008, Mike has also enjoyed teaching for the SANS Institute. He currently teaches Windows Forensics In-Depth (FOR408) and Advanced Digital Forensics and Incident Response (FOR508). In addition to teaching, Mike is a dedicated researcher and has published numerous articles for the SANS Forensics Blog.
Mike holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from The University of Texas, as well as numerous IT security certifications, including the CISSP, EnCE, GCFE, GCFA, and GREM.
Listen to Mike discuss "Detecting Evil on Windows Systems - An In Depth Look at the DFIR Poster" in this SANS webcast to help you find hidden evil found on Windows systems.
Hal Pomeranz is an independent digital forensic investigator who has consulted on cases ranging from intellectual property theft, to employee sabotage, to organized cybercrime and malicious software infrastructures. He has worked with law enforcement agencies in the US and Europe and global corporations.
While equally at home in the Windows or Mac environment, Hal is recognized as an expert in the analysis of Linux and Unix systems. His research on EXT4 file system forensics provided a basis for the development of Open Source forensic support for this file system. His EXT3 file recovery tools are used by investigators worldwide.
Hal is a SANS Faculty Fellow and Lethal Forensicator, and is the creator of the SANS Linux/Unix Security track (GCUX). He holds the GCFA and GREM certifications and teaches the related courses in the SANS Forensics curriculum. He is a respected author and speaker at industry gatherings worldwide. Hal is a regular contributor to the SANS Computer Forensics blog and co-author of the Command Line Kung Fu blog.
"Great intro to malware analysis. Hal Pomeranz, instructor, was extremely knowledgeable on the subject. Highly recommended." - Jonathon Hinson, Duke Energy
Christian's background stems from the academic world where he held a position as senior sysadmin for several years. During this time he also actively performed CERT duties. Christian has been active as a forensic IT investigator since 2004. He leads and actively participates in (digital) forensic IT investigations. Christian has a broad knowledge-base of operating systems and network protocols. He regularly gives presentations on the subject of IT security and IT forensics. As a teacher he also lectures on the subject of open-source intelligence using Internet sources. As an expert witness he is called upon to provide expert testimony in court on occasion. Working for both law enforcement and the private sector his experience in Forensic IT is broad.
Richard P. Salgado serves as Google's director for information security and law enforcement matters. Prior to joining Google, Mr. Salgado was with Yahoo!, focusing on international security and compliance work. He also served as senior counsel in the Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section of the United States Department of Justice. As a federal prosecutor, Mr. Salgado specialized in investigating and prosecuting computer network cases, such as computer hacking, illegal computer wiretaps, denial of service attacks, malicious code, and other technology-driven privacy crimes. In 2005, Mr. Salgado joined Stanford Law School as a legal lecturer on computer crime and on Internet business legal and policy issues. He previously served as an adjunct law professor at Georgetown University Law Center and George Mason Law School and as a faculty member of the National Judicial College. Mr. Salgado regularly speaks on the legal and policy implications of searching and seizing computers and electronic evidence, emerging surveillance technologies, digital evidence, and related criminal conduct. Mr. Salgado graduated magna cum laude from the University of New Mexico and in 1989 received his JD from Yale Law School.
Anuj Soni is a Senior Incident Responder at Booz Allen Hamilton, where he leads forensic, malware, and network analysis efforts to investigate security incidents. Since entering the information security field in 2005, Anuj has performed numerous intrusion investigations to help government and commercial clients mitigate attacks against the enterprise. His malware hunt skills and technical analysis abilities have resulted in the successful identification, containment, and remediation of multiple threat actor groups. Anuj has analyzed over 400 malware samples to assess function, purpose, and impact, and his recommendations have improved the security posture of the organizations he supports.
Sought after as a technical thought leader and adviser, Anuj excels not only in delivering rigorous forensic analysis, but also in process development, knowledge management, and team leadership to accelerate incident response efforts. Anuj shares his knowledge and experience often by teaching for SANS and presenting at events including the U.S. Cyber Crime Conference, SANS DFIR Summit, and the Computer and Enterprise Investigations Conference (CEIC). He received his Bachelors and Masters degrees from Carnegie Mellon University. He also holds the following certifications: GIAC Reverse Engineering Malware (GREM), EnCase Certified Examiner (EnCE), and Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP).
Listen to Anuj discuss "Closing the Door on Webshells" in this SANS webcast that every DFIR professional should listen to.
"Anuj is by far the most upbeat instructor. The excitement in class is infectious."- Divyashree Joshi, DIRECTV LLC
"I value the time Anuj takes to make sure each student is progressing." -Shaun Gatherum, NuScale Power
"He's very well spoken and very knowledgable. He kept us on task and any sidebars were related to info being taught." - Ryan Gibson, Qualcomm
Anuj was recently interviewed at the SANS Cyber Defense Initiative event in Washington, DC. Please take a moment to view his interview here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zF_8jbo7fTI&feature=youtu.be&a
Chad Tilbury has been responding to computer intrusions and conducting forensic investigations since 1998. His extensive law enforcement and international experience stems from working with a broad cross-section of Fortune 500 corporations and government agencies around the world. During his service as a Special Agent with the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, he investigated and conducted computer forensics for a variety of crimes, including hacking, abduction, espionage, identity theft, and multi-million dollar fraud cases. He has led international forensic teams and was selected to provide computer forensic support to the United Nations Weapons Inspection Team. Chad has worked as a computer security engineer and forensic lead for a major defense contractor and as the Vice President of Worldwide Internet Enforcement for the Motion Picture Association of America. In that role, he managed Internet anti-piracy operations for the seven major Hollywood studios in over sixty countries. Chad is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy and holds a B.S. and M.S. in Computer Science as well as GCFA, GCIH, GREM, and ENCE certifications. He is currently a consultant specializing in incident response, corporate espionage, and computer forensics as well as a certified instructor for the SANS Institute.
"Chad Tilbury is hands down the best instructor that I ever had in my 20 years of military service. Excellent job. Very relevant and up-to-date. An industry leader in this field." - Dannie Walters, US Army
"Chad's real world examples are key part of the training. It really helps to have a knowledgeable instructor who currently works in the industry." - Roger Szulc, MDA
Watch Chad teaching Geolocation Forensics in this free SANS webcast- https://www.sans.org/webcasts/geolocation-forensics-97082.
Alissa Torres is a certified SANS instructor, specializing in advanced computer forensics and incident response. Her industry experience includes serving in the trenches as part of the Mandiant Computer Incident Response Team (MCIRT) as an incident handler and working on a internal security team as a digital forensic investigator. She has extensive experience in information security, spanning government, academic, and corporate environments and holds a Bachelors degree from University of Virginia and a Masters from University of Maryland in Information Technology. Alissa has taught as an instructor at the Defense Cyber Investigations Training Academy (DCITA), delivering incident response and network basics to security professionals entering the forensics community. She has presented at various industry conferences and numerous B-Sides events. In addition to being a GIAC Certified Forensic Analyst (GCFA), she holds the GCFE, GPEN, CISSP, EnCE, CFCE, MCT and CTT+.
Listen to Alissa discuss "Detecting Persistence Mechanisms" in this SANS webcast that every DFIR professional should listen to.
"I love the energy of Alissa Torres' presentation style." - M. Scott Saul, FBI
"Alissa kept it interesting by pulling from her past experience and demonstrated great passion for the subject." - Matt Leach
"Alissa's teaching skills are remarkable - she is great." - Serge Tumba, GE Capital
"Fantastic- Energetic- Knowledgeable" - Dennis Mooney, Vanguard
Jake Williams is a Principal Consultant at Rendition Infosec. He has more than a decade of experience in secure network design, penetration testing, incident response, forensics, and malware reverse engineering. Before founding Rendition Infosec, Jake worked with various cleared government agencies in information security roles.
Jake is the co-author of the SANS FOR610 course (Malware Reverse Engineering) and the FOR526 course (Memory Forensics). He is also a contributing author for the SEC760 course (Advanced Exploit Development). In addition to teaching these courses, Jake also teaches a number of other forensics and security courses. He is well versed in Cloud Forensics and previously developed a cloud forensics course for a US Government client.
Jake regularly responds to cyber intrusions performed by state-sponsored actors in financial, defense, aerospace, and healthcare sectors using cutting edge forensics and incident response techniques. He often develops custom tools to deal with specific incidents and malware reversing challenges.
Additionally, Jake performs exploit development and has privately disclosed a multitude of zero day exploits to vendors and clients. Why perform exploit development? It's because metasploit != true penetration testing. He found vulnerabilities in one of the state counterparts to healthcare.gov and recently exploited antivirus software to perform privilege escalation.
Jake has spoken at Blackhat, Shmoocon, CEIC, B-Sides, DC3, as well as numerous SANS Summits and government conferences. He is also a two-time victor at the annual DC3 Digital Forensics Challenge. Jake used this experience with, and love of, CTF events to design the critically acclaimed NetWars challenges for the SANS malware reversing and memory forensics courses. Jake also speaks at private engagements and has presented security topics to a number of Fortune 100 executives.
Jake developed Dropsmack, a pentesting tool (okay, malware) that performs command and control and data exfiltration over cloud file sharing services. Jake also developed an anti-forensics tool for memory forensics, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). This tool demonstrated weaknesses in memory forensics techniques.
Lenny Zeltser is a seasoned business and tech leader with extensive experience in information technology and security. As a product management director at NCR Corp, he heads the software and services group that address customers' data protection needs. Before NCR, Lenny led the enterprise security consulting practice at a major cloud services provider. He also trains professionals in digital forensics and malware combat at SANS Institute. In addition, Lenny is a Board of Directors member at SANS Technology Institute.
Lenny's expertise is strongest at the intersection of business, technology, and information security and includes incident response, cloud services, and product management. He frequently speaks at conferences, writes articles, and has co-authored books on network security and malicious software. Lenny has an MBA degree from MIT Sloan, a Computer Science degree from the University of Pennsylvania and has earned the prestigious GIAC Security Expert designation from SANS Institute. Visit www.zeltser.com to learn about his projects and interests.
"Lenny presented a wealth of knowledge, tied it together smoothly, and I am leaving with exponentially more knowledge." - David Werden, NGIS