Posts Tagged ‘training’

Free e-discovery seminar on Metadata

Friday, July 31st, 2009

Patrick Computer Forensics Inc. is offering a free electronic discovery / computer forensics seminar for attorneys and their staff in Memphis. This half hour presentation is entitled “Metadata, what is it, and how does it win cases?”. As well as explaining metadata in easy to understand terms, the seminar will show examples of sources of metadata, and case studies where metadata was pivotal.

AccessData Certified Examiner now free (part 3)

Tuesday, July 21st, 2009

The devil is in the details.

As I indicated in a previous post on this issue, I expected that the ACE being free to obtain would somehow lead to a greater revenue stream for AccessData. Well thanks to a post by “rayp” on the Forensic Focus forums, the revenue stream has become apparent. It seems you are required to do 2 AccessData training courses in the first year in order to keep your certification.

Now in order to keep my CFCE, I need to have a certain amount of training over 3 years, but I can receive this through any reputable training body, and even count time I spend training others so long as it’s only counted once per year.

Clearly the ACE is not actually free in the long term, but you weren’t really expecting that it would be, right?

AccessData Certified Examiner now free (part 2)

Thursday, May 14th, 2009

Having reviewed the videos from AccessData, it seems that you do still need to own a copy of FTK to undertake the new “ACE Test-Out”. The specific wording is:

be exempted from the class attendance requirement

Clearly this is a little bit more than the promo email promise which is “NO PREREQUISITES!” This amounts to a little under $4k pre-req of requiring that members own a current version of FTK, with current meaning your support contract or “SMS” is up to date. Of course, you weren’t actually expecting a free lunch were you?

Now here is where my comments about this free test being a good way for AccessData to channel people into their training comes true:

  • If the candidate fails a Test-Out session, they must complete the ACE Prep course to attempt the Test-Out session again.
  • If the candidate fails a second Test-Out session, they must complete the class pre-requisites to challenge the ACE process.
  • So basically, they encourage you to try to get ACE certified, and then if you fail, they channel you back into the training that you used to have to take originally anyway. I am totally OK with this since in my mind, it behooves AccessData to make the cert challenging to get more people to their training. And as I said, their training is very good.

    The other smaller issue is that it looks like the ACE is heavily focused on FTK2. I expect that you could complete the practical component with FTK1 – and probably with the other forensic suites out there – but a whole raft of the knowledge test component questions are about functionality specific to FTK2.

    Personally, I’ve been holding off using FTK2 because of the teething problems, and the resource hog reputation it had acquired in the computer forensic community. I’m hearing however that the latest iterations of FTK2 are much faster. It looks like it’s time to move on up to FTK2 then get the ACE done.

    Accessdata Certified Examiner now free

    Wednesday, May 13th, 2009

    Accessdata has announced (via email only thus far, I haven’t seen an announcement on their site) that the Accessdata Certified Examiner (ACE) will now be free (as in beer). At first I thought this was a scam or a joke until it arrived on both the email account associated with my ownership of FTK and my unassociated FTK forums account email.

    Additionally, it appears they have removed all the pre-requisites for undertaking the cert, including ownership of an FTK product. The ACE Preparation page has been updated to reflect this. This is a major change since previously, you were required to own FTK (which costs over $3k plus the yearly subscription for support/updates) plus have attended 2 of their training sessions – BootCamp and Windows Forensics – which is thousands more in training costs.

    Additionally, they have put up training videos for free download that cover the course material.

    Now this would seem to potentially hurt their revenue stream, however it could increase the user base to off-set this, and their 3-day training courses are still very worthwhile. I attended their Internet Forensics course in 2005, and despite having 5 years experience at that time, I still learned a lot.

    What this may do is somewhat elevate the certification against the competing EnCE from Guidance. One of the big criticisms of tool certs is that because you have already bought their product, and paid for their training, they have a vested interest in you passing. By making the ACE free, AccessData now has a vested interest in people not passing, since that would tend to move them towards undertaking the training courses to get skilled up.

    Computer Crime presentation

    Friday, April 3rd, 2009

    Back in ’06 I did a presentation at my alma mater for Computer Security Day 2006. AusCERT is still hosting the presentation I gave at this link. Some of the numbers are a little out of date, but the same kinds of trends are still happening. It also is the source of a quote from my last post about not sending money to people you don’t know in countries you can’t pick on a map.