West Newbury Police Among Those at Cyber Crime Conference

Howard A. Schmidt, a partner in the strategic advisory firm, Ridge-Schmidt Cyber, delivered the keynote address.

West Newbury Police were among the 600 law enforcement officers, prosecutors and investigators that attended the fourth annual National Cyber Crime Conference this week hosted by Attorney General Maura Healey.

West Newbury Police Sergeant Michael Dwyer attended the Norwood event, described as “the only multi-day conference of its kind aimed at training law enforcement in digital evidence.” Healey delivered opening remarks Monday and stressed the importance of understanding and analyzing digital evidence to help combat cyber crime.

“The digitized world that we live in presents both challenges and opportunities to law enforcement,” said Healey. “Virtually every crime committed these days has a digital component and the trainings provided at this conference help us keep pace with the criminals who exploit technology to commit crimes. We would like to express our gratitude to all of the speakers, presenters, partners and sponsors who have made this one-of-a-kind conference possible.”

Other representatives from the area were Essex County District Attorney Jonathan W. Blodgett’s office, Massachusetts State Police, New Hampshire Attorney General Joseph A. Foster’s office and New Hampshire State Police.

Howard A. Schmidt, who currently serves as a partner in the strategic advisory firm, Ridge-Schmidt Cyber, delivered the keynote address. Schmidt most recently served as special assistant to the president and the cybersecurity coordinator for the United States. His former White House appointments include cyber advisor to Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush.

Other speakers includedMajid Hassan, who specializes in presenting counterterrorism seminars for personnel in local and national law enforcement agencies. Serrin Turner, an assistant u.s. attorney in the Southern District of New York, who spearheaded the investigation and prosecution that led to the conviction of the founder and operator of the Silk Road website, also spoke.

Brianna Wu, head of development at Giant Spacekat and a well-known public speaker on issues affecting women in technology, provided examples of harassment directed at her and other women in the industry and law enforcement’s response.

The three-day conference consisted of multiple breakout sessions of labs, lectures and certification programs in which attendees were trained on a wide range of topics pertaining to digital forensic analysis, including mobile device forensics, decryption, and the newest analytic software. Attendees learned how to identify and analyze evidence from basic mobile devices, iPhones and other Apple products, GPS devices, DVRs, gaming consoles and from the “Cloud.”

Other seminars addressed social networks, Islamic terrorism and technology, human trafficking and Backpage.com, and child pornography investigations. Seminars to improve the prosecution of cybercrimes were also provided, as was a panel on judicial perspectives on digital evidence. More than 90 speakers conducted the various sessions.