It’s already been a week since we packed dozens of lectures, 14 hands-on labs, and a sold-out expo hall into our three days at Indian Wells. Here’s a run-down of some of our highlights:
Monday: Cliff Stoll, and Vendor Showcases
The day (and conference) started off strong with Clifford Stoll’s keynote. Clear about the fact that he was making a presentation he first gave in 1986 – and has given several times since then – Stoll nonetheless kept his audience entertained and educated, presenting “evergreen” material that is as relevant today as it was 25 years ago. Among his highlights:
Northern California member Ira Victor followed up with an in-depth interview of Cliff, which he recorded for his Cyber Jungle podcast.
Following the day’s main lab and lecture events, Platinum sponsors Micro Systemation AB and AccessData showcased new products in the Emerald ballrooms.
Amid music, hors d’oeuvres and drinks, MSAB unveiled the worldwide preview of XRY 6.0, including an improved user interface, better export options, and Watchlist automation. MSAB will be providing training at our Philadelphia/Delaware Valley chapter in October, followed by training in South Florida in late October-early November. They’re available to come to any chapter needing mobile phone forensics training – is yours one of them?
Meanwhile, AccessData’s Keith Lockhart talked a bit about Early Case Assessment. During the well-attended and well-received presentation, Lockhart went through this e-discovery product, discussing features such as its ability to filter large amounts of data, to handle collaborative web-based review of that same data, and most of all, its immediate cost savings for forensic and legal teams.
And after all was said and done, participants gathered at the Stir Nightclub on-site for the traditional Northeast Chapter Party!
Tuesday: What we liked best, and our Annual Banquet
Just to keep abreast of what was going on from our participants’ point of view, we asked what they liked best about our conference. Some of the responses:
In the evening came our banquet, a richly rewarding experience that started with drummers from the intercollegiate musical group Senryu Taiko and ended with a hilarious comedy routine from “The Lovemaster,” Craig Shoemaker. In between we enjoyed ribeye steak, a 25th Anniversary chocolate torte, and opening for Craig, comedian Richard Aronovitch.
But the evening’s core lay in our awards ceremonies, where we presented plaques to the winners of our Case of the Year, Chapter of the Year, and Lifetime Achievement Awards. This year, as last year, the Case of the Year winners got a standing ovation for their hard work in putting a killer behind bars. And contenders for Chapter of the Year got a challenge: give SoCal a run for their money!
Wednesday: Wrapping up great learning experiences
By Wednesday everyone’s brains were just about full, but our labs and lectures enjoyed good attendance nonetheless:
Other conference highlights: lunchtime raffles, international tweets & still more networking
Lunchtimes offered good food and great prizes. Over chicken and pasta (Monday), cold cuts (Tuesday), and Chinese cooking (Wednesday), participants had the chance to buy tickets to enter our raffles. Giveaways included:
- autographed copies of Cliff Stoll’s book, “The Cuckoo’s Egg”
- autographed Cliff Stoll Klein bottles (provided by Wireshark University)
- Wireshark Air Pcap software with adapter
- ear buds from Monster Cable
- Abobe Photoshop CS5
Vendors got in on the action too:
- Mobile Forensics Inc.‘s Lee Reiber gave away one copy of Mobile Phone Examiner Plus in each of his labs.
- Forward Discovery raffled several copies of their Raptor on USB
- Sumuri Forensics raffled free Cellebrite and Mac courses, as well as a Wii
- Cellebrite itself gave away one Physical Pro unit
- AccessData raffled off a copy of Forensic Toolkit
- Oxygen Forensics likewise raffled copies of their Forensic Suite 2011 Analyst with USB dongle
- Laura Chappell’s Wireshark Network Analysis Study Guide (and this was on top of the $700 worth of free online training she gave away to each participant!)
If you were following our hashtag #HTCIACon on Twitter, you may have noticed a few foreign-language tweets. As an international organization, we love to see our members reaching out to their own communities in their native languages. Spanish and Dutch participants did exactly that, including a longer blog post by member and presenter Andres Velazquez.
HTCIA conferences would be nothing without networking and the exchange of amazing ideas. Jim Hoerricks wrote about it, and posted some of those ideas in his blog. We also heard from Albert Barsocchini, who came with an e-discovery perspective.