Davenport professor takes top spot in digital forensics competition

Davenport professor takes top spot in digital forensics competition

Mark McKinnonMark McKinnon, a professor in the College of Technology at Davenport University, earned the top spot in the Autopsy Python plugin competition at the 8th Annual Open Source Digital Forensics Conference.

McKinnon teaches within Davenport’s digital forensics program, which prepares students to collect, process, preserve, analyze and present computer-related evidence.

“This competition allows me to give back to the forensic community by providing programs that help forensic examiners perform their jobs more efficiently,” he said.

The conference, which took place Oct. 17 in Herndon, Virginia, brings together developers and users within the digital forensics and incident response communities to collaborate on tools and technologies used in forensic examinations. Digital forensics is the acquisition, analysis and reporting of information on digital media, according to McKinnon.

McKinnon has placed in the top three for the past three consecutive years.

Prior to the competition, Mckinnon facilitated a three hour workshop on advanced Autopsy plugin development, where he guided attendees through the development of advanced plug-ins for performing forensic analysis on digital media files.

“The workshop and conference allows me to teach and learn with fellow practitioners in the field of digital forensics,” McKinnon said. “Autopsy is a digital forensics platform and graphical interface to The Sleuth Kit and other digital forensics tools. It is used by law enforcement, military, and corporate examiners to investigate what happened on a computer.”

McKinnon has more than 25 years of experience in IT and is a Certified Computer Examiner (CCE), a GIAC Certified Forensic Analyst and GIAC Certified Incident Handler through SANS. He has created many free programs used by forensic examiners around the world including Skype Log Parser, Google Chrome Parser, Windows Prefetch Parser, MFT Parser, the Vista Thumbcache Parser and over 15 plugins for Autopsy.

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