My First SANS DFIR Summit Experience

This would have been the first year I would have made the trip down to Austin, Texas for the SANS DFIR Summit, but the pandemic really screwed that one up (hopefully next year). Despite the conference going virtual, it went off without too many hitches. There were so many incredible talks from Ryan Benson's on Unfurl, to David Cowen and Matt Seyer's on real time USN/log analysis, to Sarah and Andrew Konunchuk repping Bloomsburg University to fullest in their eDiscover/DFIR discussion. I know I'm leaving out so many others but they were all really incredible. The recordings will eventually be on the SANS YouTube page for those who missed out.

The discord channel was a lively subgroup of supposedly about 20,000 registered attendees. I hope to see that platform utilized more in upcoming conferences for people to interact with both the speakers and other attendees. I can't forget to mention the hilarious dad jokes in between presentations, Heather Mahalik rounded up some of the best here.

I'm still reeling a week later after the awesome opportunity to not to only attend but participate in the the summit. My good friend Brian Moran invited me to participate in DFIR Olympics, which ended up being a hilarious rap battle between contestants, with the ringer being int80 from Dual Core!


The main DFIR Summit ended with the always entertaining 4Cast Awards from Lee Whitfield, congrats to all the winners as well as Rob Lee for being inducted into the Hall of Fame! See the results video below.

The week after the summit, I was able to moderate and take the FOR585 Smartphone Analysis course. I would highly encourage anyone to apply to be a moderator for any SANS training courses as you get to take the course at a discounted rate, including all the materials and a cert attempt, as well as create a rapport with instructor and the students. Day 6 was the capstone project which my team presented and won the challenge coin for the course.

Speaking of challenge coins, I partook in the SANS Summit NetWars competition and ended up squeaking out a 5th place in the veteran solo category for another lethal forensicator coin. The best part is I was able to use the techniques learned in class and apply them directly to the CTF.

What an incredible experience my first official SANS DFIR Summit was. I'm already looking forward to Austin in 2021!