DFRWS is a non-profit, volunteer organization dedicated to the sharing of knowledge and ideas about digital forensics research. DFRWS organizes an annual conference and sponsors technical working groups and annual challenges to help drive the direction of research and development.
The first Digital Forensic Research Workshop was held in August 2001. The vision was to bring together researchers, industry, academics, law enforcement, and military with the goal of opening lines of communication that addressed three major objectives:
Since then, an annual conference has been held in various cities around the US to present and discuss research topics. The scope of DFRWS has increased to include annual challenges and technical working groups. In 2005, Digital Forensic Research Workshop, Inc. became a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
A key element of the annual conference is its informality. It is a loose partnership where papers and relevant research are presented in a friendly atmosphere. Every gathering is replete with "breakout sessions," where various issues related to digital forensics are discussed.
Ultimately, it is the goal of DFRWS to establish a professional tone and direction for this young, but growing, field. It is notable that many works cite the framework documents resulting from the breakout discussions. The conference is not only a snapshot of the state of the research in the field, but is also a useful pointer towards the future.
The inclusive, long-term mission for DFRWS includes: