DFRWS USA 2021 Virtual Conference is weeks away!  It will be all-virtual again Monday July 12 to Thursday, July 15, 2021 with times oriented to the continental USA timezones.  Monday starts with a keynote by Maddie Stone of Google’s Project Zero and Tuesday’s keynote is Leslie Carhart of Dragos, Inc.

The Program is available now!  The 4 days of DFRWS USA 2021 contain 16 peer reviewed research papers, 6 presentations, 4 workshops, 2 keynotes, and 1 Forensics Rodeo!  Other after hours activities include the 2nd Annual Pub Quiz and 2 Birds of a Feather Sessions!

We hope you can join us.  Follow us here and on Twitter @dfrws.

Conference Location:

On the Internet


July 12, 2021 to July 15, 2021


Contemplating the Curious Contradictions of Digital Forensics & 0-days

Maddie Stone | Security Researcher, Google Project Zero

Bio: Maddie Stone (@maddiestone) is a Security Researcher on Google Project Zero where she focuses on 0-days actively exploited in-the-wild. Maddie works on detecting, analyzing, and learning from these exploits. Previously, she was a reverse engineer and team lead on the Android Security team. Her team was responsible for finding, analyzing, and protecting users from malware.

Maddie also spent many years deep in the circuitry and firmware of embedded devices as a reverse engineer and researcher at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physical Laboratory. She holds a Bachelors of Science, with a double major in Computer Science and Russian, and a Masters of Science in Computer Science from Johns Hopkins University.

The Wonderful, Quirky, and Woefully Misunderstood World of Industrial DFIR

Lesley Carhart | Principal Industrial Incident Responder, Dragos, Inc.

Bio: Lesley Carhart (@hacks4pancakes) is a Principal Industrial Incident Responder at the industrial cybersecurity company Dragos, Inc. She has spent more than a decade of her 20+ year IT career specializing in information security, with a heavy focus on response to nation-state adversary attacks. She is recognized as a subject matter expert in the field of cybersecurity incident response and digital forensics.

Prior to joining Dragos, she was the incident response team lead at Motorola Solutions. Her focus at Dragos is developing forensics and incident response tools and processes for uncharted areas of industrial systems. She is also a certified instructor and curriculum developer for the Dragos “Assessing, Hunting and Monitoring Industrial Control System Networks” course.

She has received recognition such as DEF CON Hacker of the Year, a “Top Woman in Cybersecurity” from CyberScoop, and “Power Player” from SC Magazine.

In her free time, Lesley co-organizes resume and interview clinics at several cybersecurity conferences, blogs and tweets prolifically about infosec, has served for 20 years in the USAF Reserves, and is a youth martial arts instructor.


We invite contributions in five categories: research papers, presentation proposals, panel proposals, workshop proposals, and demo proposals.  Due dates and submission method are listed below.

RESEARCH PAPERS undergo double-blinded, peer review, and are published by Elsevier in a special issue of Digital Investigation.  Read the Submission Criteria for more information.  The Call for Papers is open through March 7, 2021.

PRESENTATIONS and WORKSHOPS undergo a light review process to select presentations of maximal interest to DFRWS attendees and filter out sales pitches. Presentations are of 20-minute duration and are delivered alongside academic papers in the main conference. Workshops occur before and after the main conference. These are intended as in-depth and practical learning opportunities for attendees and often include hands-on participation by attendees. Workshop proposals must specify their target length of either 2 or 4 hours. DFRWS will provide one free conference registration for each workshop accepted.

Submit presentation proposals as a PDF to usa-presentations@dfrws.org, by April 12, 2021.

Submit workshops and tutorials as a PDF to usa-workshops@dfrws.org, by April 12, 2021.

POSTERS and DEMOS typically are held in one or two sessions at the end of the day or during a lunch break and allow presenters to discuss ideas or demonstrate new tools and techniques and get feedback from interested parties.  Though DFRWS-US 2021 will be virtual, the program will accommodate interactive presentations with participants.

Student award and student scholarship program

DFRWS continues its outreach to students studying digital forensics. DFRWS and its sponsors will award one scholarship to the Best Student Research Paper awardee — it will include registration, 4 nights hotel at the conference hotel, and $595, for the next in-person USA conference.  One or more Student Attendance Scholarships will also be awarded to include registration for DFRWS USA 2021. More travel scholarships may be awarded, depending on sponsorship funding each year. See the student scholarship page to apply.

Topics of Interest

  • Memory analysis and snapshot acquisition
  • Storage forensics, including solid state
  • “Big data” forensics, related to the collection, analysis, and visualization
  • Incident response and live analysis
  • Forensics of cloud and virtualized environments
  • Malware and targeted attacks (analysis and attribution)
  • Network and distributed system forensics
  • Event reconstruction methods and tools
  • Mobile and embedded device forensics
  • Digital evidence storage and preservation
  • Data recovery and reconstruction
  • Multimedia analysis
  • Database forensics
  • Tool testing and development
  • Digital evidence and the law
  • Case studies and trend reports
  • Data hiding and discovery
  • Anti-forensics and anti-anti-forensics
  • Interpersonal communications and social network analysis
  • Non-traditional forensic scenarios and approaches (e.g. vehicles, Internet of Things, industrial control systems, and SCADA)
  • Archival preservation & reconstruction

The above list is only suggestive. We welcome new, original ideas from people in academia, industry, government, and law enforcement who are interested in sharing their results, knowledge, and experience. Authors are encouraged to demonstrate the applicability of their work to practical issues. Questions about submission topics can be sent via email to usa-papers@dfrws.org

Click Here For Proposal Requirements


March 7, 2021 Call for Papers Due
April 2, 2021 Author notification
April 12, 2021 Calls for Presentations and Workshops Due
April 19, 2021 Workshop and Presentation Notifications


Organizing Committee

Conference Chair

Tim Vidas, Ph.D. (SecureWorks)

Conference Vice Chair

Alex Nelson, Ph.D. (NIST)

Technical Program Chair

Golden Richard III, Ph.D. (Louisiana State University)

Technical Program Vice Chair

Andrew Case (Volexity)

Keynote Chair

Joe Sylve, Ph.D. (Cellebrite)

Workshops Chair

Matthew Geiger (Qintel)

Rodeo Chair

Andrew White (Dell Secureworks)

Event Management/Production

Daryl Pfeif (Digital Forensics Solutions and DFRWS)


Daryl Pfeif (Digital Forensics Solutions and DFRWS)

Web Chairs

Elizabeth Schweinsberg (Facebook), John Newsom

Industry and Publicity

Jessica Hyde (George Mason University / Magnet Forensics )

Platform Chair

Dave Loveall (FBI)

Presentations Chair

Frank Adelstein, Ph.D. (NFA Digital)

Best Paper Committee Chair

Wietse Venema, Ph.D. (Google)

Proceedings Chair

Aaron Sparling

Member at Large

Denise Ferebee, Ph.D. (LeMoyne-Owen College)

Member at Large

Erika Noerenberg (Carbon Black)

Member at Large

Bradley Schatz, Ph.D. (Schatz Forensic)

Technical Program Committee

Golden Richard III, Ph.D.

Louisiana State University

Andrew Case


Frank Adelstein

NFA Digital

Irfan Ahmed

Virginia Commonwealth University

Aisha Ali-Gombe, Ph.D.

Towson University

Stefan Axelsson

Norwegian University of Science and Technology

Ibrahim Baggili

University of New Haven

David Baker


Manish Bhatt

University of New Orleans

Frank Breitinger

University of Lausanne

Florian Buchholz

James Madison University

Michael Cohen

Velocidex Enterprises

Ali Dehghantanha

University of Guelph

Josiah Dykstra, Ph.D.

National Security Agency

Simson Garfinkel, Ph.D.

U.S. Census Bureau

Matthew Geiger


Paul Giura

AT&T Security Research Center

Mark Guido

The MITRE Corporation

Joshua James

Digital Forensic Investigation Research Laboratory, Hallym University

Andrea Lanzi

Universita` degli studi di Milano

Timothy Leschke, Ph.D.

Johns Hopkins University

David Lillis

University College Dublin

Xiaodong Lin, Ph.D.

University of Guelph

Zhiqiang Lin

The Ohio State University

David Loveall


Holger Morgenstern

Albstadt-Sigmaringen University

Alex Nelson, Ph.D.


Erika Noerenberg

Carbon Black

Fernando Perez-Gonzalez

Universidad de Vigo

Gilbert Peterson

US Air Force Institute of Technology

Tu-Thach Quach

Sandia National Laboratories

Mark Scanlon, Ph.D.

University College Dublin

Bradley Schatz, Ph.D.

Schatz Forensic

Elizabeth Schweinsberg

US Digital Service

Jill Slay

La Trobe University

Christopher Stelly

University of New Orleans

Joe Sylve, Ph.D.


Wietse Venema, Ph.D.


Tim Vidas, Ph.D.


Andrew White

Dell Secureworks

Junyuan Zeng

The University of Texas at Dallas

Ziming Zhao

University at Buffalo


DFRWS USA 2021 registration will include access to all presentations, keynotes, workshops, and entrance to the famous rodeo challenge.  More details to follow in 2021.

Because the conference is being held online, there is only 1 price, no matter when you register!  But, there are combo passes so you can attend DFRWS APAC, EU, and USA for one low price.

Group discounts are available. If you have a group larger than four, please contact usa-registration@dfrws.org.

If you are a student in a Ph.D., Masters, or Bachelors degree program, you may qualify for a student grant covering part or all of your registration fee.  The decisions will be made by the organizing committee on a case-by-case basis considering your circumstances, provided evidence, objectives of the conference, and the available/remaining funds.  Apply on our Student Scholarship page now.  For additional questions, please contact usa-scholarship@dfrws.org.

Virtual Conference Prices

Type of RegistrationTriple - All 3 ConferencesDouble - Any 2 ConferencesSingle - Just DFRWS USA 2021
Regular $150
Government $125
Student $100


Sponsors help DFRWS to produce quality events and foster community. Click a logo to learn more about the sponsor.

Information about sponsorship opportunities is available at: http://www.dfrws.org/sponsorship-opportunities

Magnet Forensics

Rodeo SponsorMagnet Forensics is a global leader in digital investigative technology and was built on a foundation of helping and empowerment. We help investigative teams find more evidence and empower them to uncover the truth. Our products are designed to leverage the latest technological innovations to help law enforcement, consultants, military, and private enterprise address these issues. We use AI, automation, advanced searching techniques, modern data visualization and more to help investigative teams find digital evidence and understand the story it is telling.

Learn More

Forensics Focus

Community SponsorForensic Focus is the web's leading digital forensics portal for computer forensics and eDiscovery professionals. Founded in July 2002, the site quickly developed a reputation for encouraging open discussion and information sharing in support of best practice development within the digital forensics industry. Although perhaps best known for its busy forums, Forensic Focus also offers breaking industry news, a worldwide directory of computer forensics education courses, interviews with industry thought leaders, job vacancy listings, a growing articles section and a monthly email newsletter with over 16,000 subscribers. For those looking to expand their professional network, Forensic Focus runs LinkedIn's largest digital forensics group.

Learn More


Student Scholarship Sponsor

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DeSales University

Online Master of Criminal Justice: Digital Forensics

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Demos SponsorGrayshift is the leader in mobile device digital forensics, specializing in lawful access and extraction. Grayshift’s innovative solutions are purpose-built to help law enforcement and government investigative agencies swiftly resolve critical investigations and ensure public safety. Designed and assembled in the United States, the company’s GrayKey technology provides same-day access, complete control, and comprehensive data extraction from mobile devices. Powered by the Grayshift advanced security research team, GrayKey exemplifies the company’s promise of innovation and mission to deliver solutions that safeguard the public. Delivering world-class customer success, Grayshift is trusted by 1000 agencies across more than 25 countries worldwide.

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