cyber crimeDAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Sept. 21, 2012) – Hacking, phishing, viruses, identity theft and cyber stalking are the nemesis of technology users and developers, and when these often devastating cybercrimes are committed, it’s time to call on a cyber-forensics expert to come to the rescue.

Daytona State College will be the lead institution in a consortium whose goal is to advance cyber-forensic education in the southeastern United States. The consortium is composed of nine colleges from Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas, and operates as the Southeastern Advanced Cyberforensics Education Consortium (ACE). Its work will be funded by a National Science Foundation grant totaling $1,834,931 over four years.

“The principal goal of this project is to develop online course materials to train students in core knowledge, skills and competencies involved with digital forensics,” said Dr. Philip Craiger, associate professor in the college’s School of Engineering Technology and one of the principal investigators for the grant. “This core will be developed from multiple sources, including the Department of Defense Cyber Crime Center, National Institutes of Standards and Technology, and existing ATE (Advanced Technological Education) Cyber Security Centers.”

Cyber forensics is a means to gather, process, interpret and use digital evidence related to cybercrime. Evidence gathered in cyber forensics investigations often is used in criminal prosecutions. The field also involves the study of evidence from attacks on computer systems to learn what has occurred, how to prevent them from recurring and the extent of the damage.

Mark Pollitt, also a Daytona State engineering technology faculty member, is a principal investigator for the grant along with Craiger. “This grant award was the result of over a year of collaboration between Daytona State’s engineering technology and computer science faculty, its Office of Resource Development and college administrators, as well as national and regional partners,” Pollitt said.

Consortium schools will offer:
• an associate-level course in digital forensics, as well as
• four baccalaureate-level courses, including introductory and advanced digital forensics, incident response and network forensics, and Linux administration.

Information technology professionals in need of continuing education or retraining also will be able to take advantage of the online courses, which provide hands-on experiences through the use of video demonstrations and desktop virtualization technologies.

Daytona State already teaches the courses as part of several associate of science degrees and its Bachelor of Science in Engineering Technology. The goal is to make the courses consistent among each consortium school, which also includes Macon State College, South Piedmont Community College, Trident Technical College, Armstrong Atlantic State University, Brevard Community College, Hillsborough Community College, Pensacola State College and St. Johns River State College.

Craiger and Pollitt are among the nation’s leading experts in cyber forensics. Pollitt is a 30-year veteran of the United States Marines, Coast Guard and FBI, where he was chief of its computer forensic unit and director of the Regional Computer Forensic Laboratory Program. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences. Prior to joining Daytona State, Craiger was assistant director of the University of Central Florida’s National Center for Forensic Science. He also is a member of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences.

More information about the grant can be found at