Training was one area where the team had ambitious and challenging plans. The partners involved in these activities have taken a systematic approach throughout the project – first by understanding the gaps and needs in training curricula across the EU (and other areas), and by analysing how some of the gaps could be bridged as part of the three-year initiative.
Next, detailed training curricula was laid out, and the team shifted focus to the almighty task of preparing the course materials required. The syllabus promises Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) will receive the necessary competencies to progress in mobile forensics and understand and use the CEN Workshop Agreement (a forerunner to an ISO or EU standard) and the FORMOBILE tools created during the project.
As of February 2022, the training team is currently rolling out the foundation courses required for the pilot participants to progress and complete the ‘Capture the Flag’ online training campus. Sadly, this event has been moved online as a result of the COVID pandemic, but the training team did a tremendous job to react and adapt to the challenging and uncertain circumstances.
The efforts of the training team – led by the Norwegian Police University College and supported by several key partners – including the Foundation for Research and Technology (FORTH) and MSAB (for the tools training) have not gone unnoticed. Already, there have been several positive responses to the initial courses and substantial talks about exploiting the project’s outputs following its conclusion in April 2022.
To give LEAs the best support and access to FORMOBILE’s materials, the team is cooperating with ECTEG (The European Cybercrime Training and Education Group) to discuss a transition of the FORMOBILE materials after the project.
ECTEG’s partner Universitá del Piemonte Orientale in Italy is leading another mobile forensics-related initiative MobiFor. As ECTEG is a recognised organisation that receives a monopoly grant directly from the EU, they were the ideal partner to leverage the efforts of FORMOBILE and integrate them into their current and future work programmes.
Although the details are still to be confirmed, all parties are excited and confident about the future impact of FORMOBILE’s efforts and how work can be ingested into ECTEG’s development plans. Both parties will make the specifics clearer in due course, but both are delighted to be working together and maximising the funding provided by the European Union.
Extending the Legacy
Besides the standard mobile forensics training delivered within the project, there are also several courses aimed specifically at Forensic Laboratories in the EU. These highly-specialised courses organised at the Netherlands Forensic Institute (NFI) look primed to continue as annual events with additional support from ECTEG! The specialised physical workshops provide cutting-edge knowledge and information to specialist practitioners on the latest tools and techniques that can support the most challenging cases.
Considering both the exploitation of the standard FORMOBILE courses and curricula of the advanced workshops – the #DFIR community can feel confident they will continue to benefit from the outputs of the FORMOBILE project long after its conclusion in Spring 2022.
The FORMOBILE team is elated to work with ECTEG and applauds the group’s openness and willingness to collaborate.