Josh Carder is a Digital Forensic Specialist at Grayshift and a subject matter expert in mobile forensics. Before joining Grayshift, Carder was the Lab Director for a State Police agency focusing on the Internet Crimes Against Children mission. Carder spent nearly 20 years as a forensics examiner in Federal, State, and Department of Defense laboratories around the world. His missions have included criminal and counter-terrorism units specializing in advanced mobile device forensics.
Carder found time in his busy schedule to sit down for a rapid fire 10 question Q&A to talk to us about his background, share what it’s like to work with GrayKey in a lab, and the rules about fight club.
1. It’s obvious you’re a #nerdcop. What’s your favorite type of technology you love to use every day?
I often use the “internet of things,” something is added and automated if I can control it with an app—thermostat, lights, pool, grill, and so on.
2. When you were a digital forensic investigator, what types of cases did you typically encounter?
Over the years, I worked on almost all crime types. However, counterterrorism and ICAC/CSAM cases were probably the two missions I was most involved.
3. Is there an example of a case you investigated with GrayKey? Can you tell us how GrayKey could have helped?
I can’t think of a particular case, but once I had a GrayKey in the lab, I utilized it on all crime types. Doing that made me realize all the data on prior cases that I didn’t have access to that could have potentially been useful.
4. What is one thing you wish people understood about the job?
That crime cannot be solved within an hour, minus commercial breaks.
5. What was the most challenging crime you solved with GrayKey?
It was a sexual assault case. There were communications between the suspect and victim via their respective mobile devices; however, the suspect had deleted the application in question. Having GrayKey allowed me to obtain a full file system extraction which showed historical records of that application being in use during the time leading up to the incident and shortly thereafter on the suspect’s device. Having that information helped bolster the case and led to a successful prosecution.
6. What challenges did you regularly face as a mobile forensics examiner?
Time, or lack thereof, due to operational tempo and an ever-growing backlog of devices.
7. What advice would you give new digital forensic specialists to help them overcome similar challenges?
Clone yourself early in your career.
8. What do you know now that you wish you knew when first starting out?
All the things. How great would it be to start with the experience and training you gain throughout your career?
9. What’s a secret about one of your teammates that most people don’t know but should?
The first rule of fight club is you do not talk about fight club.
The second rule of fight club is you DO NOT talk about fight club.
In other words, DO NOT talk about Fight Club.
10. What superpower do you bring to Grayshift?
I never have an answer for this one.
Carder may abide by the rules of fight club when it comes to the Grayshift Digital Forensic Specialist team, but when it comes to GrayKey and Reveal by Grayshift, he’s always happy to share information. If you’re interested in learning more about Grayshift technology for local, state, and federal law enforcement, reach out to us and click here.
Other resources you might be interested in:
- The Investigators Corner (login credentials required/can be requested)
- A Beginner’s Guide to Building and Funding a Mobile Device Forensics Lab
- Simplifying The Digital Forensics Analysis Workflow
- Full Access to Braden Thomas and Scott Hettinger on Reveal by Grayshift
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