Laurent Simon is a Digital Forensic Specialist at Grayshift and a subject matter expert in Mobile Device Forensics. Before joining Grayshift, Laurent served in the National Gendarmerie for over 26 years, with 10 years spent as a digital forensic examiner within the Departmental Brigade of Intelligence and Judicial Investigations of Jura Gendarmerie. He is a graduate of Troyes University and earned a Bachelor of Science in Forensic Computing and Cybercrime Investigations.
- It’s obvious you’re a #nerdcop. What’s your favorite type of technology you love to use every day?
I don’t have a favorite technology. In my past work as a digital forensic examiner in law enforcement, I constantly adapted my curiosity to the problems I encountered to understand them better.
- When you were a digital forensic investigator, what types of cases did you typically encounter?
When I oversaw digital forensics in the National Gendarmerie, 80% of my work was about child abuse, trying to find child sexual abuse material (existing or deleted media), and explaining how the evidence came on the device. My work didn’t stop there. I also took care of cases like drug trafficking, scams, sexual offenses, and road traffic accidents.
- Is there an example of a case you investigated with GrayKey? Can you tell us how GrayKey could have helped?
Unfortunately, I never used Graykey during my career, but I heard a lot about it and its powerful features.
- What is one thing you wish people understood about the job?
Digital forensics is unlike a movie in which the actor pushes a button and gets evidence in five minutes. The job requires training, rigor, knowledge, curiosity, and patience.
- What was the most challenging crime you solved with GrayKey?
As previously mentioned, I never had the opportunity to use GrayKey while with the National Gendarmerie. However, I can tell you from experience that it’s frustrating to be in a position where you cannot extract data from a mobile device, but you know you could with an extraction tool like GrayKey.
- What challenges did you regularly face as a mobile forensics examiner?
As mobile forensics examiners, we are constantly facing challenges. For a few years, encryption has been the biggest challenge. This means of data protection adds difficulties to accessing data, which is a real problem, and access to data is necessary for analysis to be performed.
- What advice would you give new digital forensic specialists to help them overcome similar challenges?
Be curious. It is the best advice that I can give. With your curiosity, you can find the solution to your problem. And don’t forget to use your brain. The answer is probably inside.
- What do you know now that you wish you knew when first starting out?
What I know today is what I learned from my experience. I hope anyone reading this keeps an open mind to learn from their experiences over time.
- What’s a secret about one of your teammates that most people don’t know but should?
No secret about my teammates. I’m a baby Grayshifter, and what happens in west EU stays in west EU 😜
- What superpower do you bring to Grayshift?
It’s a secret. I can’t share it, but I can say that I am very curious and I always try to find a solution by myself when I have a technical problem. When I don’t find the solution, I call a friend.
If you’re interested in learning more about GrayKey, or being one of the first to know when Laurent releases (new) content and insights on the Investigators Corner (IC), you can click here to access the IC using your login credentials or by reaching out to us to request access.
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