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DFIR Challenge Coin - A Badge Of Honour

Learn the story behind SANS' DFIR Challenge Coin and discover how to secure your own.

SANS Lethal Forensicator Coin is awarded to Digital Forensic and Incident Response students who demonstrate remarkable skill, or contribute a great deal to the forensics community.

The Coins are beautifully designed, tough to earn and highly prized by those who carry them.

DFIR Coins

History Of SANS DFIR Coin

SANS DFIR Coin is officially named the Lethal Forensicator Coin. The Coin was created by Rob Lee - the curriculum lead and primary author of SANS' Digital Forensics Incident Response family of courses.

Along with other accolades, Rob founded the Information Warfare Squadron - the first US military unit focussed on information warfare.

The term Forensicator was itself created on 1st April 2007, during a security podcast created by two SANS Instructors - Ovie Carroll and Brett Padres. The two talked about a new forensics tool called Forensicator Pro, a piece of software that promised to completely automate the process of creating a forensic report. Forensicator Pro was, of course, an April Fools' prank.

Though originally a joke, the term stuck and took on a life of its own. A Forensicator became a byword for people who conduct forensic examinations.

Words change, language grows and, Lethal Forensicators evolved to become a term for people who can detect and eradicate the most advanced threats.

What Does SANS DFIR Coin Signify?

The Forensicator Coin is a symbol of belonging. It signifies being part of an elite group and is a badge of honour. It demotes that the holder possess the finest DFIR skills. The Coins show the holder's commitment to lifelong learning and professional improvement.

How Can I Earn A DFIR Forensicator Coin?

There several ways in which a student can earn a Forensicator Coin:

  • Scoring first place in a SANS Training Challenge that demands forensic talent (these sessions include those held during DFIR courses FOR500, FOR508, FOR558, and FOR563).
  • At the Instructor's discretion during a Training Event.
  • Write a GIAC gold paper that forwards the digital forensic field.
  • Contribute six published pieces to the SANS Digital Forensics blog.
  • Speak at a SANS Digital Forensics Summit (this does not apply to vendor talks).
  • Nomination by another SANS Coin holder.

Groups can be eligible to receive a DFIR Coin too. To be considered, the group must help further the field of digital forensics. This can mean contributing research, knowledge, and capabilities to the wider forensic community.

SANS provide Private Training to groups of 25 or more students. To explore this training option email emea@sans.org or read our Testimonials for more information.

Please contact dfir-coins@sans.org with any questions relating to DFIR Coins.


Training Events Offering DFIR Courses
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SANS London November 2017 Nov 27 - Dec 02, 2017  
SANS Munich December 2017 Dec 04 - Dec 09, 2017  
SANS Frankfurt 2017 Dec 11 - Dec 16, 2017  
SANS Amsterdam January 2018 Jan 15 - Jan 20, 2018  
SANS Dubai 2018 Jan 27 - Feb 01, 2018  
SANS London February 2018 Feb 05 - Feb 10, 2018  
SANS Brussels February 2018 Feb 19 - Feb 24, 2018  
SANS London March 2018 Mar 05 - Mar 10, 2018  
SANS Paris March 2018 Mar 12 - Mar 17, 2018  
SANS Munich March 2018 Mar 19 - Mar 24, 2018  
SANS Abu Dhabi 2018 Apr 07 - Apr 12, 2018  
SANS Zurich 2018 Apr 16 - Apr 21, 2018  
SANS London April 2018 Apr 16 - Apr 21, 2018  
SANS Amsterdam May 2018 May 28 - Jun 02, 2018  
SANS Paris June 2018 Jun 25 - Jun 30, 2018  
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