KeyNote: Now you see it, now you don’t: The magic of forensic artifacts hiding in plain sight

Cindy Murphy

Cindy Murphy

Speaker Bio

Cynthia A. Murphy, M.Sc.


With over 30 years as a law enforcement officer and over 22 years working in Digital and Mobile Forensics, Cindy is well-known in the industry for her deep knowledge of the field, her many years of experience and for solving new and difficult problems on a consistent basis.

She is a certified forensic examiner and obtained her M.Sc. in Forensic Computing and Cyber Crime Investigation through University College, Dublin in 2011 where she completed her dissertation titled “A Multidisciplinary Approach to Child Age Estimation. She has completed a great number of digital and mobile forensics training programs over the course of her career, and has also participated in cross-training with computer forensic examiners from the FBI, Secret Service, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and An Garda Siochana (the police force of Ireland), among other noteworthy qualifications.

Cindy has been teaching digital and mobile forensics since 2002 for various public and private teaching programs, and has been involved in the development of curriculum for digital and mobile device forensics. She has helped to establish two separate digital forensics labs and networks in law enforcement and educational environments. Cindy has testified as a digital and mobile forensics expert in both state and federal courts on numerous occasions, has presented internationally on various digital forensics and cybercrime topics, and she frequently contributes articles, webinars, and whitepapers to contribute to the forensics community. Cindy is also a veteran, a mother, a musician (4- and 5-string banjo, cello, tenor guitar, mandolin and ukulele), a protester for first amendment rights, a Brittany Spaniel enthusiast, and an expert knot tier.

As President of Gillware Digital Forensics Cindy oversees the entire operation, from the procedures and quality assurance measures employed in the processing of every case, to her work with our engineering team on advanced digital forensics tools and techniques. Cindy ensures that Gillware remains at the forefront of the digital forensics industry.


In the field of digital forensics, we have our tried and true artifacts and methods to find them. However, occasionally we uncover information or methods that challenge what we’ve always known, especially when we expect to see nothing and instead uncover a wealth of information. Digital forensics expert Cindy Murphy, M.Sc. will use this session to unpack the myths of digital forensics she uncovered since her career pivot from law enforcement to private digital forensics work. For example, when an SD card shows all zeros, is it actually empty? Or, are we really getting a full forensic image from this hard drive? From there, she will discuss how to navigate those myths and most importantly, how to keep moving forward in an ever-changing industry. Session attendees will walk away feeling empowered to ask questions and challenge the status quo in the digital forensics profession.