May 22, 2018



Data breaches, identity theft, phishing schemes and large scale hacks happen all day, every day. When solving cyber crimes, it’s challenging for a first responder to capture critical information from a computer at a crime scene in the heat of an investigation without the in-depth training that UAT Network Security students received.

To solve this problem, Network Security alumni Will Peterson struck up a conversation with Professor Frank Griffiths, who teaches forensics at UAT and formerly worked for the Scottsdale District Attorney.

Will and a four other Network Security put their heads together for their Student Innovation Project and created a device called V.A.S.T., Volatile Data Acquisition System and Technology, an offensive forensics tool.

For example, if a police officer is at a crime scene serving a search warrant, V.A.S.T. gives them the ability to grab as much volatile data as possible from an open laptop in order to help solve a cyber crime before shutting down the computer.


Normally when a computer is powered down, all memory is erased from the temporary position in memory, meaning important evidence could be erased, leaving less evidence to use against a cyber criminal in court. Without V.A.S.T., anything not backed up would be lost if the system was shut down.


Student Innovation Project, VAST, with student Adam Brendan

The idea is that any person at the civilian level or higher can provide immediate incident response without having any training or deep knowledge of Network Security.

Professor Frank Griffiths is impressed with the device and can see how V.A.S.T. could be extremely helpful in solving cyber crimes.

The team is interesting in further marketing and development on this innovative product.

The team consists of: William Peterson (Network Security/Technology Forensics), Nathanial Stringer (Network Security/Technology Forensics), Adam Brendan, Ian Guile (Advancing Computer Science/ Network Security), Arthur Miramontes (Network Security).

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