Newsroom Search Newsroom home Newsroom Archive
Purdue News

* FBI Indianapolis division
* Purdue Cyber Forensics Lab

May 19, 2008

Purdue named partner in FBI's Cyber Crime Task Force

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue University will play an official role in a newly created FBI task force that focuses on computer-related crime.

Purdue's Cyber Forensics Lab in the Department of Computer and Information Technology and Purdue's Center for Education in Information Assurance and Security (CERIAS) will be partners in the FBI Indianapolis division's Cyber Crime Task Force. Purdue will assist with special projects, provide consultation on emerging technologies and offer officer training.

The task force has been working on a variety of criminal cases the last several months, but the official announcement of its creation took place Monday (May 19) in Indianapolis.

The goal of the Cyber Crime Task Force is to leverage federal, state and local investigative, intelligence and academic resources to address cyber-related threats to Indiana, said Steven Kelly, supervisory special agent at the FBI in Indianapolis and head of the task force.

"We chose Purdue to be a part of it because of the extensive knowledge base the university offers through the Department of Computer and Information Technology's Cyber Forensics Lab in the area of digital forensics and the expertise of CERIAS in information assurance," Kelly said. "We've worked with Purdue for years, but now we have a formal agreement that puts these experts at our disposal to solve crimes around the world that affect Indiana in some way."

James Goldman, a professor and associate head of the Department of Computer and Information Technology, said Purdue has for several years worked with the FBI on various cyber-related cases.

"It's one of those relationships we've built slowly, but we've proven steadily through a number of projects that we have expertise that can help the FBI solve cyber-related crimes," he said. "We are proud to be officially named as a partner and look forward to expanding our role."

CERIAS director Eugene H. Spafford said the center has worked with the FBI and other agencies before on issues related to securing computers, networks and their data against criminal activities and failures.

"Cybercrime is a growing threat to society," he said. "There are so many facets to cybercrime, and it costs the U.S. economy to the tune of tens of billions of dollars. We're glad to provide our resources to the FBI."

Other members of the task force are the Evansville Police Department, Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Indiana State Police, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, Office of the Indiana Attorney General, U.S. Secret Service and Vanderburgh County Sheriff's Department. 

Purdue's Cyber Forensics Lab in the Department of Computer and Information Technology is a teaching center for students and a resource for national and international law enforcement officers and other investigators. The work there includes research on how to retrieve information from cell phones and other digital devices in a criminal investigation, the development of software that helps first responders deal with crimes involving digital pictures, and analysis of technology such as malware and botnets as they relate to complex international cybercrime.

Purdue's Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security is among the world's leading centers for research and education in information security. It was founded in 1998 and consists of a team of faculty, graduate student researchers and industrial partners who share the goal of advancing the state of cyber security through basic and applied research.

Faculty within the Department of Computer and Information Technology and the Cyber Forensics Lab are active members of CERIAS and serve in various leadership roles within the center.

Writer:     Kim Medaris, (765) 494-6998,

Jim Bush, (765) 494-2077,

Sources:   Steven Kelly, (317) 321-6140,

James Goldman, (765) 494-9525,

Eugene H. Spafford, (765) 494-7825,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

To the News Service home page

If you have trouble accessing this page because of a disability, please contact Purdue News Service at