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MU partners with Swedish company

November 27, 2018

HUNTINGTON — Marshall University’s digital forensics and information assurance program has partnered with Paliscope, a Swedish software company, in launching the Paliscope academic program.

As part of the program, students are trained in how to use Paliscope’s online investigation software. Marshall plans to use the software in its courses and in its Open Source Intelligence Exchange, or OSIX, program. Marshall was the first institution to join the Paliscope Academic Program, school officials said.

“Paliscope will be used in our Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) course, as well as our Open Source Intelligence Exchange, and will be one of our primary software tools, together with AccessData’s FTK and Cellebrite’s Physical Analyzer,” said John Sammons, director of the Digital Forensics and Information Assurance program at Marshall. “The students will be using Paliscope for all their laboratory exercises and projects. Putting software like Paliscope in the hands of our students not only enhances the learning experience, it also gives them real-world skills they can rely on once they enter the workforce.”

With social media and other online platforms, open sources of information play a big role in modern society. Online investigations are an essential part of the academic programs at Marshall, Sammons said.

“These open sources of information can be used to identify people and locations, link suspects together, identify witnesses and much, much more,” he said.

Open-source data can provide significant insights into online acts and behavior, as well as evidence in criminal cases, which makes it critical that practitioners have the knowledge and skills to locate, collect, and analyze potential evidence found on social media platforms, Sammons added.

“Paliscope Academic Program offers universities and other educational institutions free training licenses for educational purposes, and we are proud to launch this effort together with Marshall University,” said Christian Berg, CEO at Paliscope. “As part of the program, the universities in the program provide us with feedback on their usage of the software, which is an asset in the future development of the product.”

At Marshall University, Paliscope will also be used as a tool in the university’s collaboration with the nonprofit group Operation Underground Railroad. O.U.R. is a nonprofit organization that fights child sex trafficking around the world. Using the skills and knowledge they learn in class, students from Marshall’s OSIX have assisted in the rescue of nearly 40 child trafficking victims and the arrest of 10 suspected traffickers.

“Tools like Paliscope are important because they make the OSINT process much more effective and efficient,” Sammons said.

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