CIT alum leads first cyber forensics lab in Middle East
Ibrahim Abe Baggili in his cyber forensics lab at Zayed University.
While still a PhD student in the College of Technology’s cyber forensics program, Ibrahim “Abe” Baggili told The National (Abu Dhabi’s English-language newspaper) that the Middle East needed a dedicated research facility to help keep up with computer crime. A little more than a year later, with a Purdue PhD in hand, Baggili, was hired by Zayed University in Abu Dhabi as the director of the region’s first cyber forensics research laboratory and an assistant professor. He has been at Zayed since August of 2009.
“I supervise ongoing research projects, and I create and lead training programs for both private and public sector corporations,” Baggili said.” Another part of the laboratory’s mission is to organize credible conferences and seminars in the area of digital forensics.”
This past spring, Zayed graduated 15 police officers from its master’s degree program with a specialization in cyber security. It’s an educational path Baggili knows well, having earned four degrees from Purdue, all from the Department of Computer and Information Technology.
A native of Jordan who grew up in Abu Dhabi, Baggili chose to attend Purdue based on extensive research into information technology programs.
“I noticed that all around the world the best books being used in the field were written by Purdue professors,” he said. Once he moved to the graduate level, he started doing research with those same professors.
“My main research focus as a PhD student was in the area of cyber forensics, both from the technical and social-scientific perspectives,” he said. “I was really interested in anonymity, pre-employment integrity, and how they both affect cyber criminal engagement.”
At the Advanced Cyber Forensics Research Laboratory, Baggili’s research has expanded to include topics such as standardization of reporting in cyber forensic investigation, XML standards for digital evidence, and the relationship between bypassing the internet proxy and cyber criminal engagement.
In addition to starting a new laboratory, Baggili has been busy helping others learn about cyber forensics. He has been invited to give presentations in the Middle East, Ireland, and New York, and he was recently invited to join the editorial board of the Journal of Digital Forensics Security and Law.
“My Purdue degree has opened doors to me that may not have been possible otherwise. A Purdue degree is, and always will be, my most valued investment and experience,” he said.
Read more about Baggili at his professional Web site.