Call for DFRWS 2015 Challenge

The DFRWS Challenge

The DFRWS Conference is soliciting proposals from individuals or teams interested in creating the next DFRWS Forensics Challenge.

The goal of this and past annual challenges is to spur advances in the state of the art in research into forensic tools and techniques. Past challenges have resulted in meaningful progress in memory analysis for Windows and Linux systems, novel approaches to carving files out of unallocated disk space, and techniques for reconstructing data dumped directly from NAND flash chips. By design, DFRWS challenges have resulted in the creation of software that has enriched the analytical arsenal available to the forensic community.

We are seeking 2015 challenge proposals of equal ambition and impact. At the same time, challenges must be multifaceted, consisting of component problems at various levels of difficulty to encourage broader participation and permit their reuse in a variety of settings. Please review prior challenges and solutions posted at for examples. A modest budget is available to meet direct expenses associated with the creation of the challenge.

By creating the challenge, you get to help steer digital forensics research. If you encounter problems that are not solved by the currently available tools, then make it into a challenge. We will give your team full credit on the website and in all challenge promotional efforts.

We anticipate that the party selected to develop the next challenge will also guide the challenge process through its life-cycle, assessing the 2015 challenge submissions and participating on the DFRWS Organizing Committee. An OC member will be designated as liaison and will help shepherd the challenge process throughout.

Submitting Your Proposal

To submit a proposal, please provide us an outline of the challenge scenario, detailing the analytical goals and the questions you would pose to participants. This should not be longer than 1-2 pages.

In addition, please provide the following supporting information:

  • Names of those involved in creating the challenge, along with a brief, relevant bio.
  • The resources required to create and distribute the challenge (beyond hosting the challenge material and providing a submission server).
  • A statement of the principal forensic issue addressed by the challenge.

Before writing the final proposal, you may submit scenarios to the committee to get some more ideas and feedback. Please do not send a list of possible scenario ideas and ask which one should be submitted. Instead, submit a basic outline of a scenario at least two weeks before the final deadline, and we will try to provide feedback on its difficulty and appropriateness.

Challenge proposals should be submitted to: challenge-proposal <at> dfrws <dot> org.


  • Jan 31, 2014: All 2015 challenge proposals should be submitted.
  • Feb 15, 2014: The DFRWS Organizing Committee will notify the selected winning team/individual.
  • May 31, 2014: The completed challenge, including the challenge scenario and all associated material, will be due for final review by the OC.
  • August 5, 2014: Following review and final approval, the 2015 challenge will be unveiled at the 2014 DFRWS Conference.
  • June 2015: The deadline for submission of solutions to the challenge.
  • July 2015: An evaluation of challenge submissions should be prepared for presentation to the DFRWS OC, which will select the challenge winner and finalists.
  • August 2015: Challenge results presented to the 2015 DFRWS Conference.

©2001-2016 DFRWS   |   dfrws [at] dfrws [dot] org  

DFRWS is a US 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.