Professor Josh Brunty

photo credit: Austin O'Connor


Josh Brunty is an Associate Professor and Director of the Cyber Forensics and Security graduate program in the School of Forensic and Criminal Justice Sciences. Prior to joining Marshall University in 2012, he served 7 years as a Digital Forensics Examiner, Technical Leader, and Technical Assessor for both the state and federal government sectors. He is a recipient of the 2019-2020 Marshall and Shirley Reynolds Outstanding Faculty Award. He is also the recipient of the 2019-2020 John and Francis Rucker Outstanding Graduate Advisor Award. He currently serves on the editorial boards of Forensic Science International: Digital Investigation, and the Journal of Forensic Sciences. He also serves as Executive Secretary and Member of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Organization of Scientific Area Committee (OSAC) on Digital Evidence, a position he has served in since 2016. He has also served as Academician Commissioner of the Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Commission (FEPAC) since 2020. He is a Fellow of the Digital and Multimedia Sciences Section of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS). Hi is also a member of the Mid-Atlantic Association of the High Technology Crime Investigation Association (HTCIA). He holds multiple certifications including: GIAC Advanced Smartphone Forensics (GASF #862), Cellebrite Certified Mobile Examiner (CCME), Cellebrite Certified Chip-Off Analyst (CCOF), LEVA Certified Forensic Video Technician (CFVT), Computer Hacking Forensic Investigator (CHFI), FLETC Seized Computer Evidence Recovery Specialist (SCERS), and the Magnet Forensics Certified Forensics Examiner (MCFE).

He is currently funded by the United States Secret Service National Computer Forensics Institute (USSS-NCFI) to perform digital forensics and investigative technology research (2020-2023) and is also currently funded by the United States Department of Homeland Security Science Technology Directorate to engage in digital forensics tools and techniques in dark web investigations (2021-2023). Additionally, he has received past funding from the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) for Technical Training, Research, and Casework Activities for state and local agencies engaged in digital forensics (2010-2015). He has published a variety of articles and books, most notably co-authoring the 2012 Taylor and Francis textbook Social Media Investigation for Law Enforcement, which is still used in police academies and academic institutions throughout the United States. Additionally, he co-authored the Journal of Forensic Sciences article on the Forensic Inspection of Sensitive User Data and Artifacts from Smartwatch Wearable Devices, which received the 2019 American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) Digital and Multimedia Sciences Most Outstanding Research Award, in addition to being recognized by the journal as a 2019 noteworthy article.

  1. Introduction to Wireshark [video tutorial]
  2. Network Forensics Using Kali and SIFT [video tutorial]
  1. PUP to PWN: Attack Vectors of Common Bloatware @ AIDE 2018 [watch]
  2. PUP to PWN: Attack Vectors of Common Bloatware @ BSides Kansas City 2017 [watch]
  1. GitHub Repo [visit]
  1. GitHub Blog [read]
  2. Writing DFIR Reports: A Primer. Forensic Focus [read]
  1. Is Antivirus Still Essential, El Pas, 6.23.22 [read]
  2. Still paying for antivirus software? Experts say you probably don't need it, NBC News, 12.1.21 [read]
  3. UA student spent night in jail over Facebook post that wasn't hers. Arkansas Democrat Gazette, 4.1.19 [read]
  4. Credit Card Vulnerability Awareness Rises, The Herald Dispatch, 11.3.17 [read]
  1. ArcPoint Forensics Unallocated Space Podcast. S1, Ep9 [listen]
  2. National Institute of Justice Just Science Podcast: Digital Forensics Program Development and Outlook [listen]
  3. Cellebrite Life Has No Ctrl+Alt+Del Podcast. DFIR Mentorship. 7.25.21 [listen]
  4. Forensic Focus Podcast: Digital Forensics Education. 8.11.20 [listen]
  5. Oxygen Forensics Happy Hour Podcast. 7.17.20 [watch]
  6. The Forensic Lunch Podcast. 5.8.20 [listen] [watch]
  7. Nerds & Nonsense Podcast. S1, Ep. 3. 12.7.19 [listen]
  1. Nicole Odom (M.S., 2019) [thesis]
  1. Student Researchers
    • We are seeking enrolled (or those seeking to enroll) Marshall student researchers to work for our National Computer Forensics Institute (NCFI) and Department of Homeland Secruity Science & Technology (S&T) contracts for the Cyber Forensics Research Laboatory. Interested candidates should email me a CV.
  1. Prospective Ph.D. students
    • I do not currently accept Ph.D. students or postdocs at this time
  2. Prospective B.S and M.S. students
    • I hold a joint appointment in Cyber Forensics and Security B.S./M.S. and the Forensic Science M.S. Program in the School of Forensic & Criminal Justice Sciences. I also am a Research Lead for the Marshall Institute of Cyber Security. These departments have several different. programs of study. I do not directly admit students into these programs, rather M.S. graduate admissions are handled by a department/school-level committee and the Marshall University Graduate College. If you feel that one of these M.S. programs is a good fit, I encourage you to apply. I do occassionaly work with both B.S. and M.S. students in research regardless of major, but this is dependent on funding and skill level.
  3. Current Marshall M.S. graduate students
    • I am happy to meet with current students to discuss your research or career interests. Send me an email or visit my bookings page to schedule a time to talk.
  4. Current Marshall undergraduate students
    • I do occassionaly work with undergraduate students in research, but typically in their JR or SR year of study. I typically ask for a minimum of a one-year committment.
  5. Non Marshall students
    • Because I receive so many requests from current students, I'm sorry to say I do not accept non-Marshall University students for internships or part/fulltime positions.
  1. National Computer Forensics Institute/United States Secret Service- R&D ($755K), PI, 2020-present
  2. Department of Homeland Security S&T ($2M), Co-PI, 2020-present
  3. Department of Homeland Security ($4.2M), Co-PI, 2019-present
  4. National Security Agency. GenCyber ($62K), PI, 2018
  5. INCO. Faculty Development Grant ($1.2K), PI, 2018
  6. National Security Agency. GenCyber ($50K), PI, 2017
  7. INCO. Faculty Development Grant ($1.2K), PI, 2017
  8. National Institute of Justice. Award 2010-IJ-CX-K025 ($855K), Co-PI, 2010-2015
  9. INCO. Faculty Development Grant ($1K), PI, 2014
  1. Brunty J. & Helenek, K. (2013) Social Media Investigation for Law Enforcement. Routledge Company, Wales, UK. ISBN 978-1-4557-3135-0. [read]



  1. Brunty, J. (2015). Mobile Device Forensics: Threats, Challenges, & Future Trends. In Digital Forensics: Threatscape and Best Practices. Syngress/Elsevier, Waltham, MA. ISBN 978-0-12-804526-8. [read]

  1. Brunty, J. (2022). Validation of forensic tools, software, and methods: A primer for the digital forensics examiner. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews (WIREs): Forensic Science, e1474. [read]
  2. Vanputte, L., Dorai, G., Clark IV, A., Mock, R., Brunty, J. (2022). Forensic Analysis of the Snapchat iOS App with Spectacles-Synced Artifacts. IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology, vol. 653, pp. 65-81. Springer, Cham. [read]
  3. Odom, N., Brunty, J. Lindmar, J., and Hirt, J. (2019), Forensic Inspection of Sensitive User Data and Artifacts from Smartwatch Wearable Devices,. Journal of Forensic Sciences. [read]