I’ve been doing the Forensic 4:cast Awards for 15 years. Just to give you some context of how long I’ve been doing this…
In 2009, when the awards started:
- Bitcoin was invented
- The “Miracle on the Hudson” happened
- Barack Obama became President
- Minecraft had its first official update
- Swine Flu became a global pandemic (if only we knew…)
- Michael Jackson died
- Windows 7 was released
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Price & Twilight: New Moon were the movies to watch
The awards started as Simon and I wearing suit jackets, standing in front or a white wall in our office at Zentek. The popularity soon grew and the next year I was invited to host the awards at the SANS DFIR Summit in Washington DC. The awards became a staple of the Summit and has been held as part of the event ever since.
Planning, preparing and hosting the awards has been time consuming and disheartening at times, but the good far outweighs the bad. Key moments for me would include Cindy Murphy tearing up as I handed her an award, Santi’s face when he was announced as Digital Forensic Investigator of the year, when Rob Lee entered the DFIR hall of fame, and Brian Moran leading the charge to see Heather win an award (but failing). But nothing feels as good as hosting the awards with my kids. Both Kayden and Spencer have stood on the stage with me during the awards, with Spencer even stealing the show last year.
For the last two or three years, I’ve felt that the awards have probably run their course. A decade and a half is a good run and I feel that now is the time to turn my attention elsewhere. I realize that this news will likely be met with shock and derision. I offer a sincere apology to all who hoped to win an award in the future, or who just enjoyed participating. Please, PLEASE keep doing what you’re doing to make the field better. The impact of the tools, classes and mentorship that you provide to others is immeasurable.
I love this field. My podcast and the awards have been fantastic experiences that I will treasure for the rest of my life.
Rest assured, however, that you’ve not seen the last of me 😉
Finally, I’d like to address one more issue. There is someone that has made the awards fun every year. This individual has a special place in the folklore of the 4:cast Awards and, as a result, I feel like the only fair thing to do is make them the final winner of a Forensic 4:cast Award. So, my final act as host of the Forensic 4:cast Awards is to present a posthumous award to the one and only Clippy.