In our interview with Ted Wypych, President of Maw & Associates, Ted describes his career, discusses global character of computer crime and gives his prediction to the future of computer forensics.
Prior to his affiliations with Maw & Associates, Ted Wypych was a recognized law enforcement professional with more than 35 years of experience working for the Canadian Border Service Agency (CBSA) in the national and international investigation and prosecution of civil and criminal offences.
Ted has collaborated with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), United States Department of Homeland Security (ICE), Secret Service, and a number of other provincial and international law enforcement agencies to help in achieving successful criminal prosecutions throughout his career as a Criminal Investigator and Computer Forensic Examiner. While conducting his criminal investigations, he has traveled throughout Canada, United States and Egypt.
Ted has extensive technical experience and understanding in digital forensics, where he delivers and trains officers on how to discover and present digital information so it can be used as evidence in civil and criminal proceedings. In addition, he is a sessional instructor at St. Clair College of Applied Arts and Technology, Windsor, Ontario in the Border Service Agent program.
He is married to the beautiful Mary Ann Wypych and the proud father of four adult children, three sons and one daughter.
Yuri: Please briefly describe your current occupation.
Ted: At the present time, I am the president of Maw & Associates, a digital forensics, e-discovery and consulting service to corporations and the legal community. Further, I am a sessional instructor at St. Clair College of Technology and Arts, specializing in law enforcement and border agent courses.
Yuri: How did you become involved in computer forensic field?
Ted: My interest in the computer forensic field developed as a need to investigate and gather evidence in my previous role as Customs Investigator dealing with tax fraud and child pornography intercepted at the border.
Yuri: Do you have any related education? What did you major in at university? What field do you have a degree in?
Ted: I am self-taught and attended various computer forensic programs and forensic tool specific training programs. My main educational background is in Business Administration.
Yuri: Please describe your working day.
Ted: My working day commences with reviewing my business dealings, email, product updates, reviewing latest digital and e-discovery happenings and preparing for my lectures.
I like to interact with the future law enforcement…
Yuri: What do you like about your job most?
Ted: The challenge of addressing the needs of my customers. Interacting with the future law enforcement professions at the college level.
Yuri: Before Maw & Associates you are a lecturer in a college of applied arts and technology. Do you conduct courses on art? Which topics do you cover? In general, can you tell anything interesting about your university work?
Ted: My focus as a sessional instructor is teaching, mentoring and inter acting with future law enforcement students in the areas of criminal and civil law and border enforcement.
Yuri: Do you prepare any courses now?
Ted: Currently, developing a digital forensic course for “first responders”.
Yuri: How have you moved to Maw from your job at police? Why?
Ted: I retired from Canada Border Services Agency after 30 years as an Investigator and Computer Forensic Examiner.
…“hunt” for the evidence…
Yuri: What was the most challenging in your police days?
Ted: The “hunt” for the evidence to pursue the investigation from start to finish and criminal proceedings.
Yuri: What is the most challenging now?
Ted: The introduction of new technology and methods of extracting evidence from digital devices.
Yuri: To which extent does your previous experience help with your current job? Could you do what you are doing now, without this experience?
Ted: My previous experience gave me the practical knowledge of devices and the hands on practice to deal with various challenges of the profession. Without this experience it would be difficult to address my customers’ needs in a professional manner.
In Canada computer forensics is in its infancy
Yuri: What is the current state of legal practices, related to computer forensics, in Canada?
Ted: As well as other parts of the world, in Canada, computer forensics is in its infancy with the state of legal practices being rewritten and the legal profession understanding this type of evidence.
Yuri: What is the most interesting for you in computer forensics? Less?
Ted: The challenge and end result.
Yuri: What is the most interesting or complex case you have ever been involved in?
Ted: The most interesting and complex is the decryption, decoding of messenger files.
Yuri: Cloud computing is becoming very popular now. Do you think that forensic investigation is going to be much more difficult due to the cloud idea implementation?
Ted: The investigation of “cloud” stored evidence will have its legal challenges due to the location of the storage devices and the identification and extraction of artifacts found on the target’s computers.
Yuri: What forensic resources do you regularly read? What would you recommend to others?
Ted: Various forensic blogs, google groups and websites. Unfortunately, these sites are restricted to law enforcement and not available to the general public.
Computer crimes are not limited to the national borders
Yuri: What do you see as major trends in computer crimes in Canada? Globally?
Ted: Crimes using computers are not limited to the national borders of one’s country. It is an international problem. The advent of new technology and systems will present challenges in the investigation of financial frauds, child pornography and the thief of intellectual property.
Yuri: Give some predictions on what we will see in 5 years perspective.
Ted: Expansion of thief of intellectual property, secret technologies (manufacturing, research) and economic gain.
Yuri: Can you tell any funny story related to computer forensics?
Ted: Examining a computer HD, which contained an encase image inserted by a law enforcement by error and having to explain its presence in a court of law.
Yuri: How old are you?
Yuri: How many kids do you have?
Ted: Four kids, two dogs and a cat
Yuri: How do you spend your free time?
Ted: Relaxing, music, movies
Yuri: How many hours of sleep do you usually have?
Ted: 8 hrs
Yuri: What is your favorite vacation spot? What is the most unusual place you have ever been to?
Ted: Any spot with mountains and scenery. Haven’t been to an unusual place yet.
Yuri: Do you do any sports? Which one? What is your preference in watching professional sports?
Ted: Not anymore, volleyball, badminton. Watching hockey at both the junior and professional levels.
Real Vacation?? C’mon!
Yuri: When did you have your last vacation? A real vacation, without any Internet and calls from your colleagues or customers?
Ted: Three years ago. Real Vacation??…. hasn’t happened not yet
Yuri: Do you have a dream?
Ted: A cabin in the mountains overlooking or on a lake or river.
Yuri: Thank you for your interview, Ted!