Re-opening our Wyboston classroom

As lockdown measures are gradually being reduced in the UK, we have been working on preparing our Wyboston Lakes classroom for a return to active service. We are currently planning on our first post-lockdown classroom course being Foundation in Mobile Phone Forensics running 15th-19th June 2020. As you can imagine we have been busy conducting risk assessments, sorting accommodation provision and adapting our classroom for social distancing.

By means of a brief update:

  • Onsite accommodation with dinner and breakfast included is available on the Wyboston Lakes site (contact us for rates and booking details)
  • We will initially be running Wyboston courses at 50% capacity to ensure we can achieve 2m social distancing in the classroom
  • We will be implementing a frequent cleaning programme for contact points in the building during the training day
  • Each delegate will be provided with their own hand sanitiser (70% alcohol) and anti-bacterial wipes to keep their work area clean and safe
  • We will be restricting movement of both trainers and students within the classroom to maintain social distancing
  • To assist students we will be making use of remote control software to allow students to communicate any technical problems to their trainer and for the trainer to take control remotely in order to help troubleshoot
  • Disposable face coverings will be made available (optional) to delegates who wish to use them
  • We are using hazard tape and increased signage to help raise awareness of safe working distances and practices


You can check our course schedule page to find out when and where our courses are running. We will be announcing plans for our Leeds classroom shortly but our expectation is that our Mobile Device Repair course on 20th-24th July will be our first “post lockdown” course in Leeds.

Please get in touch if you would like more information or have any questions regarding our plans for restarting classroom training.

Instructor-led online training available to book

We’re delighted to announce that our new App Investigator 1 training course is now available to book as an instructor-led live online programme.

Based on our well established and extremely popular Smartphone App Forensics course, App Investigator 1 provides delegates with both the theory and hands-on skills required to recover and interpret app data from SQLite databases and Property List (plist) files. The emphasis of App Investigator 1 is on being able to decode any app and greatly reduce the time required to produce a report which can be passed to an investigator. Because SQLite databases are used so widely across desktop operating systems, desktop apps and devices such as TVs and in-car systems, the skills learned on the course can be applied more broadly in digital forensics than purely mobile device investigations.

Our first scheduled App Investigator 1 course runs 29 June – 3 July 2020.

Further details, including pricing, can be found on the App Investigator 1 course page on our website.



Free tutorials on our new YouTube channel

We’ve been teaching our delegates how to make sense of binary and hexadecimal for many years both during training courses and event workshops. We’ve always received good feedback on those sessions from delegates and so we felt that it made sense to share our explanations of these fundamental concepts more widely.

We’ve recently launched a Control-F YouTube channel where you can find tutorial videos which explain binary and hexadecimal in (we hope!) a simple way.

We’ll be directing our students to them as preparation for their classroom training and hope that the videos are helpful resources for the wider digital forensics community (and beyond).

Do get in touch if you’ve found them useful and with any suggestions for future tutorials you’d like to see.

Join our Combating Data Hiding Techniques webinar (Thu 21 May 2pm BST)


Thanks to those who supported last week’s “Making Sense of Android Encryption” webinar (recorded version available here). We’re keeping the band together and have another show for you.

We will be hosting a free webinar on Thursday May 21st at 2pm British Summer Time entitled:

“Combating Data Hiding Techniques on Mobile Devices”

in which we’ll explore Samsung Secure Folder, Huawei App Lock and Huawei Private Space. We’ll also describe how we supported a law enforcement customer with decrypting data from a 3rd party vault app.

Simply follow the link below to register:

We hope you can join us!

Join our Android Encryption webinar (Thu 7 May 2pm BST)


Last week’s “Cloud Forensics Primer” webinar was very well attended (recorded version available here), and so we’re hosting another next week.

We will be hosting a free webinar on Thursday May 7th at 2pm British Summer Time entitled:

“Making Sense of Android Encryption”

in which we’ll explore Android Full Disk Encryption, the role of Secure start-up, why Android FDE more challenging than it was than in the “good old days” and how it has evolved into File Based Encryption.

Simply follow the link below to register:

We hope you can join us!

Join our Cloud Forensics webinar (Thu 23 April 2pm BST)

We were delighted with the interest and attendance of our recent webinar “Android Location Services & Adoptable Storage” (recorded version available), and so we’re running another next week.

We will be hosting a free webinar on Thursday April 23rd at 2pm British Summer Time entitled:

“Cloud Forensics Primer”

in which we’ll explore all things cloud forensics – opportunities, what’s going on behind the scenes during a cloud forensics extraction as well as potential obstacles and pitfalls.

Simply follow the link below to register:

We hope you can join us!

Join our Android forensics webinar (Thu 9 April 2pm BST)

Although our classroom might be temporarily closed, we’re working hard to deliver content that our customers and the wider community can access.

We will be hosting a Zoom webinar on Thursday April 9th at 2pm British Summer Time entitled:

“Understanding Android Location Services & Adoptable Storage”

which we hope will allow attendees to examine Android devices safely and more thoroughly.

Simply follow the link below to register:

We hope you can join us!

Successful pilot courses for Mobile Device Repair

With our first Mobile Device Repair training course scheduled to run w/c 11th May 2020, we’re delighted with the smooth running of two back-to-back pilot courses for a law enforcement customer. Over the two courses in Leeds, sixteen delegates learned how to:

  • Troubleshoot damaged devices to identify underlying faults
  • Determine whether a potential repair was possible
  • Investigate and resolve battery and power issues
  • Replace damaged displays and data ports
  • Use a “PCB swap” approach as an alternative to lengthy or risky repairs
  • Keep appropriate records of their analysis and repairs

We were delighted with the feedback from delegates:

  • “The trainers have been very patient and explained everything very clearly, and in a way that was easy to understand. Thank you guys.”
  • “Thanks for another great training course Control-F. You always deliver on quality and interest. Mark & Phil were excellent throughout! “
  • “Thank you very much for the great course, friendliness of trainers, quality of material and equipment.”

We’re busy working on refining techniques for dealing with liquid damaged devices to share with delegates on the 4½ day course in May. Do get in touch if you’d like to check pricing or availability.

Control-F COVID-19 update

The coronavirus outbreak is affecting people and businesses worldwide. Neither Control-F nor its staff are immune to that (although that would be nice) and we thought it would be helpful to explain how the ever-evolving situation is affecting how we serve our customers.

  1. We have postponed some courses which were scheduled for the coming weeks. We hate doing that, but naturally we will follow government advice and can’t help but be affected by travel bans imposed by customer organisations.We will continue to assess the viability of courses scheduled for the coming months and contact booked delegates to keep them informed. To see which courses are affected, please check our Course Schedule page.
  2. As you would expect, our staff are working from home and will be using the opportunity to update our existing materials, write new course content and develop our internal infrastructure. Not only that, family pets are receiving more attention, lunchtime runs are being taken and poached eggs have become a feasible lunch option. Every cloud…

Stay safe, stay in touch and we will look forward to resuming our classroom training in the not too distant future.

Giving something back

If you’ve attended training at our Wyboston Lakes facilities over recent months you may have noticed our featured charity noticeboard just outside the classroom. Each quarter Control-F makes a donation to a charity selected by a staff member. We try and select smaller charities where our donation might make more of an impact.

This year we have made donations to charities working in the following areas:

We hope that in a small way we can help support and raise the profile of valuable charities that many people will never have heard of.