Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Farewell to a Friend

As many of you know already, our friend and fellow forensics practitioner, Ken Johnson, was killed last night when the vehicle he was riding in was struck by a drunk driver. To say that those who knew him are saddened by this is an understatement. Ken was a great guy and great at DFIR.

When Windows 8 arrived on scene, Ken began studying its file history and other related features. He became an expert on the subject and presented his findings at conferences. I remember speaking with him after one of his early presentations and he wasn't happy with how he had done. But I was lucky enough to attend several other of his presentations and I remember telling him after one of them how much more confident he seemed at the microphone. Each time I saw him present he was better than the time before and I was so happy to see him doing well.

Ken and I spent quite a bit of time together at the last WACCI conference. I had been asked to fill in for David Nides and present in one of the breakout sessions. Ken was the guy building me up that time. I was nervous, as that was the first (and so far only) time I had presented to a DFIR group. We attended each others talks and he was very supportive, making it sound like I did better than I  probably really did.

When I finally got my first Windows 8 investigation, Ken was the first one to volunteer his assistance. As it turned out, I wound up asking him several things and he was very helpful.  

The last time I saw him in person was a couple years ago at ArchC0n in St. Louis, though we had corresponded occasionally via email, Twitter or Facebook since then. I will miss his friendship and smile. I am thankful I knew him and got to spend a little time with him. I offer my condolences to his wife and children along with his entire family and colleagues at KPMG. Rest in peace Ken.

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