David Billard is new visiting professor in digital forensics
Facts Born February 1968
Married, three children

Academic background 1995 PhD in Computer Science from the University of Montpellier II, France.
1995-2000 Post-doctoral fellow at the Computer Science Center, Univ. of Geneva.
2000-2007 Director of the Software Development Service, Univ. of Geneva.
2008 Professor at the University of Applied Sciences of Geneva.

Research Applied research in digital forensics. A cross domain touching Computer Science, Telecommunications, law and psychology.

Professor Billard has a solid background in digital forensics, since gaining a PhD degree in computer science from the University of Montpellier II in 1995. He was also a founding member of LERTI (Laboratoire d’Expertise et de Recherche en Traces Numériques) in France, and has been Professor at the University of Applied Sciences of Geneva since 2008.

"For me digital forensics is the use of science to uncover technical information," David Billard explains. "My main focus is on Business Intelligence techniques, exploration of massive data and Internet security threats."

As one of Europe’s experts in digital forensics he has served as an expert in Computer Forensics to the French and Swiss courts of law. This means recovering and presenting digital evidence to the courts, and also providing them with rules and guidelines concerning formats, storage etc.
"I have a special interest in small scale devices such as cell phones, cameras, GPS and information retrieval both in hardware and in software," David explains. "I have to get and to interpret the information to present it to the court."

Our society is more vulnerable to cyber attacks from individuals and from organizations. Attacks are more organized and are targeting individuals, companies, organizations and even countries.

"This is no longer a few hackers having fun. In many cases this is done by organized criminal mafias, and they always seem to be ahead of us, David Billard underlines."

Visiting professor at DSV
David Billard will help set up the digital forensic lab at the University's Department of Computer and Systems Sciences – both in the areas of hardware and software. He will also work on the curriculum for the Master's programme, tutoring students, and holding seminars and lectures, etc.

"This is a new field, and a lot of young people are really interested in the area," David stresses. "It is very easy for students to get jobs, but unfortunately there is not enough incitement for them to stay in academia."

Three challenges for the future 

David Billard sees three main challenges in digital forensics:

  • To understand what digital evidence is and make sure that it is valid for the courts. Courts must be able to rely on the evidence.
  • To develop guidelines and rules for procedures when it comes to electronic storage of documents
  • To get the information out to the courts

The CSI-lab
Today an increasing amount of crime is moving onto the internet. This includes everything from identity theft and hijacked bank accounts to large-scale cyber attacks on infrastructures. In our cyber lab – Cyber Scene Investigations – operable experiments are implemented to protect us against various types of cyber threats.

More information about the laboratory environments within the Department of Computer and System Sciences can be found on the departmental website: