Phone: 412-802-8000 | Fax: 412-802-8510|


Training 2018-08-06T11:34:26+00:00

In 2017, the NCFTA launched its formal training program to better equip researchers with the tools necessary for identifying and combating the various threats that exist to their organizations.  In our first year of offerings, we conducted dozens of courses at seven locations and 2 webinars reaching nearly 900 individuals.  For 2018, we are continuing to build on this success by improving our existing courses as well as adding additional training opportunities both online and in person that are competitively priced. All future net proceeds from our training initiative will be earmarked for our soon to be announced Cyber Scholars Program which will provide scholarships to deserving students pursuing a degree in cybersecurity or related field of study.

Our courses are very flexible in that we can tailor our training for your agency or businesses needs.  If interested in learning more, please contact:

Beginner Course Description

The National Cyber-Forensics and Training Alliance (NCFTA) offers training courses on the current cyber-threat landscape on both the clearnet and the dark web to law enforcement, industry and academia. This training course combines lectures and hands-on work with NCFTA personnel.

This immersive course is based on the current cyber criminal threat landscape as seen on both the clear net and dark web, and will provide attendees with a basic understanding of cyber threats, who the threat actors are, how they operate, how to conduct basic online investigations, how to interact online without compromising yourself, and how to become operational across both the clear net and dark web. This training will be hands-on, with attendees working directly with NCFTA personnel. Attendees will become familiar with a variety of open source tools and how to leverage those tools to assess and profile international threat actors. There are no prerequisites for this training.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the ongoing cyber threat
  • Review NCFTA process for building a machine for conducting online research
  • Understand the TOR network, how it works, and how to access it; also, familiarize students with I2P and Freenode
  • Find and navigate the ‘dark web’ forums/marketplaces using the TOR network
  • Conduct online research to identify threats to your organization
  • Create a target profile report through the use of various research techniques/tools
  • Learn fundamentals in interacting online through NCFTA-guided hands-on exercises
  • Create and maintain research accounts, employ basic encryption techniques in order to communicate online
  • Understand how to create a bitcoin wallet, purchase bitcoins/other crypto currencies, and make purchases using crypto currencies
  • Develop intelligence reporting based on information gathered

Advanced Course Description
This advanced, immersive course expounds upon the skills and fundamentals taught in our Introductory Course. The course will provide attendees with a more in-depth understanding of the online criminal ecosystem, beginning with how breaches occur up to how the data is monetized.   The training will be mostly hands-on, beginning with building the research machine. Additionally, attendees will be familiarized with open source and commercial tools and learn to leverage the tools to assess potential threat actors. Each module will have a task for attendees to accomplish.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the process for building a research machine, to include installing a VM
  • Understand the life cycle of monetizing compromised data, beginning with the actual breach
  • Develop intelligence reporting based on information gathered
  • Interact online using various P2P chat platforms
  • Utilize software for encrypting and decrypting information
  • Explore alternate crypto-currencies

Registration link for September’s course:

NCFTA Academic Partnerships

Carlow University

Cyber Threat Research and Analytics Graduate Certificate

Carlow University and the National Cyber-Forensics and Training Alliance (NCFTA) are partnering to deliver a Graduate Certificate in Cyber Threat Research and Analytics as part of the Master’s of Fraud and Forensics degree. This program will leverage the expertise of professionals in the community who are working with industry and law enforcement on a daily basis to disrupt adversary activity and prevent future attacks.  

This is a nine-credit online offering that will engage experts in the areas of accounting, finance, law enforcement, government, and the private sector. This graduate certificate will provide graduate level training in the techniques and tools used to investigate, respond to, and remediate various types of cyber crime and cyber-enabled crime.

Through the partnership with the NCFTA, the courses will cover topics such as understanding cyber-threatsidentification of threat actors, and how to conduct online investigations. The courses will also explore threats on the clear net and the dark web and their impacts on the private for-profit, non-profit, public, and government sectors.

For more information, contact:  Laura Kawecki, MBA, Asst Dir of Graduate Admissions, Phone: 412.578.8867 Email:

NCFTA Announces New Cyber-Scholars Scholarship Program

Cybercrime, regardless of how you define it, is impacting our world at the rate of billions of dollars a year and is a clear threat to our national security. Cybercriminals are tearing at the very fabric of our society and our businesses and governments need access to the best and brightest talent to help protect our intellectual property, assets, citizens, privacy, and national security. The current demand for professionals in this field has far exceeded supply with some estimates putting the future IT and cybersecurity workforce shortfall between 1.5 and 3.5 million by 2023.

Since 2002, the NCFTA has been a champion of public-private partnerships and collaboration in the fight against and successful disruption of cyber and cyber-enabled crime.  We strongly believe in encouraging, supporting, and helping to grow a capable, diverse, and motivated cyber workforce.  Developing our own top tier cyber experts and analysts (as well as our very successful internship program) has directly benefited both public and private partners and beginning in 2018, we are committing to do more to address the cybersecurity workforce crisis.  To encourage students to pursue a cyber-related degree and seek careers in private and public service, we are announcing the creation of the NCFTA Cyber-Scholars Program which will provide scholarships to deserving students pursuing a degree in cybersecurity or related field of study.

The first NCFTA Cyber-Scholars Scholarships will be awarded in January, 2019, in the amount of $1000 each.  Eligibility requirements, how to apply, submission deadlines, etc. can be found below.

The NCFTA Cyber-Scholars Program will be funded through industry and private donations as well as net proceeds from all future NCFTA training offerings.  For information on how to donate to the Cyber-Scholars Program, please send request to     For information on NCFTA training offerings, please visit .


  • Must be pursuing a degree with a focus on cyber/IT security, information assurance, intelligence analysis, or program with a similar focus area
  • Must be currently enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate degree program at an accredited institution located in the U.S.
  • You must be a U.S. citizen or permanent legal resident with no felony convictions
  • Must be attending classes on campus or online during the award period with a minimum GPA of 3.0
  • May be attending full time or part time; if attending school on a part time basis, must be taking at least 2 courses simultaneously
  • Applicants must submit an unofficial transcript (or proof of enrollment if a first year student), resume, proof of citizenship, one reference letter, and a personal statement

How to apply

Applicants must submit all required material to no later than midnight on the last day of submission.  For the first group of selectees, expected to be awarded in January 2019, all materials are due by midnight, September 15,  2018.  The following material is required to be submitted in PDF format.  Any additional material submitted will not be considered.

  • Unofficial transcript(s) from current (or most recent) academic institution
  • Resume and proof of citizenship
  • One Academic or Professional Letter of Recommendation outlining the following:

o   Length and nature of relationship to the applicant

o   How has the applicant demonstrated his/her commitment to completing a degree in a cyber-related field of study??

o   Or, how has the applicant demonstrated his/her willingness and ability to work in a team environment?

o   What other information about the applicant should be taken into consideration?

o   The contact information of the individual making the recommendation should further questions arise regarding the applicant

  • Personal Statement (not to exceed three pages, double spaced) to include:

o   Why you chose to pursue your current academic and professional path?

o   What goals have you set for yourself (long term and short)?

o   Why do you need the scholarship?

o   What role does cyber/IT security play in today’s world and why do you wish to be a part of it?

Not all applicants will receive a scholarship and applicants will only be contacted in the event of an award.  Awards will be sent directly to the winners.  All award winners will be posted on the NCFTA website unless otherwise not permitted. All scholarship recipients must re-apply in subsequent years and will be re-evaluated with all submissions. No scholarship awards will be automatically renewed.

Evaluation Criteria

  • Demonstrated commitment to pursuing a career in cyber/IT security, information assurance, intelligence analysis, or other position with a similar focus
  • Proven ability to work in a team environment
  • Financial need
  • Academic merit

For further information regarding the Cyber-Scholars Program, please send request to