Digital Forensics Lab at  DSU

This lab is a free resource for law enforcement agencies in South Dakota.

Our goals are simple:

  1. Provide forensic expertise by conducting analysis on a variety of digital devices submitted by law enforcement.
  2. Conduct open-source intelligence investigations for the S.D. Division of Consumer Protection.
  3. Training law enforcement in proper preservation of digital evidence, digital forensics and open-source intelligence.
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We are a team of cybersecurity professionals dedicated to assisting law enforcement with the analysis of information from a variety of digital devices. We utilize validated forensic tools that gather digital artifacts which may be evidence for ongoing criminal investigations. We provide a detailed report to law enforcement that can be presented in court if requested by the prosecution.


In technical terms, the Digital Forensics Lab at DSU analyzes and parses files or pieces of information from hard drives, mobile devices, laptops, tablets and IoT devices that will likely reveal valuable evidence that could help apprehend the guilty or exonerate the innocent. In layman's terms, the Digital Forensics Lab helps law enforcement investigate cybercriminals, helps businesses recover from cybercrime and provides intelligence to law enforcement professionals that will assist others working hard to stop cybercrime.


Since its founding, the Digital Forensics Lab at DSU has completed over 600 cases handling over 1100 devices. We are experienced, dedicated professionals who are a trusted resource for local, state, and federal law enforcement throughout South Dakota.

DigForCE Lab with equipment
SD Attorney General Logo
DSU University Logo
DCI Logo


The Digital Forensics Lab is a partnership between Dakota State University, the South Dakota Office of Attorney General and the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation. Together, we work to stop cyber criminals one mouse click at a time.

  • Cybersecurity threats are always evolving, the research team in the digital forensics lab is committed to finding novel approaches to identify, acquire, preserve and report on cybercrime.

    -Dr. Ashley Podhradsky, Vice President of Research and Development, Founding Director- DigForCE Lab, Founder CybHER - Dakota State University

  • In present times, digital evidence is the cutting edge in law enforcement. Digital evidence is the new DNA. Virtually all crimes that are committed have some sort of digital evidence component. With that being said, the amount of digital evidence that is being collected and submitted for examination in criminal investigations has become astronomical. The partnership between DSU and the DCI has given law enforcement in South Dakota a vital resource for digital forensic services and has resulted in more digital evidence receiving the professional and high-quality forensic attention that it requires and deserves.

    -Toby Russell, ICAC Commander – SD Division of Criminal Investigation

  • Technology is always evolving and a factor for many of the crimes we encounter in law enforcement. The experience and knowledge base of the staff at DSU's Digital Forensics Lab is top notch. They are easy to work with and provide the best service to aid in getting our jobs done, efficiently and effectively.

    -Sarina Talich, Sheriff – Lake County, South Dakota

  • A majority of criminal cases involve digital evidence in some form. DSU’s Digital Forensics Lab offers cutting edge forensic digital processing, with fast and friendly customer service. This allows investigators the ability to get a complete picture of all information that may be available to assist in bring criminal cases to a positive resolution.

    -Pat Mertes, Detective – Sioux Falls Police Department



When a hacker gains unauthorized access to system or computer data.


A malicious software designed to cause damage to a device, client or network.


Analyzes and parses files or pieces of information from hard drives, mobile devices, laptops, tablets, IoT devices.


Research existing and emerging digital devices for investigative techniques.


A form of malware that searches and encrypts data, then demands a ransom.


Social media allows the outside world to get a glimpse into your life. No matter the platform, users are able find you, contact you, and view your life through pictures. Because of this, it’s important to take caution and alter your privacy and activity settings.

Social Media Icons
Digital Forensics for Cyber Enforcement


Digital Evidence Submission form - Fillable PDF form that can be completed and emailed prior to submitting evidence or printed and included with submitted evidence. See the directions on the form for further details.

Phone Seizure Quick Reference - Helpful tips on seizing mobile phones.

Lab Flyer - Services offered by the Digital Forensics Lab at DSU.


Who can submit evidence?

Local, state and federal law enforcement agencies in South Dakota can submit evidence to Digital Forensics Lab at DSU.

Is there any cost associated with the analysis?

No. As long as you are currently employed with a law enforcement agency and it's an active criminal investigation.

I own a business affected by cybercrime. What should I do?

Don't panic; you aren't alone. According to Forbes, 58 percent of cyber attack victims are small businesses. Contact your local law enforcement immediately so we can start forensic work right away. Next, secure your computer. Don't send, delete or tamper with anything else on the system, as we will use that information to start our investigation.

Please contact the S.D. Attorney General's Office of Consumer Protection at 1-800-300-1986.

What can I do to prevent future attacks?

If you are a local government in South Dakota, visit the Project Boundary Fence website to have a free security assessment conducted on your system –