James M. Aquilina is the Senior Executive Managing Director of the firm, a member of the Stroz Friedberg Executive Management team and leads the firm’s global Digital Forensics practice. He supervises numerous digital forensic, Internet investigative and electronic discovery assignments for government agencies, major law firms, and corporate management and information systems departments in criminal, civil, regulatory and internal corporate matters, including matters involving data breach, e-forgery, wiping, mass deletion and other forms of spoliation, leaks of confidential information, computer-enabled theft of trade secrets, and illegal electronic surveillance. He has served as a special master, a neutral expert, and has been appointed by courts to supervise the forensic examination of digital evidence. Mr. Aquilina also has led the development of the firm’s Online Fraud and Abuse practice, regularly consulting on the technical and strategic aspects of initiatives to protect computer networks from spyware and other invasive software, malware and malicious code, online fraud, and other forms of illicit Internet activity. His deep knowledge of botnets, distributed denial of service attacks, and other automated cyber-intrusions enables him to provide companies with advice and solutions to tackle incidents of computer fraud and abuse and bolster their infrastructure protection.
Prior to joining Stroz Friedberg, Mr. Aquilina was an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California, where he most recently served in the Cyber and Intellectual Property Crimes Section. As a federal prosecutor, Mr. Aquilina conducted and supervised investigations and prosecutions of computer intrusions, extortionate denial of service attacks, computer and Internet fraud, criminal copyright infringement, theft of trade secrets, and other abuses involving the theft and use of personal identity. Among his notable cyber cases, Mr. Aquilina brought the first U.S. prosecution of malicious botnet activity against a prolific member of the “botmaster underground” who sold his armies of infected computers for the purpose of launching attacks and spamming and used his botnets to generate income from the surreptitious installation of adware; tried to jury conviction the first criminal copyright infringement case involving the use of digital camcording equipment; supervised the government’s continuing prosecution of Operation Cyberslam, an international intrusion investigation involving the use of hired hackers to launch computer attacks against online business competitors; and oversaw the collection and analysis of electronic evidence relating to the prosecution of a local terrorist cell operating in Los Angeles. In the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks, Mr. Aquilina helped establish and run the Legal Section of the FBI’s Emergency Operations Center. He also served as a member of the Los Angeles Electronic Crimes Task Force and as chair of the Computer Intrusion Working Group, an inter-agency cyber-crime response organization.
Before public service, Mr. Aquilina was an associate at the law firm Richards, Spears, Kibbe & Orbe in New York, where he focused on white collar defense work in federal and state criminal and regulatory matters. Mr. Aquilina also served as a law clerk to the Honorable Irma E. Gonzalez, U.S. District Judge, Southern District of California.
He currently serves as an Honorary Council Member on cyber-law issues for the International Council of E-Commerce Consultants (EC-Council), the organization that provides the CEH (Certified Ethical Hacker) and CHFI (Certified Hacking Forensic Investigator) certifications to leading security industry professionals worldwide. Mr. Aquilina is a member of Working Group 1 of the Sedona Conference, the International Association of Privacy Professionals, the Southern California Honey Net Project, the Los Angeles Criminal Justice Inn of Court, and the Los Angeles County Bar Association. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Constitutional Rights Foundation, a non-profit educational organization dedicated to providing young people with access to and understanding of law and the legal process.
Mr. Aquilina is co-author of three widely acclaimed books, Malware Forensics: Investigating and Analyzing Malicious Code, Malware Forensics Field Guide for Windows Systems, and Malware Forensics Field Guide for Linux Systems, all published by Syngress Publishing, Elsevier Science & Technology Books. These works detail the complete process of responding to the malicious code incidents victimizing private and public networks worldwide.