Michael L. Younger is a Managing Director of Stroz Friedberg’s Digital Forensics practice, including the development of policies and procedures, running the firm’s in-house and external training programs, and overseeing the work of the firm’s forensic examiners. He joined the firm after a 20-year career in the United States Air Force (USAF), retiring as a Special Agent with the Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI).
Mr. Younger maintains an active caseload at Stroz Friedberg, focusing on digital forensics assignments in civil, criminal, and regulatory matters and on assignments involving responding to instances of computer crime and abuse. Among the recent cases Mr. Younger has handled are: a sophisticated network intrusion investigation involving the theft of sensitive data that was tracked back to a well-funded group in China; multiple digital forensics investigations in support of and in defense of allegations of thefts of trade secrets; a forensic reconstruction of the data on certain stolen hard drives to enable the victim of the theft to make the appropriate notifications; and providing testing and an expert opinion in support of a broad civil lawsuit against spyware manufacturers. Mr. Younger has also handled a number of large electronic discovery projects involving the preservation, analysis, and processing of data from laptops, desktops, servers, PDAs, and removable media.
While with the Air Force, Mr. Younger served as a law enforcement representative to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Cyber Division. He was responsible for coordinating and analyzing national-level computer intrusion investigations affecting the USAF, the Department of Defense (DoD), and other federal agencies. Mr. Younger also served as a Supervisory Special Agent Program Manager for the FBI’s Counterterrorism, Counterintelligence, Computer Intrusion Unit, which is responsible for the planning, coordination, and supervision of counterterrorism and counterintelligence computer investigations and operations worldwide. In addition, he served as the Chief of the Interagency Coordination Cell (IACC), an innovative entity developed to foster support and cooperation among federal agencies involved in both criminal and counterintelligence computer investigations and operations. Mr. Younger was responsible for developing and maintaining key liaison relationships with senior investigative and counterintelligence personnel from more than 26 federal agencies, branches of the military, and foreign governments.
Mr. Younger worked on a number of notable cases in his Air Force career, including the Brian Patrick Regan espionage case, in which he supervised, coordinated, and assisted in the restoration of over 1.5 terabytes of data stored on magnetic tape. He was also AFOSI’s lead investigator in a case which involved intrusions into computer systems associated with the F-22 Raptor Stealthfighter. In addition, Mr. Younger acted as both investigator and supervisor for AFOSI in the “Solar Sunrise” case, which involved intrusions into over 200 DoD computer systems.
Prior to his work at the FBI Cyber Division, Mr. Younger supervised eight computer crime special agents and a five-person team of technical computer support specialists while serving as the acting Branch Chief of the Computer Investigations and Operations Division, AFOSI Washington Field Office. He was responsible for investigating criminal, fraud, counterintelligence and counterespionage computer investigations. Mr. Younger coordinated a multi-agency investigation of alleged terrorist affiliations with a domestic software developer, which resulted in the identification of critical vulnerabilities to existing government computer systems. In addition, he developed and implemented a proactive wireless monitoring system to identify unauthorized computer activity in support of the USAF’s key counterintelligence mission. As an Air Force criminal investigator, Mr. Younger led and assisted in several complex criminal investigations involving sexual assault, suicide, drugs, fraud, and theft, and a number of counterintelligence and counterespionage investigations and operations. He also has extensive experience in leading, planning, and conducting protective service operations, providing high-ranking U.S. and foreign personnel with personal physical security.
Mr. Younger has significant training and experience involving the planning and execution of searches, seizing evidence, and conducting interviews and interrogations. He has testified numerous times in judicial, administrative, pre-trial, and trial proceedings, including as an expert witness in digital forensics.