Computer Online Forensic Evidence Extractor (COFEE)

COFEE (Computer Online Forensic Evidence Extractor) is a cyber-crime-fighting thumbdrive created by Microsoft to help police officials pull information from a crime scene computer.

The COFEE extractodrive is shown below, as Tim Cranton, Director of Microsoft's Internet Safety Enforcement Team, demonstrates the new tool to Jean-Michel Louboutin, executive director of police services, Interpol.


(Computer Online Forensic Evidence Extractor)

A former Hong Kong cop who now works for Microsoft developed COFEE, which has one hundred fifty different programs placed on a standard thumbdrive. It can decrypt passwords and analyze a computer's Internet activity, as well as other data stored in a computer. More than 2,000 officers in 15 countries, including Poland, the Philippines, Germany, New Zealand and the United States, are using the device, which Microsoft provides free.

I'm sure this device has a lot of legitimate law enforcement uses.

This device could also be used to "vacuum" a lot of information out of a computer without needing to actually seize the device, or name the device in a search warrant. It provides government officials with the ability to search through years of personal communications and files. I suggest that this device needs a 151st file, a small text file detailing the first provision in the Fourth Amendment in the Bill of Rights:

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated..."

I'm sure that this device will inspire its own countermeasure; perhaps people will start installing lawyer programs to detect and object to these devices.

Fascinated by computers and crime? See how Cyber-Crime Cops Get Organized, marvel at how Her Majesty's 'Web Robot' Catches Tax Dodgers and the recent Virtual Theft From Habbo Hotel.

Read more at Microsoft device helps police pluck evidence from cyberscene of crime and Microsoft hosts its own police academy; thanks to Moira for pointing this one out.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 4/29/2008)

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