Microsoft has developed a small plug-in device that investigators can use to quickly extract forensic data from computers that may have been used in internet crimes.
The “COFEE,” which stands for Computer Online Forensic Evidence Extractor, is a USB “thumb drive” that Microsoft distributes to law enforcement agencies investigating computer related crimes.
COFEE contains 150 commands that can dramatically cut the time it takes to gather digital evidence, which is becoming more important in real-world crime, as well as cybercrime. It can decrypt passwords and analyze a computer’s Internet activity, as well as data stored in the computer. It also eliminates the need to seize a computer itself, which typically involves disconnecting from a network, turning off the power and potentially losing data. Instead, the investigator can scan for evidence on site.
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.
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