Microsoft and National White Collar Crime Center Make Digital Forensics Tool Available to U.S. Law Enforcement Agencies
Tue Oct 13, 2009 3:00pm EDT Microsoft and National White Collar Crime Center Make Digital Forensics Tool
Available to U.S. Law Enforcement Agencies
COFEE tool captures live computer evidence and gives law enforcement agencies
a technological edge in the battle against digital crimes.
REDMOND, Wash., Oct. 13 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Today at the Digital Crimes
Consortium, Microsoft Corp. and the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C)
-- the nation's premier provider of economic and high-tech crime training to
law enforcement agencies -- announced an agreement establishing NW3C as the
first U.S.-based distributor of the Computer Online Forensic Evidence
Extractor (COFEE). A Microsoft-developed program, COFEE uses digital forensic
technologies to help investigators gather evidence of live computer activity
at the scene of a crime, regardless of their technical expertise. This
agreement will make COFEE available to law enforcement agencies at no charge
so they can better combat the growing and increasingly complex ways that
criminals use the Internet to commit crimes. This distribution agreement
broadens availability for law enforcement agencies, building on Microsoft's
April 2009 distribution agreement with INTERPOL, which is making the COFEE
tool available to law enforcement in each of its 187 member countries.
"The COFEE distribution agreement will be of enormous benefit to U.S. law
enforcement agencies dealing with technologically sophisticated
cybercriminals," said Donald J. Brackman, director of NW3C. "NW3C is very
pleased to partner with Microsoft in making this tool available and
contributing to the fight against cybercrime."
A common challenge of cybercrime investigations is the need to conduct
forensic analysis on a computer before it is powered down and restarted. Live
evidence, such as some active system processes and network data, is volatile
and may be lost while a computer is turning off. This evidence may contain
information that could assist in the investigation and prosecution of a crime.
With COFEE, a front-line officer doesn't have to be a computer expert to
capture this volatile information before turning off the computer on the scene
for later analysis. An officer with minimal computer experience can be tutored
to use a pre-configured COFEE device in less than 10 minutes. This enables him
or her to take advantage of common digital forensics tools the experts use to
gather important volatile evidence while doing little more than simply
inserting a USB device into the computer.
The agreement with NW3C, a nonprofit membership organization dedicated to
supporting law enforcement agencies in the prevention, investigation and
prosecution of economic and high-tech crime, is the latest example of
Microsoft's ongoing commitment to building partnerships that help create a
safer, more trusted Internet experience for everyone, not just Microsoft
customers. The announcement comes as law enforcement, industry, academic and
government cybercrime experts around the world meet in Redmond at the Digital
Crimes Consortium. This consortium will provide a mechanism for information
sharing, tools development and community building to help industry,
government, academia and law enforcement agencies better address the
complexity of the evolving threat landscape.
"Criminals are working in a new digital age, and it is essential that law
enforcement agencies have the latest tools and technology to help them fight
the cyberthreats facing the global community," said Tim Cranton, associate
general counsel of Worldwide Internet Safety Enforcement Programs at
Microsoft. "Microsoft is proud to be working with NW3C and INTERPOL to make
COFEE more broadly available to law enforcement agencies and to host the
Digital Crimes Consortium bringing industry, government, academic and law
enforcement cybercrime experts from around the world together to build a
long-term coordinated effort in the fight against digital crime. By working
together, we can be most effective in making the Internet safer for everyone."
Working with INTERPOL, the Florida State University and University College
Dublin, NW3C will also continue the research and development that will ensure
that COFEE serves the needs of law enforcement agencies as technology evolves.
"Florida State University's E-Crime Investigative Technologies Laboratory has
extensive expertise in software tools and systems to support law enforcement,
and we were pleased to assist the National White Collar Crime Center in
evaluating COFEE for its continued use and development," said computer science
professor Sudhir Aggarwal, director of the ECIT Lab. "We look forward to
future collaborations in the effort to win the fight against cybercrime."
"COFEE is a very valuable tool in the arsenal of law enforcement agencies to
fight cybercrime," said Professor Joe Carthy of University College Dublin's
(UCD) Centre for Cyber Crime Investigations, which is partnering with
Microsoft and INTERPOL to develop training programs to enable law enforcement
officers to use COFEE. "It will help to establish a recognized international
standard in digital forensics and cybercrime investigations. It will also
assist law enforcement agencies to develop internal the expertise which they
require in dealing with cybercrime investigations."
Law enforcement agencies can get COFEE from NW3C through a link athttp://www.nw3c.org
or by contacting INTERPOL at COFEE@interpol.int
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) is the worldwide leader in software,
services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full
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