Feeds

MS forensics tool leaks onto the web

COFEE spill creates nasty mess

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Microsoft's point-and-click "computer forensics for cops" tool has leaked onto the web.

COFEE (Computer Online Forensic Evidence Extractor) is designed to allow law enforcement officers to collect digital evidence from a suspect's PC without requiring any particular expertise. Using the technology - which recovers a list of processes running on an active computer at the scene of an investigation - involves inserting a specially adapted USB stick into a computer.

Grabbing data from a PC without interfering with the machine is no substitute for a detailed examination by experts where something amiss is discovered, but still attractive to the computer crime authorities. It allows police to search a computer's internet history, analyse systems and data stored and even decrypt passwords, without having to transport the machine to a lab. It does this in a fraction of the time the process would normally require.

The free-of-charge tool (actually a bundle of 150 applications) was developed by Microsoft and distributed solely to law enforcement agencies, most recently via Interpol. Despite this, copies of the software leaked onto the web and were briefly made available via BitTorrent, before the torrent tracking file was pulled.

The development has spurred fears that miscreants might still be able to get their hands on the software and use it to develop countermeasures. Graham Cluley, senior security consultant a Sophos, explains: "What's to say that the bad guys couldn't analyse COFEE, and write their own code which neutralises it (or wipes sensitive data from their computer) if they determine it is being run on their own computer?" ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
SMASH the Bash bug! Apple and Red Hat scramble for patch batches
'Applying multiple security updates is extremely difficult'
Shellshock: 'Larger scale attack' on its way, warn securo-bods
Not just web servers under threat - though TENS of THOUSANDS have been hit
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Who.is does the Harlem Shake
Blame it on LOLing XSS terroristas
Researchers tell black hats: 'YOU'RE SOOO PREDICTABLE'
Want to register that domain? We're way ahead of you.
Stunned by Shellshock Bash bug? Patch all you can – or be punished
UK data watchdog rolls up its sleeves, polishes truncheon
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.