Hackers decaf Microsoft's COFEE forensics tool2009.12.14 09:47 by Daniela
Keywords: COFEE, Microsoft, hackers
Hackers have released software they say sabotages a suite of forensics utilities Microsoft provides for free to hundreds of law enforcement agencies across the globe.
Decaf is a light-weight application that monitors Windows systems for the presence of COFEE, a bundle of some 150 point-and-click tools used by police to collect digital evidence at crime scenes. When a USB stick containing the Microsoft software is attached to a protected PC, Decaf automatically executes a variety of countermeasures.
"We want to promote a healthy unrestricted free flow of internet traffic and show why law enforcement should not solely rely on Microsoft to automate their intelligent evidence finding," one of the two hackers behind Decaf told The Register in explaining the objective of the project.
Microsoft has been pouring free COFEE to law enforcement officers since at least mid 2007. Short for Computer Online Forensic Evidence Extractor, it packages forensics tools onto an easy-to-use USB stick that allows investigators to collect browsing history, temporary files and other sensitive data from most Windows-based machines. COFEE is distributed through Interpol.
Last month, when COFEE leaked to the net, Microsoft downplayed concerns the breach would allow hackers to create countermeasures. Redmond representatives weren't immediately available for comment late Sunday night.
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