Microsoft aids Interpol with forensic policing

Microsoft will hand out cyber forensic tools to Interpol to help enhance public safety and security.

Microsoft has signed a deal with international police organisation Interpol, making available a forensic software tool for its 187 member countries, including the UK.

Interpol (International Criminal Police Organisation) will use Microsoft's COFEE (Computer Online Forensic Evidence Extractor) software tool, which is an application on a single USB device that uses common digital forensics tools to help officers at a crime scene gather evidence of live computer activity.

It is an automated tool for police that arrive first at the scene of a crime and enables law enforcement officials to run more than 150 commands on a live computer system, saving the results in a simple format for later analysis or use as evidence.

This type of valuable activity would otherwise be lost in traditional offline forensic analysis, where a computer would have to be shut down and transported to a lab, according to Microsoft.

The University College Dublin's (UCD) Centre for Cybercrime Investigations is also partnering with Interpol to develop training programmes to enable forensic experts to use COFEE.

"The COFEE agreement and training programme will help establish a recognised international standard for digital forensics and cybercrime investigations," the centre's Professor Joe McCarthy said in a statement.

"[It] will therefore help law enforcement to develop internally the expertise which it requires in the long-term."

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