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Hackers block Microsoft Cofee law enforcement software

Hackers have released software designed to attack a Microsoft tool used by law enforcement agencies.

Hackers have released software designed to attack a Microsoft tool used by law enforcement agencies.

According to a report on The Register the hack known as Decaf automatically launches countermeasures to Computer Online Forensic Evidence Extractor (Cofee), which provides tools used in the collection of digital evidence.

Last month copies of Cofee appeared on file sharing websites.

Microsoft said last month it does not expect cyber criminals to be able to use the software to their advantage. It said Cofee is just a collection of digital forensic tools which are already available.

"Its value for law enforcement is not in secret functionality unknown to cyber criminals. Its value is in the way Cofee brings those tools together in a simple and customisable format for law enforcement use in the field," said Richard Boscovich, senior attorney in Microsoft's internet safety enforcement team.

Microsoft said, "Cofee brings together a number of common digital forensics capabilities into a fast, easy-to-use, automated tool for first responders. And Cofee is being provided [free] to law enforcement around the world."

It claims that police officers with basic computer skills can be taught to use the software in less than 10 minutes. "This enables the officer to take advantage of the same common digital forensics tools used by experts to gather important volatile evidence, while doing little more than simply inserting a USB device into the computer."

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