Cops doing computer forensic work already have a ton of tools to choose from, but Microsoft is doing its part to help out as well -- the company just revealed that it's been distributing a special thumb drive to cops in 15 countries to help them identify and extract information from suspects' computers. The drive, called COFEE for Computer Online Forensic Evidence Extractor, is in use by more than 2,000 officers, including some in the States, and Microsoft is giving it away for free, saying that its doing it not for profit but to "help make ensure the Internet stays safe." COFEE contains more than 150 commands that can be used to collect information, decrypt passwords, and poke through network activity, which helps alleviate the problem of having to remove and transport a suspect's computer for evidence purposes -- officers can just plug in the drive. There's no word on when Microsoft will start widely distributing the drives, but we'd assume it'll be soon.

[Thanks, Yoshi]

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Microsoft gives cops COFEE: free computer forensic tools