Microsoft develops USB gadget that extracts criminals' computer data


It’s not all fancy, yet pointless, touch-sensitive tables and shoddily constructed video game systems for Microsoft . Nope. Now Redmond is getting involved in the gritty world of law enforcement, having developed a thumb drive that helps Johnny Law quickly extract information, encrypted or otherwise, from computers. The drive, adorably named COFEE, which doesn’t stand for Computer Online Forensic Evidence Extractor, snaps right into a criminal’s USB port, upon which The Law is able to execute any number of the device’s built-in 150 commands.

The device—oh, right, COFEE—has been in use since last June.

The advantage to law enforcement officers is that they don’t have to physically seize a computer in order to analyze its contents.

Use PGP if you’re paranoid. Or, you know, don’t commit crimes. That, too, will keep you out of the police’s crosshairs.