Microsoft's device provides backdoor access to Vista and others

More than 2000 law enforcement officers across the world have been provided with a small device by Microsoft which allows them to extract forensic data from computers.

COFEE, an acronym for Computer Online Forensic Evidence Extractor, is a USB Dongle that was provided to law-enforcement agencies back in June 2007 and bypasses password protection.

According to the Seattle Times Newspaper, it can analyse a computer's internet activity; handy for logging and tracking purposes and can do much more thanks to 150 inbuilt commands.

COFEE also has the added advantage of immediacy, since you don't need to switch off the targeted computer nor do the law enforcement agency need to transport it to specialised forensic departments.

Arguably, a computer whose USB ports has been disabled would not be affected by COFEE.

it would also be interesting to see whether someone will mount a legal challenge to stop Microsoft from distributing devices that could potentially infringe on an individual human rights.