INTERPOL initiative with Microsoft aims to raise global standards against cybercrime through strategic partnership with IT sector

15 April 2009

REDMOND, USA – As part of INTERPOL’s Global Security Initiative (GSI) to address 21st century security challenges and equip global police forces with cutting edge tools,  INTERPOL has signed an agreement with Microsoft Corp. at the first international public safety symposium, in line with INTERPOL’s growing partnership with the IT sector.

With INTERPOL committed to raising standards globally in the fight against IT crime, today’s agreement will see INTERPOL’s 187 member countries use Microsoft tools to improve police capacity and technical expertise in cyber forensics and against cybercrime.  

Under this agreement, Microsoft will make available to INTERPOL’s 187 member countries its Computer Online Forensic Evidence Extractor (COFEE) software tool to aid law enforcement investigators in incident response investigations access live computer system data.  

Since volatile data collection is a paramount concern in live incident response situations, investigators often need to create a record of existing system files and folders without compromising its evidentiary value. COFEE will assist police in INTERPOL’s member countries gather information that might otherwise be lost if the target system was shut down, by allowing investigators to configure and use a set of programmes designed to gather content from a running system. 

“Law enforcement organizations face an evolving and increasingly complex set of challenges, in the information age,” said Linda K. Zecher, Corporate Vice President of the Worldwide Public Sector at Microsoft. “It is essential that they are equipped with the right technologies to meet these challenges and we are pleased to partner with INTERPOL to support that cause through free distribution of the COFEE tool to frontline investigators across the world.”

After INTERPOL undertook a computer forensic examination of computers and hardware seized from a FARC rebel camp by Colombian authorities in March 2008,  INTERPOL determined that more resources had to be committed to first responder police units in handling electronic evidence.

“As the world’s global police organization, INTERPOL is uniquely suited to forge partnerships across all sectors that will help law enforcement in its member countries raise their standards, particularly in the area of IT crime which is borderless and constantly evolving,” said Elaine Dezenski, INTERPOL’s Global Security Initiative (GSI) Managing Director. “In extending vital frontline tools and resources such as COFEE to cyber investigators worldwide, INTERPOL’s initiative with Microsoft shows how it is working to bring additional resources and cutting-edge tools to its members to fight the threats of the 21st century.”

With law enforcement continually challenged in a more complex and interdependent world, INTERPOL is forging partnerships across the public and private sectors to enhance collective security.  The organization’s concept of strategic global partnerships was formalized as a key part of INTERPOL’s platform for 21st century law enforcement when it launched its Global Security Initiative in October 2008. 

“The COFEE agreement and training programme will help establish a recognized international standard for digital forensics and cyber crime investigations and will therefore help law enforcement to develop internally the expertise which it requires in the long-term,” said Professor Joe Carthy of University College Dublin’s (UCD) Centre for Cyber Crime Investigations, which is partnering INTERPOL to develop training programmes to enable forensic experts to use COFEE.

INTERPOL's 2008 General Assembly in Russia approved the creation of an INTERPOL Computer Forensic Analysis Unit. Working with partners, its services to member countries will include training, impartial and independent assistance with computer forensics examination on missions, and the development of international standards for the search, seizure and investigation of electronic evidence.