So, the Microsoft COFEE (Computer Online Forensic Evidence Extractor) tool was leaked. I took a quick look at it, and – as expected – there is nothing “magical”, “secret” or “backdoorish” about it (even though I love the picture which comes with the Gizmodo article, the text itself is complete and utter BS – COFEE isn’t a tool “that helps law enforcement grab data from password protected or encrypted sources” as the article claims).
So what is Microsoft COFEE?
- it is a collection of information gathering tools which are either built into Windows (ie. net, arp, ipconfig) or can be freely downloaded from the Microsoft website (ie. pslist)
- it contains a simple case-management software which helps users prepare a USB stick that need to be inserted in the target computer and manage the collected information
- the software on the USB stick is executed either using the autorun mechanism or by manually launching it. There is no built-in functionality to bypass passwords or other protection mechanisms
- It also contains a detailed analysis of the registry / filesystem fingerprint of each tool (this is important if the other party argues that running the tool caused modifications on the system which are pertinent to the case)
Conclusion: there is no magical pixie dust here, move along! (in fact, it is quite similar with the winenum Metasploit script).
PS/Update: regarding the "defense" against these tools: first of all, they all seem to be user-mode tools. This means that they probably have limited capability of detecting kernel-mode rootkits. Also - from what I've seen - they are all public tools, so there is a good chance that there exists malware out there there which "defends" itself against these software. Again, no magic.
Now before you conclude that this is utterly useless - if I were a IT forensicator :-p, I would prefer having this data compared to no data at all. It will give you some basic idea of the system (or the network for that matter if ran on every PC) which may enable you to come back with a very precise target in mind.
Picture taken from raddaqii's photostream with permission.