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Microsoft hosts its own police academy

Law enforcers from around the world get three days of training from Redmond on how to use technology in fighting cybercrime as well as other types of crime.

Hundreds of officials from agencies around the world including the FBI, Interpol, state attorneys general, city and county police, and the Air Force are attending a three-day technology training session at Microsoft's Redmond, Wash., campus beginning on Monday.

Microsoft is training the officers how to use technologies that can help them fight cybercrime as well as help them investigate traditional crime with an online component. Nearly 400 people from more than 80 agencies in 35 countries are attending.

For instance, attendees will learn how to pull evidence off PDAs running Windows CE and how to gather evidence from Microsoft's online services and products like Hotmail and Windows, says Aaron Kornblum, a senior attorney for Microsoft's Internet Safety Enforcement Team.

Officials also will be trained on a relatively new computer online forensic evidence extractor, with the acronym of COFEE, that was developed by a former Hong Kong cop who now works for Microsoft. COFEE (Computer Online Forensic Evidence Extractor), designed for use during police raids, is a USB thumb drive that captures evidence on a computer that could be lost when the computer is shut off, according to Kornblum.

Microsoft also operates a law enforcement portal where officials can get free technical support.

With all the phishing attacks, identity theft, and botnets out on the Internet, police can use all the help they can get.

This is the second such event Microsoft has held; the first was in 2006. Microsoft has trained more than 6,000 officers from more than 110 countries and does regular training with state officials and organizations like the International Center for Missing and Exploited Children, Kornblum says.

Tim Cranton (right), Director of the Internet Safety Enforcement Team at Microsoft, demonstrates new forensic tool COFEE for Jean-Michel Louboutin, executive director of police services, Interpol, at the Law Enforcement Technology 2008 conference. COFEE (Computer Online Forensic Evidence Extractor) provides investigators with a means to easily and quickly extract 'live' data from a suspect's computer at the point of seizure, before turning it off. Microsoft