Security advances in Windows Vista are unlikely to frustrate cybercrime investigation, according to a leading computer forensics firm. Enterprise and Ultimate editions of Vista include a feature that provides data volume encryption called BitLocker Drive Encryption. Suggestions that BitLocker contains a backdoor allowing law enforcement agencies automatic access to encrypted volumes have been robustly denied by Microsoft.
But that doesn't necessarily mean the availability of Vista will mean the widespread adoption of disc encryption technologies that will frustrate law enforcement investigations in computer crime, including trafficking in images of child abuse, computer hacking, industrial espionage and other offences. For one thing, in two of its three modes of operation BitLocker requires a cryptographic hardware chip called a Trusted Platform Module and a compatible BIOS. These chips are yet to become widely available much less deployed. The third mode requires a user to insert a USB device that contains a startup key in order to boot the protected OS.