A former FBI chief of computer intrusion investigations has admitted that the FBI uses Macs running OS X.

The machines are the choice of FBI agents in the know who have found that they can do "just about anything: run software for Mac, Unix, or Windows, using either a GUI or the command line. And they're secure out of the box".

The details appear in an article in Security Focus in which reporter Scott Granneman recalls an interview with Dave Thomas, former chief of computer intrusion investigations at FBI headquarters, and current assistant special agent in charge of the St Louis Division of the FBI.

In the interview Thomas makes the revelation: "If you're a bad guy and you want to frustrate law enforcement, use a Mac".

This is because while police and government agencies know what to do with seized Windows machines, they don't know how to recover information from Macs. Currently law enforcement personnel in the US are sending impounded Macs needing data recovery to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police who have built up a knowledge and technique for Mac forensics that is "second to none," according to Thomas.