Law enforcement agencies: Nearly a thousand people arrested after European police broke the encrypted chat network
Law enforcement agencies in Europe have infiltrated the EncroChat instant messaging system used by organized crime organizations. In the police operation that followed, 800 suspects were arrested, mostly in England.
EncroChat’s operating system worked specifically on Android phones. However, these customized Android phones were able to switch between both systems. The encrypted communication platform included functions such as VoIP calls and self-destructing messages that delete itself from the user’s device after a certain period of time, as well as panic clearing feature that clears all data on the device after the four-digit code is entered.
The operation was carried out by the French authorities, who were able to install a technical tool that could infiltrate the EncroChat network and allow it to be read by European law enforcement agencies, cybersecurity agency ESET learned. It is stated that one hundred million encrypted messages sent in real time from the platform are read.
Realizing that the secret was revealed, the platform warned its users on June 13 and told them to get rid of their devices. But apparently this warning was issued too late. Law enforcement agencies conducted raids in England, France, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden to arrest hundreds of criminals.
“Insider infiltration into the UK crime market communication platform is like having a mole in every top organized crime group in the country,” said Nikki Holland, Director of Investigation at the UK National Crime Agency.
Regarded as one of the most important law enforcement operations ever in Britain, law enforcement arrested 746 suspects and seized weapons, drugs, luxury cars and watches, as well as £ 54 million in cash, which were illegally seized.
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