The FBI and the Australian Police created and distributed the encrypted chat platform Anom and thus managed to catch hundreds of criminals.
An incredible story came to light today, which seems to be perhaps the largest and most sophisticated operation against crime. The FBI and the Australian Federal Police have teamed up to set up an end-to-end encrypted chat platform to bring it to the underground market so that it has "ears" everywhere.
The start was made three years ago, when the two services collaborated on Operation Ironside (also known as Operation Trojan Shield), creating an encrypted messaging platform called Anom. It was around this time that European law enforcement authorities shut down two cryptocurrency platforms used by criminals around the world, called EncroChat and Sky ECC.
In their quest to find other means of communication, the FBI offered them exactly what they were looking for: an application called Anom, which was installed on modified mobile devices that had no cameras and could not even make voice calls. These devices were sold exclusively to criminals, allowing law enforcement to listen to their messages and conversations.
According to the relevant Europol press release"Since 2019, the US Federal Bureau of Investigation, in close coordination with the Australian Federal Police, has strategically developed and used covertly a cryptographic device company called ANOM, which has been found to serve more than 12.000 cryptographers. "300 criminal syndicates operating in more than 100 countries, including Italian organized crime, illegal motorcycle gangs and international drug trafficking organizations."
He managed to arrest 800 people, seize 8 tons of cocaine, 22 tons of cannabis and cannabis resin, 2 tons of synthetic drugs (amphetamine and methamphetamine), 6 tons of synthetic drug precursors, 250 firearms, 55 luxury vehicles and over 48 million vehicles various world currencies and cryptocurrencies.
The Australian Federal Police announced 224 arrests, while another 35 suspects were arrested in New Zealand. In Europe, 75 Swedish nationals were arrested in Germany, while another 60 were remanded in custody. 49 people were arrested in the Netherlands.
According to Europol, the following countries participated in the International Police Coalition: Australia, Austria, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Lithuania, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom. Scotland and the United States.
As the Australian Federal Police explains in the video above, the whole story is as follows:
In 2018, the FBI arrested the CEO of the Phantom Secure encrypted messaging platform for trafficking custom communications devices to criminal organizations, aiding them in their illegal activities.
The FBI has recruited a key man who previously distributed Phantom Secure and Sky Gobal communications devices.
According to court documents filed by the FBI and they came out yesterday, this man agreed to work with the FBI to have a reduced sentence and so on the one hand he helped the FBI and the Australian police to set up a new encrypted messaging platform called Anom and on the other hand he also agreed to make the devices available. to distributors who knew they were collaborating with criminal organizations.
To help promote the devices, they even built the website Anom.io which included a video depicting the custom messaging device.
When Anom users sent messages, the device placed a master key on each message, allowing police to decrypt and view the messages being sent. So they managed to see all the conversations, while the criminals thought they were completely safe.
Monitoring the messages "allowed us to prevent murders. It led to the seizure of drugs which in turn led to the seizure of weapons. And it helped prevent other crimes, "said Calvin Sivers, a senior FBI official, at a news conference in The Hague.
The U.S. Attorney's Office in California will broadcast a live press conference at 11 a.m. EST on Operation Trojan Shield.