June 24, 2021

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FBI and Australian Police Ran an Encrypted Chat Platform To Catch Criminal Gangs

FBI and Australian Police Ran an Encrypted Chat Platform To Catch Criminal Gangs

The FBI and Australian Federal Police ran an encrypted chat platform and intercepted secret messages between criminal gang members from all over the world for more than three years. From a report: Named Operation Ironside (AFP) / Trojan Shield (FBI, Interpol) on Monday, law enforcement agencies from Australia, Europe, and the US conducted house searches and arrested thousands of suspects across a wide spectrum of criminal groups, from biker gangs in Australia to drug cartels across Asia and South America, and weapons and human traffickers in Europe.

In a press conference on Monday, Australian police said the sting operation got underway in 2018 after the FBI successfully seized encrypted chat platform Phantom Secure. Knowing that the criminal underworld would move to a new platform, US and Australian officials decided to run their own service on top of Anom (also stylized as AN0M), an encrypted chat platform that the FBI had secretly gained access to through an insider. Just like Phantom Secure, the new service consisted of secure smartphones that were configured to run only the An0m app and nothing else.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.