More than 800 suspects have been arrested worldwide after using an encrypted correspondence application created by the FBI.
Presented as a secure platform with impenetrable protection, many criminals did their jobs through this application, thinking that it guarantees their privacy and security.
For almost three years, the encrypted application has been monitored by the FBI and the Australian Federal Police (AFP), which has led to a large number of arrests and seizures of property estimated at tens of millions of dollars, the authorities there revealed. Europol pointed out that “Operation Trojan Shield is the largest operation ever to enforce the law against encrypted communication.”
The FBI began this operation by creating an encrypted network called ANOM and then distributing devices with that application to correspond with criminals with the help of their informants. The idea for such an operation came after two other encrypted platforms (Sky) were shut down by the law enforcement agency, which led to criminal gangs looking for new secure applications and phones with which to do their business.
They were significantly helped by the fact that at the beginning, these phones were used by older criminals, which gave their “colleagues” an incentive to use that platform as well. When all is added up, about 12,000 encrypted devices have been used by 300 criminal organizations in more than 100 countries.
Three years ago, they took control of ANOM, after a convicted criminal (who was a programmer) promised to help them in that mission, for which he would receive a milder punishment in return. These phones were promoted as “super-secure” and had a very specific target market, organized criminal groups. It is very interesting that they were charged a monthly subscription for using the application.
Specially modified phones did not have access to basic functions such as calls and the Internet, and they also had fake applications to look like legitimate smartphones. The ANOM application was accessed via calculator and it was not accessible from the main menu. To get a device like this, you need to know the criminals who sell them or look through the black market.
In May 2021, the top five countries in which ANOM devices and applications were most used were Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Australia, and Serbia, according to documents shared by the FBI.
By: Angelica W. – Gossip Whispers