In a joint operation, European and British law enforcement agencies recently arrested hundreds of alleged drug dealers and other criminals after infiltrating into a global network of an encrypted chatting app that was used to plot drug deals, money laundering, extortions, and even murders.
Dubbed EncroChat, the top-secret encrypted communication app comes pre-installed on a customised Android-based handset with GPS, camera, and microphone functionality removed for anonymity and security.
EncroChat phones aim to securely exchange data and messages with pre-loaded apps for secure instant messaging, VOIP calling, self destruct messages, and includes a ‘kill code’ functionality to let users remotely wipe complete data in times of trouble.
The handset and its services, which cost around £1,500 for a six-month subscription, had 60,000 users worldwide and approximately 10,000 users in the United Kingdom.
“EncroChat phones were presented to customers as guaranteeing perfect anonymity (no device or SIM card association on the customer’s account, acquisition under conditions guaranteeing the absence of traceability) and perfect discretion both of the encrypted interface (dual operating system, the encrypted interface being hidden so as not to be detectable) and the terminal itself (removal of the camera, microphone, GPS and USB port),” Europol said.
images from Hacker News