FBI encrypted phone app leads to hundreds of global underworld arrests

FBI encrypted phone app leads to hundreds of global underworld arrests

Posted June 7, 2021

FBI encrypted phone app leads to hundreds of global underworld arrests

  • Hundreds of criminal gang members around the world were tricked into using a phone encryption app operated by the FBI to plan their heinous crimes, leading to their arrests.
  • Authorities in Europe were scheduled to make their own announcement early Tuesday, with the FBI’s San Diego field office doing the same at noon.
  • Australian Federal Police (AFP) Commissioner Reece Kershaw told reporters that the app helped thwart 21 murder plots, including one that would have targeted a family of five.
  • The app, called AN0M, was hatched by American and Australian law enforcement officers “over a couple of beers” in 2018. Undercover Australian agents would give phones with the AN0M app pre-installed to certain high-level criminals who recommended the app to their associates.
  • The phones could not make calls or send emails, and they could only be obtained through the black market. They also gave authorities access to up to 25 million encrypted messages in real time.

– Samuel Chamberlain | June 7, 2021