Over 6500 Arrests in EncroChat Operation

Estimated read time 2 min read

Here’s a big one! Europol has just reported that the operation against EncroChat, a provider of encrypted communication, has led to the arrest of over 6500 suspects worldwide. That’s massive!

EncroChat: The ‘Untouchable’ Communication Service

So what is EncroChat? It’s a company that used to provide encrypted communication services globally. They had a unique selling point: cryptophones. These were devices that allowed users to communicate in a super secretive way.

They weren’t your average phones, oh no. These bad boys had their cameras, microphones, GPS, and USB ports removed. Messages? They’d automatically disappear after a certain period. Talk about going off the grid!

And get this, these phones even had a feature that erased all information upon entering a specific pin code. Super spy stuff!

The Operation: How They Did It

Investigators discovered that the communication servers used by the chat service were in France. With a bit of technical wizardry, they managed to intercept user messages. Sneaky!

From what various media outlets are saying, a Joint Investigation Team, led by French and Dutch law enforcement agencies, developed malware that could be quietly installed on all EncroChat phones via one of their servers.

This malware intercepted new messages, allowing law enforcement agencies to read along with the users. They analyzed a whopping 115 million messages in total.

The Results: A Major Blow to Criminal Networks

Thanks to the information they got from these messages, law enforcement was able to arrest 6500 suspects worldwide and seize 740 million euros. Among these suspects were 197 “high value targets,” according to Europol. That’s a lot of bad guys taken down!

At its height, EncroChat had around 60,000 users. Now it’s just one of several chat apps that have been taken down by law enforcement, with the Dutch police reportedly holding over 1 billion chat messages from similar operations.

This just goes to show, no matter how secure you think your communication is, there’s always someone out there who can crack it. So here’s to the guys and gals working tirelessly to keep our world safe from crime. Keep up the good work!

Reza Rafati https://cyberwarzone.com

Reza Rafati, based in the Netherlands, is the founder of Cyberwarzone.com. An industry professional providing insightful commentary on infosec, cybercrime, cyberwar, and threat intelligence, Reza dedicates his work to bolster digital defenses and promote cyber awareness.

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