Law enforcement arrests hundreds after compromising encrypted chat system - 2020-07-02
The UK's National Crime Agency (NCA) has made 746 arrests and dismantled dozens of organized crime groups after intercepting millions of encrypted text messages, BBC reports. The messages were sent through EncroChat, a subscription-based phone system popular among career criminals. The NCA said in a press conference on Thursday that the operation has had "the biggest impact on organized crime gangs it has ever seen."
European law enforcement agencies appear to have been monitoring these conversations for months. French police first hacked the network, deploying a "technical device" to penetrate EncroChat communications after discovering that some of its servers were hosted in the country. Authorities first cracked EncroChat's encryption code in March and began receiving data in April.
According to a Motherboard report, the cops accessed conversations, which the participants believed to be secure and private, around a wide variety of crimes, including drug operations and money-laundering schemes.