You are currently viewing 800 arrests and tons of drugs: this is how the FBI offered criminals an apparently encrypted app to monitor them for years

For the last few years, criminals around the world have been using ANoM. ANoM is a complete system with modified phones and encrypted software that allows criminals to communicate without fear of sniffing by the police or any other organization. Or so they believed, because in reality ANoM was promoted by the FBI itself and its partners in Europe and Oceania.


After having exploited the tool for years, the authorities have made public the fact that they had a back door in ANoM. Of course, after having arrested more than 800 suspects of crimes and having intercepted 8 tons of kitchen, 22 tons of cañabais, 250 firearms and 48 million dollars in traditional currencies and cryptocurrencies.

Operation Trojan Shield

It all started in mid-2018, when a criminal offered FBI agents in San Diego (United States) the offer of a back door in the encrypted communications of a vast network of international criminals in exchange for a reduced sentence. Said and done, the FBI had access to ANoM.

ANoM is a modified mobile device and stripped of any software and hardware that could compromise communications. Likewise, custom encrypted software was installed that would allow secure communication between users.

Op Trojan Shield Greenlight Social Media Results

For three years ANoM used by thousands of criminals in 90 countries around the world. The communications system served to organize hundreds of crimes, such as murder plots, drug trafficking, money laundering and more. While the criminals thought they were operating at ease, the police forces were listening.

The FBI collaborated with Europol in Europe and the police in Australia and New Zealand, as well as Canada. a total of 16 countries around the world had access to the criminals’ encrypted network. With this they managed during these years to seize tons of drugs and arrest hundreds of criminals.

The ANoM devices that were distributed to the criminals (and that they bought) had each and every one of them with a master key. With this master key, the authorities could have access and decrypt the content that was sent and reached each phone. Europol’s press release says 300 criminal syndicates used ANoM devices in countries such as Australia, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Serbia and many others.

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This is not the first time that the FBI has infiltrated an encrypted communication system. Nor is it the criminals’ first encrypted app. However, it is the first time does it and helps to distribute and drive the use of the communications system. With this, beyond listening to the conversations, it allows the authorities to undermine the confidence of criminals, making them trust less and less anonymous and encrypted technologies for their operations.

Via | The Guardian
More information | Europol

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