EU police spy on 70,000 encrypted phones

Police agencies were able to monitor the encrypted communications of about 70,000 people in a second major hack by European law enforcement in the last year.Police in Belgium, France and the Netherlands spied on live messages of suspected gangland criminals on supposedly secret phone messaging apps.Europol, the EU police agency, says organised crime groups being targeted were using the Sky ECC communication service.Sky ECC has rejected the claim its app has been unlocked by European agencies and said it was cloned devices running a fake application that were hacked.
In a statement, Europol said police in the three countries were able to view “hundreds of millions of messages exchanged between criminals”.

The statement said: “This has resulted in the collection of crucial information on over a hundred of planned large-scale criminal operations, preventing potential life-threatening situations and possible victims.”

It said during an "action day" on March 9, arrests were made in Belgium and the Netherlands.“As of mid-February, authorities have been able to monitor the information flow of approximately 70 000 users of Sky ECC. Many users of EncroChat changed over to the popular Sky ECC platform, after EncroChat was unveiled in 2020.”

Europol revealed last July that European police forces had compromised the EncroChat encrypted platform.

The statement said that by “successfully unlocking” the encryption of Sky ECC, the information acquired would “provide insights into criminal activities in various EU Member States and beyond and will assist in expanding investigations and solving serious and cross-border organised crime for the coming months, possibly years”.

It said about 170 000 individuals globally use the tool, which has its own infrastructure and applications and is operated from the United States and Canada, using computer servers based in Europe.
There was no immediate response from Garda HQ as to whether the SkyECC hack had any potential implications for either Garda investigations or the trafficking of drugs into Ireland.

Read More

Eight arrested in UK for hacking phones of US celebrities and sport stars

Similar Articles:

New report reveals that the UK police are secretly downloading content from suspects' mobile phones on a massive scale

New report reveals that the UK police are secretly downloading content from suspects' mobile phones on a massive scale

Reverse location search warrants: How police departments force Google to hand over data on anyone near a crime scene.

Reverse location search warrants: How police departments force Google to hand over data on anyone near a crime scene.

South Korea spycam: hundreds of motel guests secretly filmed and live-streamed online

South Korea spycam: hundreds of motel guests secretly filmed and live-streamed online

Everything Cops Say About Amazon's Ring Is Scripted or Approved by Ring

Everything Cops Say About Amazon's Ring Is Scripted or Approved by Ring