Anom: An encrypted chatting platform for criminals
Anom: An encrypted chatting platform for criminals

The FBI has been secretly running an encrypted chat platform for many years, through which it can intercept 20 million messages from international criminal organizations.

Hundreds of people have been arrested in 18 countries as part of the Operation Troy Shield investigation.

Among the suspects are members of Italian mafia gangs and illegal motorcycle gangs.

Australian police have arrested 224 criminals and seized 3.7 tons of drugs and $44.9 million in cash and property.

This event was largely due to the demise of the popular encrypted telephone service Phantom Secure.

After the project was completed in 2018 and its CEO was arrested, the FBI used sources to launch a new criminal web chat app called Anom.

The FBI has a master key built into its encryption system, and people who use the platform's hardware don't know the key.

This allows the FBI to monitor any chat message, decrypt and store those messages while they are being sent.

In the months that followed, after beta testing in Australia and the breakup of two other crypto-phone companies, Encrochat and Sky Global, this chatting app grew naturally.

The FBI used its sources to distribute Anom devices to criminals through defunct news channels.

Australian police said after well-known criminals ensured the app's security, mobile phones are becoming increasingly common in the underworld.

The Australian Federal Police Commissioner said criminal influencers have linked law enforcement agencies to hundreds of suspected perpetrators. They do this by recognizing and trusting AN0M and communicating publicly without knowing that it is a hacking attack.

In total, law enforcement authorities classified 20 million messages from 11,800 devices in more than 90 countries.

Encrypted chat platform for criminals:

The FBI said calls outside the United States transmitted an encrypted copy of the message to an iBot server.

It was decrypted from the password and then immediately encrypted again with the FBI password.

The message is then forwarded to another FBI-owned iBot server, where it is decrypted and its contents made available for viewing.

Each Anom user is also linked to a Jabber account identified by the FBI or Anom officer.

A Jabber account is similar to a BlackBerry Messenger PIN. It is described as a constant and unique alphanumeric definition or a combination of two English words.

Anom users can also provide their own username. Over time, you can change the list of usernames.

As part of this process, the FBI maintains a list of Jabber accounts and the corresponding screen names of Anom users.

There are currently around 9,000 active Anom devices. The FBI used the discussion platform to identify more than 300 transnational criminal organizations.

Australian police, who helped intercept the local information, said the information included a murder plot, wholesale drug smuggling and weapons distribution.

Other criminals are criminals associated with Asian criminal groups and Albanian organized crime.

At the same time, New Zealand police arrested 35 people and seized $3.7 million in assets as part of their interconnected operations.

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