In a joint Operation, recently, the Dutch and French law enforcement, along with the judicial authorities, affirmed that they have found EncroChat has encrypted chat networks in their joint investigation. 

Hundred of cybercriminals got arrested, as they have used these encrypted criminal networks, and the police have also investigated this case and announced that it is a global network of an encrypted chatting app that was utilized by various criminals. 

Here they have involved in drug dealing, money laundering, blackmail, and even murders also. Britain has arrested nearly 746 people as a consequence of the operation, which is signified as a “massive breakthrough” on organized crime.

The Netherlands arrested more than 100 people; not only this, many people have also got arrested in Norway, Spain, and Sweden as well. According to the authority, the EncroChat sent a message to its expected 60,000 users in June. At that time, they warned them to throw away their 1,000 euro devices, as its servers had already been “seized illegally by government entities.” 

What is EncroChat?

EncroChat is a robust encrypted chat app, like Signal, Telegram, WhatsApp, etc.. EncroChat produced customized hardware, a dedicated OS, and it also provides its servers to all its users. Not only this even it also provides an expensive service that costs thousands per year instead of a one-time purchase or download. 

The EncroChat marketed customized Android handsets along with GPS, camera, and microphone functionality eliminated. In these customized Android smartphones, EncroChats comes pre-loaded, and these devices also come with a reliable secondary operating system as well. 

According to the report, on June 13, the Europol ended the life cycle of EncroChat messages, just after the data breach was uncovered. Here, EncroChat sent a notice to all its users with the information to quickly throw away the phones. 

While the investigation into EncroChat started in the year 2017, and it was initially concentrated on Lille, a city in the north of France, where the police found the appearance of EncroChat servers being hacked.

Properties seized by the NCA, Europol and Metropolitan Police

This damage was identified as one of the significant data breaches in the cybercrime market. As per the NCA (National Crime Agency) report, there were nearly 746 people who were arrested only in the U.K. alone, along with that they seized the following things:-

  • 77 firearms: An AK47 assault rifle, submachine guns, handguns, four grenades, and over 1,800 rounds of ammo.
  • $67 million (£54 million) illegal cash.
  • More than 28 million Etizolam pills.
  • Dismantled 19 synthetic drugs labs.
  • 55 high-value cars.
  • 73 luxury watches.
  • Over two tonnes of Class A and B drugs.

But, now the police have arrested the culprits, and they luckily stopped this breach and seized the servers with the help of government entities. 

The law enforcement cracked the encryption code on April 1, that’s why the European authorities, fortunately, destroyed the Encrochat and agitated one of the vital interaction networks that are used by the criminal organizations in Europe.

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BALAJI is an Ex-Security Researcher (Threat Research Labs) at Comodo Cybersecurity. Editor-in-Chief & Co-Founder - Cyber Security News & GBHackers On Security.