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The FBI secretly launched an encrypted messaging system for criminals


Equin0x
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"Law enforcement agencies across Europe, the US, and Oceania revealed Anom’s origins earlier today, saying they had arrested 800 criminal suspects based on intercepted communications."

 

Interesting piece. The police have taken down encrypted messaging apps in the past, seized servers etc, but this seems to be the first time they have actually set up their own specific app from the beginning with this intention. It functioned as most encrypted messaging apps do, except hidden away in the code was a secret master key that allowed the police to decrypt any of the messages. This shows the dangers in trusting any encryption software that doesn't let you inspect the code, you can never be sure what it's really doing. By comparison, Signal has none of the fancy snake oil marketing that many encrypted messengers do but the source code is freely available, has been thoroughly inspected by cryptographers for stuff like this, and is likely a far safer bet for secure communications.

Edited by Equin0x
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1 hour ago, Equin0x said:

"Law enforcement agencies across Europe, the US, and Oceania revealed Anom’s origins earlier today, saying they had arrested 800 criminal suspects based on intercepted communications."

 

Interesting piece. The police have taken down encrypted messaging apps in the past, seized servers etc, but this seems to be the first time they have actually set up their own specific app from the beginning with this intention. It functioned as most encrypted messaging apps do, except hidden away in the code was a secret master key that allowed the police to decrypt any of the messages. This shows the dangers in trusting any encryption software that doesn't let you inspect the code, you can never be sure what it's really doing. By comparison, Signal has none of the fancy snake oil marketing that many encrypted messengers do but the source code is freely available, has been thoroughly inspected by cryptographers for stuff like this, and is likely a far safer bet for secure communications.

Please, please, please, do not tell Notapoliceforum. He would consider that, no doubt, as unlawful and cheating.😉

Edited by Zulu 22
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34 minutes ago, Zulu 22 said:

do not tell Notapoliceforum. He would consider that, no doubt, as unlawful and cheating.😉

Or deem it completely fake news based on it not featuring on The Bill 🤨

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  • 4 weeks later...

Some more info for anyone interested, Motherboard were able to obtain one of the phones and take a closer look at it

https://www.vice.com/en/article/n7b4gg/anom-phone-arcaneos-fbi-backdoor

 

I'm impressed with the effort that went into the deception. Agents apparently provided genuine customer service and helped users with any technical issues. That would be expected from a legitimate company offering this service, so the FBI had to play along to not raise suspicion.

The FBI declined to comment further :( Would be interesting to know more but I understand why they aren't.

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