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Was going to tack this on the end of the contact tracing thread but thought it might be of interest to the computerists on here. Basically the story is that the police managed to hack this network and arrested hundreds of criminals with the information they gathered. What the story doesn't cover is how legitimate users' information was handled. A broader question is whether the authorities should be breaking into encrypted networks and does this signify no one should expect availability of secure communication in today's clown world?

https://encrochat.network/

https://www.infosecurity-magazine.com/news/hundreds-arrested-encrypted-phone/

https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-britain-police/uk-police-arrest-iconic-criminals-in-biggest-ever-operation-after-encryption-breakthrough-idUKKBN2431OR

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I was wondering if the cops did in fact break the encryption or was that just a story to cover the fact that they have or had one or more informers.

https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2020/07/police-infiltrate-encrypted-phones-arrest-hundreds-in-organized-crime-bust/ Heres a bit more in depth look

My money would be on the same blag as the Tor browser ,they built the app and the encryption

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I wonder why they even bothered with a specialised phone. The pros make encrypted voice calls on off-the-shelf hardware using Signal Messenger or could even be Whatsapp has end-to-end encryption if you don't mind the Facebook connection.

The trouble is really trusting Android and the chips in the phone. You would think that the Encrochat people faced the same problem though.

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2 hours ago, Funn3r said:

I wonder why they even bothered with a specialised phone. The pros make encrypted voice calls on off-the-shelf hardware using Signal Messenger or could even be Whatsapp has end-to-end encryption if you don't mind the Facebook connection.

The trouble is really trusting Android and the chips in the phone. You would think that the Encrochat people faced the same problem though.

Unless you write it or use a trusted partner, then you risk buying secure apps of a 3 letter agency. Or a bunch of crims wholl sell you down to the highest bidder.

I'm waiting for the names on this mega bust.

I'll bet 80% are Balkan.

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5 hours ago, Rare Bear said:

I was wondering if the cops did in fact break the encryption or was that just a story to cover the fact that they have or had one or more informers.

The French, which also set up its own task force in March this year, led the investigation into EncroChat’s encryption. It was eventually able to insert a device somewhere in the communication chain to access criminal correspondence.

That might have been part of breaking the encryption of course, but it sounds like it wasn't broken entirely from the outside.

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Caravan Monster said:

A broader question is whether the authorities should be breaking into encrypted networks and does this signify no one should expect availability of secure communication in today's clown world?

3rd party risk. A message sent from A to B which uses a 3rd party has risk which was not accounted for by the criminals. The 3rd party may claim they the encryption is 128 bit and unbeatable, but at the end of the day it's just words. There's back doors, Artificial Intelligence and quantum computers out there.

The one thing that the police shouldn't have divulged is how they did it - this can only be a one time crack down, because for the criminals that are left or those that get away, they won't use this method of communication again.

One of the reasons why Putin bought a bunch of old fashioned typewriters because he knows the weakness of digital security.

Edited by 201p
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5 hours ago, Rare Bear said:

I was wondering if the cops did in fact break the encryption or was that just a story to cover the fact that they have or had one or more informers.

#MeToo.  I assumed someone just gave them the password, like most hacks  intell biys even have a phrase for it!  Soft intel or something.  And the ex-cop on the radio says it will matter nought, not that their PR machine would accept that.

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4 minutes ago, 201p said:

 

The one thing that the police shouldn't have divulged is how they did it - this can only be a one time crack down, because for the criminals that are left or those that get away, they won't use this method of communication again.

 

Unless it was a red herring piece of info they put out. That would be smart.

We know all electronic communications are stored now at GCHQ. It just takes time for A.I to work through the data.

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5 hours ago, spygirl said:

 Breaking encryption is impossible.

Hobbling the app is relatively easy,

Wasn't an app. Encrochat has been around for years using locked down BQ Aquarius phones. No SIM, using private encrypted communications. French servers were infiltrated and malware installed (in my opinion in over the air updates) bypassed before the communication was encrypted. Not sure how long this goes back as they must have been monitoring for a while. Massive multi-country effort, lots of Mr.Bigs taken down in one fell swoop.

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Posted (edited)

I'll just plug some more A.I here.

A.I has been making large in roads into financial institutions. It works tirelessly 24/7 without rest or becoming fatigued.

Financial services companies are becoming hooked on artificial intelligence, using it to automate menial tasks, analyse data, improve customer service and comply with regulations.

About half of financial services and insurance firms globally already use AI, according to a 2019 study by research group Forrester, and that number is expected to grow as new uses are found for the technology. “We are only scratching the surface of the potential that AI has for the industry,” says Katherine Wetmur, Morgan Stanley’s international chief information officer. Financial institutions already use AI to analyse stock market data and machine learning to improve fraud detection — technology that Jamie Dimon, chief executive of JPMorgan Chase, last year said saves the US bank $150m annually. Another US bank, Morgan Stanley, also uses AI for fraud detection, virtual assistants for customer inquiries and for “sentiment analysis”, which measures how positive or negative an analyst is about a company stock.

More:

https://www.ft.com/content/11aab1cc-907b-11ea-bc44-dbf6756c871a

Edited by 201p
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Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, 201p said:

I'll just plug some more A.I here.

A.I has been making large in roads into financial institutions. It works tirelessly 24/7 without rest of fatigue.

Financial services companies are becoming hooked on artificial intelligence, using it to automate menial tasks, analyse data, improve customer service and comply with regulations.

About half of financial services and insurance firms globally already use AI, according to a 2019 study by research group Forrester, and that number is expected to grow as new uses are found for the technology. “We are only scratching the surface of the potential that AI has for the industry,” says Katherine Wetmur, Morgan Stanley’s international chief information officer. Financial institutions already use AI to analyse stock market data and machine learning to improve fraud detection — technology that Jamie Dimon, chief executive of JPMorgan Chase, last year said saves the US bank $150m annually. Another US bank, Morgan Stanley, also uses AI for fraud detection, virtual assistants for customer inquiries and for “sentiment analysis”, which measures how positive or negative an analyst is about a company stock.

More:

https://www.ft.com/content/11aab1cc-907b-11ea-bc44-dbf6756c871a

Not AI mate. Encryption (depending) isn't cracked its bypassed.

Edited by Sideysid
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6 hours ago, Caravan Monster said:

Was going to tack this on the end of the contact tracing thread but thought it might be of interest to the computerists on here. Basically the story is that the police managed to hack this network and arrested hundreds of criminals with the information they gathered. What the story doesn't cover is how legitimate users' information was handled. A broader question is whether the authorities should be breaking into encrypted networks and does this signify no one should expect availability of secure communication in today's clown world?

https://encrochat.network/

https://www.infosecurity-magazine.com/news/hundreds-arrested-encrypted-phone/

https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-britain-police/uk-police-arrest-iconic-criminals-in-biggest-ever-operation-after-encryption-breakthrough-idUKKBN2431OR

And no theres not any legitimate users using Encrochat at £1500 for a six month subscription and the initial costs of the device.

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Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, 201p said:

But probably used A.I as a tool to work through the huge pool of data. 

No need. All the the criminals were known and communications were infiltrated. AI would only be implemented as a tool on massive amounts of data.

Edited by Sideysid
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24 minutes ago, 5min OCD speculator said:

Nvidia do an AI board called Jetson......I was thinking about buying one to shove in my blow up doll and see if I can make her talk xD

Disclaimer: I haven't got a blow up doll really just a good sense of humour O.o

Methinks you deny too much.

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