AFP and FBI sting used encrypted app to intercept crims' comms
3 min read
fairly difficult
Provided intelligence for three years.
A large, worldwide organised crime bust announced today was facilitated by the Australian Federal Police working with the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation running a sting operation involving an encrypted communications app, AN0M, on custom handsets.

AFP provided the technical staff for Operation Ironside, which started three years ago after a similar take-down of encrypted communications provider Phantom Secure, federal police said.

The FBI gained access to the AN0M app in 2018, and started running it clandestinely, installed on Google Android devices that criminals sold to each other.

"The app AN0M was installed on mobile phones that were stripped of other capability," AFP said.

"The mobile phones, which were bought on the black market, could not make calls or send emails. [They] could only send messages to another device that had the organised crime app.

"Criminals needed to…
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