FBI supplied cryptophones to criminals for years

For years, the FBI and Australian police supplied encrypted cryptophones to criminals that allowed them to eavesdrop on all communications between users. The Australian police made the announcement today. Hundreds of suspects were arrested on the basis of the information obtained during an international police operation.

In the past, several encrypted chat platforms used by criminals were taken off the air by law enforcement agencies, including Phantom Secure. In 2019, the FBI decided to start its own company called "AN0M" that offered crypto telephones. The phones were only available through criminals, the Australian police said . In addition, the phones could only communicate via an encrypted chat platform.

However, the platform was in the hands of the two investigative services, who could intercept all data that devices exchanged. This made it possible to monitor criminal activities worldwide. "AN0M users communicated unsuspectingly through a system owned by the FBI," New Zealand Police said .

"Users thought their AN0M phones were protected from police by unbreakable encryption," the New Zealand Police continues. In the country, 35 people have been arrested and large quantities of drugs have been seized, as well as cash, firearms and mobile phones.

Australian police arrested 224 suspects. An amount of almost 45 million Australian dollars was also seized. "They actually put each other in cuffs by recommending and trusting AN0M and communicating with it openly, not knowing we were watching the whole time," said Australian Police Commissioner Reece Kershaw. Europol will provide more information about the operation later today.


Europol says a total of 12,000 cryptophones have been delivered to more than 300 crime syndicates in more than 100 countries. As a result, 27 million messages could be read along. In recent days, more than 700 homes in sixteen countries have been searched and eight hundred suspects arrested with the information that the investigative services obtained in this way.

Previous Post Next Post