19 votes

ANOM: Hundreds arrested in massive global crime sting using messaging app

6 comments

  1. [4]
    joplin
    Link
    This is pretty awesome! And I think it shows that if law enforcement can think a little, we don't need to take encryption away from normal users. There are still ways to catch criminals, even if...

    This is pretty awesome! And I think it shows that if law enforcement can think a little, we don't need to take encryption away from normal users. There are still ways to catch criminals, even if the criminals encrypt their communications.

    11 votes
    1. [3]
      qwertz
      Link Parent
      The point here is that the FBI ran the app...

      The point here is that the FBI ran the app...

      devices with the ANOM app secretly distributed among criminals, allowing police to monitor their chats

      1 vote
      1. [2]
        joplin
        Link Parent
        I'm aware. My point is that they thought up a better solution than taking encryption away from normal users. Instead, they wrote an app with encryption and enticed criminals to use it. It's really...

        I'm aware. My point is that they thought up a better solution than taking encryption away from normal users. Instead, they wrote an app with encryption and enticed criminals to use it. It's really kind of brilliant and it didn't step on the civil liberties of normal users.

        8 votes
        1. wervenyt
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          The only issue is that anyone actually educated in operational security won't fall for this level of deception. It's not like trustworthy alternatives to this messaging app don't exist, and after...

          The only issue is that anyone actually educated in operational security won't fall for this level of deception. It's not like trustworthy alternatives to this messaging app don't exist, and after this publicization of the sting, it will make even the uneducated more reticent to use this sort of honeypot in the future. Signal, XMPP+OMEMO, Matrix, Tox, all of those tools are trustworthy (as far as anyone knows), widely available, and have a lot larger market share than ANOM ever did.

          This form of attack/infiltration is only ever going to be less effective than it was last time unless they start infringing on civil liberties, I guess, is my point.


          Edit: Upon further contemplation, Tox probably never had a huge market share. Regardless, the clients didn't disappear and don't rely on any servers, so it is effectively alive and well.

          1 vote
  2. Greg
    (edited )
    Link
    They aren't playing around on this one. "Won't someone rid me of this meddlesome priest... Unless of course he turns himself in instead". I do find it interesting that the criminals put their...

    Australian fugitive and alleged drug trafficker Hakan Ayik was key to the sting, having unwittingly recommended the app to criminal associates after being given a handset by undercover officers, police said.

    [...]

    Police said he was "best off handing himself into us" as soon as possible, as he may be in danger himself, having unwittingly helped the FBI with their sting.

    They aren't playing around on this one. "Won't someone rid me of this meddlesome priest... Unless of course he turns himself in instead".

    I do find it interesting that the criminals put their faith in proprietary systems rather than the publicly available and proven secure ones. I can see how a "dark" platform can appear more secretive, and how recommendations from trusted associates must be key in a world like this, but sometimes the mainstream platform is popular for good reason.

    4 votes
  3. mooey
    Link
    i read "fbi-run encrypted messaging app" and immediately thought "wickr?"

    i read "fbi-run encrypted messaging app" and immediately thought "wickr?"

    1 vote