Dutch Police Hacked Criminals’ Encrypted Devices

Dutch police have announced that they have launched a new investigation team that will look into corruption after searching through tens of millions of encrypted messages taken from Encrochat gadgets.

According to a new report from Motherboard, authorities are looking to identify police who leaked information to organized criminals using the encrypted messaging service available on Encrochat smartphones. Up till now, the Encrochat investigations have focused primarily on drug trafficking and arranged crime.

In a Dutch press release, Chief of Police Henk Van Essen provided additional insight on the present Encrochat investigations, saying:

“Criminal investigations into possible corruption are currently underway and there are prone to be extra within the close to future. Along with investigations into drug trafficking and cash laundering, investigations into corruption are also given high precedence.”

Encrochat investigations

Encrochat was a subscription-based phone system that cost users roughly $1,994 per month. For this value, its users acquired a customized Android smartphone that had its GPS, camera and microphone physically removed. Encrochat devices shipped with Android and a number of encrypted messaging apps pre-installed however the smartphones additionally had a safe secondary working system that could be wiped by coming into a PIN thanks to a self-destruct feature.

Encrochat smartphones were particularly popular with criminals for hire and drug traffickers who used them to speak securely with clients and partners without concern that regulation enforcement authorities may very well be intercepting their conversations. Nonetheless, French regulation enforcement managed to put in malware on them able to disabling their manufacturing unit reset characteristics, recording display screen lock passwords and cloning app data.

It seems that some Encrochat clients were also concerned about corruption including police themselves. In line with Van Essen, corruption is “unmistakably current” now that investigations into the corporate’s encrypted smartphones have turned up new proof.

We’ll have to wait till these investigations conclude to know the complete extent of the corruption in European police departments though.