National Crime Agency Rates a Success

I hadn't heard of EncroChat. Anyway it has been closed down after its encryption was cracked during a four year international policing operation.

The National Crime Agency (NCA) said the cracking of the encryption used by EncroChat, which offered a secure mobile phone instant messaging service and was used by criminals to coordinate their activities, had allowed detectives across the country to make almost 750 arrests.
 

BuggerAll

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
This is great news. I’m not sure if it will restore plods tarnished image but it’s a feather in their cap(s).
 

Auld-Yin

ADC
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Reviews Editor
Great news and quite a tale to tell. I hope all the evidence stacks up in court and these scumbags don't escape through a technicality found by their scumbag lawyers.
 
Interesting. I can’t tell from the reporting whether the encryption was cracked, or the platform was hacked. These are quite different. If you just capture the messaging between devices and crack the encryption, then the baddies have no idea you are reading their traffic (like WW2 Enigma). But if you can’t crack the encryption, there are other ways to skin the cat, depending on how the target platform was built. Steal the keys, for one. But that’s insanely obvious.

Like WW2 Enigma/Ultra, I would have thought that reading the traffic in realtime would be so useful an Int tool that they would have rather not compromised that capability. Yet the platform realized they had been compromised themselves three weeks ago.

So double shoddy work at play. Red team for either using low grade cypher, non-random key generation or some architectural boo-boo that let the blue team in. Blue team for leaving footprints.

Either way, the operational outcome was as desired, if only short term. I’m sure another platform will replace the requirements of the red team’s customers.
 
One of the rags managed to place a photograph of 'Rubber' Dick at the top of their column on this. It was an NCA coup, not the Met's.
 
One of the rags managed to place a photograph of 'Rubber' Dick at the top of their column on this. It was an NCA coup, not the Met's.
Would the Met have supplied armed officers for the raids, or does the NCA have their own AFO's?
 

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
Interesting. I can’t tell from the reporting whether the encryption was cracked, or the platform was hacked. These are quite different. If you just capture the messaging between devices and crack the encryption, then the baddies have no idea you are reading their traffic (like WW2 Enigma). But if you can’t crack the encryption, there are other ways to skin the cat, depending on how the target platform was built. Steal the keys, for one. But that’s insanely obvious.

Like WW2 Enigma/Ultra, I would have thought that reading the traffic in realtime would be so useful an Int tool that they would have rather not compromised that capability. Yet the platform realized they had been compromised themselves three weeks ago.

So double shoddy work at play. Red team for either using low grade cypher, non-random key generation or some architectural boo-boo that let the blue team in. Blue team for leaving footprints.

Either way, the operational outcome was as desired, if only short term. I’m sure another platform will replace the requirements of the red team’s customers.

I rather hope this was a 'Sting' from the outset. The NCA should claim it as one [even if it isn't true! ]

NCA and police smash thousands of criminal conspiracies after infiltration of encrypted communication platform in UK’s biggest ever law enforcement operation - National Crime Agency


NCA Director of Investigations Nikki Holland, said:

“The infiltration of this command and control communication platform for the UK’s criminal marketplace is like having an inside person in every top organised crime group in the country.

“This is the broadest and deepest ever UK operation into serious organised crime.

“The NCA is proud to have led the UK part of this operation, working in partnership with policing and other agencies. The results have been outstanding but this is just the start.

“A dedicated team of over 500 NCA officers has been working on Operation Venetic night and day, and thousands more across policing. And it’s all been made possible because of superb work with our international partners.

“Together we’ve protected the public by arresting middle-tier criminals and the kingpins, the so-called iconic untouchables who have evaded law enforcement for years, and now we have the evidence to prosecute them.

“The NCA plays a key role in international efforts to combat encrypted comms. I’d say to any criminal who uses an encrypted phone, you should be very, very worried.”


police forces have punched huge holes in the UK organised crime network so far by arresting 746 suspects and seizing:


  • Over £54million in criminal cash
  • 77 firearms, including an AK47 assault rifle, sub machine guns, handguns, four grenades, and over 1,800 rounds of ammunition
  • More than two tonnes of Class A and B drugs
  • Over 28 million Etizolam pills (street Valium) from an illicit laboratory
 

Joshua Slocum

LE
Book Reviewer
They recently stopped a gangland hit, so no doubt the target would have been keen to chat
also the amount of cash they recovered will have left a great many missing links and unpaid debts in the system
excellent work by all concerned
 
1800 rounds and 77 weapons averages out at 23 rounds per weapon.
More than double the number of rounds I had on me when we rolled into Iraq on Telic 1. :eek:
 
The Met took part and accounted for something like 171 of the 746 arrests.
NCA is made up with a large coterie of former Met officers. Originally, they were 'detached' to the old NCS ( National Crime Squad ) whose London base was then situated in Spring Gardens near Lambeth bridge.

The system, as it established itself obliged officers to make a choice, to either sign off from the Met with potential pension and suchlike financial consequences, or join the NCS.
 
They recently stopped a gangland hit, so no doubt the target would have been keen to chat
also the amount of cash they recovered will have left a great many missing links and unpaid debts in the system
excellent work by all concerned
Interesting to see where the sequestered cash goes to. I recall in PM Thatcher's time, £1million being 'donated' to the Met Police compliments of the FBI following a successful drugs bust.
Our system, as was then, unlike the Irish CAB hadn't a clue how this sum should be processed. Talks about building a Met gymnasium or suchlike were the rumour of the day. I believe the money ended up in the coffers of the Treasury.
 
I wonder if any of my ex colleagues from SOCA in their day had anything to do in it. That got absorbed into NCA. All in all a cracking piece of work. Well done all.
 

New Posts

Latest Threads

Top