By decrypting the short message service EncroChat, investigators in Europe were able to arrest around 1,800 suspected felons. In addition, a good 130 million euros were seized, which are said to come from criminal transactions, such as the Spiegel citing an overview by EU Interior Commissioner Ylva Johansson reported. More than 200 people were also saved from falling victim to planned murder attacks.
The number of 1,800 arrested persons had already been mentioned on Wednesday by the EU Commission Vice-President Margaritis Schinas when he and Johansson presented a strategy against organized crime. In addition, as a result of the EncroChat hack 1500 new investigations could be started, including with German authorities.
Sky ECC also hacked
The criminals finally switched to the encrypted communication service Sky ECC, which was also cracked by Europol, said Schinas. This in turn led to the seizure of 28 tons of drugs in Belgium and the Netherlands, further arrests and prevented crimes.
EncroChat was mainly used by criminals. The service was considered unbreakable because of its extensive encryption. The police in the Netherlands and France still managed to skim more than 20 million secret messages in 2020, as the European judicial authority Eurojust announced in July 2020.