Fantastic Police Work! Fighting the Global Crime Connections By James Reed
This story has been well covered in the mainstream press, but from our perceptive, some remarks. First, it is grand to see old school police work to bring down the bad guys, after so much woke politically correct activities from the police over the Covid tyranny. Second, it is amazing how vast and globally interconnected the crime world is, with radical jihadists, bikies, Mafia, Asian Organized Crime, you name it, all in some way networking, primarily aided by the internet and Dark Web. Yet, the police managed to suck them all in and take them down, just using an app! I bet that the surviving crimes will be careful about their software in the future! No doubt there are plenty more scumbag drug lords where that came from, but it was fine effort, even more impressive than adventures in the past, like Eliot Ness and the “untouchables,” The Untouchables being my favourite TV show, which was last repeated in I think the late 1980s. I miss it. A really good movie could be made out of this present bust, and maybe I will start work on a script.
“Australian and US law enforcement officials on Tuesday announced they’d sprung a trap three years in the making, catching major international crime figures using an encrypted app.
More than 200 underworld figures in Australia have been charged in what Australian Federal Police (AFP) say is their biggest-ever organised crime bust.
The operation, led by the US Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), spanned Australia and 17 other countries. In Australia alone, more than 4,000 police officers were involved.
At the heart of the sting, dubbed Operation Ironside, was a type of “trojan horse” malware called AN0M, which was secretly incorporated into a messaging app. After criminals used the encrypted app, police decrypted their messages, which included plots to kill, mass drug trafficking and gun distribution.
AFP Commissioner Reece Kershaw said the idea for AN0M emerged from informal discussions “over a few beers” between the AFP and FBI in 2018.
Platform developers had worked on the AN0M app, along with modified mobile devices, before law enforcement acquired it legally and adapted it for their use. The AFP say the developers weren’t aware of the intended use.
Once appropriated by law enforcement, AN0M was reportedly programmed with a secret “back door”, enabling them to access and decrypt messages in real time.
A “back door” is a software agent that circumvents normal access authentication. It allows remote access to private information in an application, without the “owner” of the information being aware.
So the users — in this case the crime figures — believed communication conducted via the app and smartphones was secure. Meanwhile, law enforcement could reportedly unscramble up to 25 million encrypted messages simultaneously.
But without this back door, strongly encrypted messages would be almost impossible to decrypt. That’s because decryption generally requires a computer to run through trillions of possibilities before hitting on the right code to unscramble a message. Only the most powerful computers can do this within a reasonable time frame.”
It is a pity (using ATO and tax evasion issues) that the Australian authorities did not bring down the crims in grass houses that I think Bob Bottom, if my memory serves me well, called them, who have made their money from dope in previous decades, but this is still good work. Crime has moved on from that exposed by the late great Donald MacKay, God rest his soul, days. The drug culture today is so vast, with most young dopey people consuming something, like “ice” and other crap made in dirty bathtubs, that the police do not have the resources to even scratch the surface.
Recommended reading: Clive Small and Tom Gilling, Evil Life, (Allen & Unwin, Sydney, 2017).