What are decoded messages

Decrypted messages apparently led to the seizure of 27 tons of cocaine

Belgian authorities announced on Monday that they had seized 27 tons of cocaine in the past two months, said to have a street value of 1.4 billion euros. The blow against the drug ring was apparently because the police were able to decipher more than half a billion messages, reports "Vice". As a result, 48 people were arrested in Belgium and a further 73 in the Netherlands, allegedly related to drug trafficking.

Records

In the night from Friday to Saturday alone, almost eleven tons were apparently seized, the Belga news agency reported on Monday, citing the public prosecutor's office. The authorities attribute the success to the fact that they decrypted the Sky ECC crypto service used by the drug traffickers. Investigators have been able to monitor the exchange of messages between around 70,000 Sky ECC users since mid-February, "Heise" reported in mid-March

Sky Global countered that a fake phishing application marketed as Sky ECC had been installed on insecure devices. However, this could not be verified. In the meantime, the service has been switched off and confiscated by US and Canadian authorities. But the Belgian investigators also state that they cracked Sky ECC. "The cocaine seizure is a direct result of the decryption of these encrypted messages on the cracked phones," said Kristof Aerts, a member of the Antwerp Public Prosecutor's Office, told the Belgian TV broadcaster VRT.

New means of communication

After the provider Encrochat was hacked by Dutch and French authorities in the summer of 2020, there is currently no larger provider that offers crypto cell phones. But Aerts is under no illusion: "There will be other means of communication that criminals will use." (red, April 8th, 2021)