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Europol ‘Unlocks’ Encrypted Sky ECC Chat Service to Make Arrests

Sky ECC, a secure messaging platform with roughly 170,000 worldwide users from the US, Canada and Europe, was cracked by European Law Enforcement. Europol announced a large number of arrests were made after monitoring criminal channels on Sky ECC after unlocking the chat’s encryption. In a press conference, a Europol official stated the information acquired will aid in solving cross-border organized crime investigations for months to come. The investigation was launched after Belgium police seized phones from criminals using the encrypted chat platform. Authorities estimate they have been able to monitor over 70,000 criminal users of Sky ECC. Sky ECC released a statement saying that their platform remains secure and denies any allegation of the Europol hack. 

Analyst Notes

Although US law enforcement was not involved in this particular operation, it is in line with US law enforcement agencies promising more joint operations in order to stop technology driven crime. These arrests show that Europol is also focused on defeating organized crime, even when they use encrypted communication channels. Binary Defense analysts will continue to monitor this situation for any additional information that comes from the massive intelligence seizure of the communication information.