Category: IT|Jul 10, 2021 | Author: Admin

The FBI used a modified Pixel phone to catch criminals

Share on

In June, one could read that international police authorities ran a company that sold encrypted phones to criminals, in a new case about this it appears that the FBI and the Australian Federal Police (AFP) used Google Pixel 4a with custom software in this operation.

Since 2019, the US Federal Bureau of Investigation, in close cooperation with the Australian Federal Police, has strategically developed and concealed an encrypted unit company, called Anom, which grew to serve more than 12,000 encrypted units to over 300 criminal syndicates operating in more than 100 countries, including Italian organized crime, criminal motorcycle gangs, and international organizations involved in drug trafficking.

 

Motherboard / Vice managed to get hold of one of the phones that the FBI sold to criminals and had a review taken. The hardware is a Pixel 4a, with several modifications aimed at a somewhat special user group.

 

One of the changes the FBI had made to ArcaneOS 10 was a feature called "PIN Scrambling", this made it so that the numbers on the lock screen were not listed from 1-9 with 0 at the bottom, this was so that you could not guess the combination based on fingerprints, etc. At the same time, it was also possible to enter a so-called Wipe Code from the lock screen which was supposed to delete everything on the phone.

 

 

Pin code is…
At the same time, there was also a feature that used a "Decoy Pin", which took the user into a seemingly innocent version of the phone. There you could find apps like Candy Crush, Facebook, Instagram, and Netflix. None of these apps were running or could be used.

 

When you entered a correct PIN code, the user was taken to a home screen where there were three applications: calculator, clock, and settings. Funny enough, there was no option to turn off location services via the settings.

 

The secret room

If you entered a specific calculation in the first app, you opened up an encrypted messaging service, which we now know was not actually encrypted and in fact, it was monitored by the FBI and other authorities around the world. In total, more than 27 million reports were collected and reviewed by the authorities over a period of 18 months.

 

Google launched Pixel 4a in August 2020, since police cooperation started earlier than that, there is reportedly also a 3a model with the same software. It is unclear whether other models or other manufacturers were also used.

Sponsored Ads:

Comments:


Android's underappreciated upgrade advantage

Category: Google|Sep 24, 2021 | Author: Admin

No Electricity? A New Cooling System Uses Sunlight and Saltwater

Category: General|Sep 23, 2021 | Author: Admin

Slack begins rolling out video and audio message ‘clips’

Category: General|Sep 22, 2021 | Author: Admin

Roku's free OS 10.5 lets you dictate passwords, fixes pesky sound lags on headphones

Category: IT|Sep 21, 2021 | Author: Admin

Some good news and some strange news from Apple

Category: Apple|Sep 20, 2021 | Author: Admin

New Windows security updates break network printing

Category: Microsoft|Sep 19, 2021 | Author: Admin

Sent 700tb over 4 km of laser technology

Category: IT|Sep 18, 2021 | Author: Admin

'Massive' transatlantic data cable landed on beach in Bude

Category: Google|Sep 17, 2021 | Author: Admin

YouTube shuts down Discord music bot ‘Rythm’

Category: Google|Sep 16, 2021 | Author: Admin

Facebook's secret rules differentiate between the "elite" and most people

Category: General|Sep 15, 2021 | Author: Admin

Apple suddenly had to crisis-update the iPhone and Mac

Category: Apple|Sep 14, 2021 | Author: Admin

Epic is blocked forever on all Apple platforms

Category: Apple|Sep 13, 2021 | Author: Admin

NVIDIA To Launch GeForce RTX 30 SUPER ‘Ampere Refresh’ In January 2022, GeForce RTX 40 ‘Ada Lovelace’ GPUs in October 2022

Category: General|Sep 12, 2021 | Author: Admin

3 smart shortcuts for a curiously hidden Chrome OS command

Category: Google|Sep 11, 2021 | Author: Admin

iPhone 13 unveiled in Ukraine

Category: Apple|Sep 10, 2021 | Author: Admin
more