FBI, International Authorities Arrest Hundreds in Global Sting

When the FBI dismantled an encrypted messaging service based in Canada in 2018, agents noticed users moving to other networks. Instead of following their tracks to rivals, investigators decided on a new tactic: creating their own service.


ANOM, a secure-messaging service built by the FBI and other law enforcement agencies, launched in October 2019 and solidified its following after authorities took down another rival. Popularity spread by word of mouth.


When ANOM was taken down Monday, authorities had collected more than 27 million messages from about 12,000 devices in 45 languages — a vast body of evidence that fueled a global sting operation. Authorities on Tuesday revealed the operation known as Trojan Shield and announced that it had dealt an “unprecedented blow” to organized crime around the world.


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