In a statement, Europol said police in the three countries were able to view “hundreds of millions of messages exchanged between criminals”.
The statement said: “This has resulted in the collection of crucial information on over a hundred of planned large-scale criminal operations, preventing potential life-threatening situations and possible victims.”It said during an "action day" on March 9, arrests were made in Belgium and the Netherlands.“As of mid-February, authorities have been able to monitor the information flow of approximately 70 000 users of Sky ECC. Many users of EncroChat changed over to the popular Sky ECC platform, after EncroChat was unveiled in 2020.”
Europol revealed last July that European police forces had compromised the EncroChat encrypted platform.
The statement said that by “successfully unlocking” the encryption of Sky ECC, the information acquired would “provide insights into criminal activities in various EU Member States and beyond and will assist in expanding investigations and solving serious and cross-border organised crime for the coming months, possibly years”.It said about 170 000 individuals globally use the tool, which has its own infrastructure and applications and is operated from the United States and Canada, using computer servers based in Europe.
There was no immediate response from Garda HQ as to whether the SkyECC hack had any potential implications for either Garda investigations or the trafficking of drugs into Ireland.