Last year, the FBI and its international partners announced Operation Trojan Shield, in which the FBI secretly ran an encrypted phone company called Anom for years and used it to hoover up tens of millions of messages from Anom users. Anom was marketed to criminals, and ended up in the hands of over 300 criminal syndicates worldwide. The landmark operation has led to more than 1,000 arrests including alleged top tier drug traffickers and massive seizures of weapons, cash, narcotics, and luxury cars.
Motherboard has obtained this underlying code of the Anom app and is now publishing sections of it due to the public interest in understanding how law enforcement agencies are tackling the so-called Going Dark problem, where criminals use encryption to keep their communications out of the hands of the authorities. The code provides greater insight into the hurried nature of its development, the freely available online tools that Anom’s developers copied for their own purposes, and how the relevant section of code copied the messages as part of one of the largest law enforcement operations ever.