Murder plot in encrypted chat leads to bandits

According to judicial materials, recently released in USA, in 2020, an Iranian drug dealer and two alleged mercenaries from Canada planned the murder of two individuals. The group utilized the encrypted telephone network Sky ECC to coordinate their actions, a network that was traditionally associated with the activities of professional criminal groups during that time.

In 2021, after the network was hacked by Belgium and the Netherlands, most of the criminals against whom evidence was obtained were arrested, leading to the elimination of the network. Since then, the network has not been available for use.

The indictment includes reports from Sky ECC, in which Iranian drug dealer Naji Sharifi Zindashti and Canadian Hells Angels motorcycle member Damion Patrick John Ryan discussed their plans and methods. Ryan mentioned the challenges of carrying out a task in the United States, but expressed his willingness to find someone to do it. They agreed on a remuneration of $350,000 and covering a trip expense of $20,000. Eventually, another Canadian named Adam Richard Pirson was identified as the potential performer of the order.

However, the intended operations could not be executed as all three individuals were arrested, facing charges for several other criminal activities. The disclosure of the Sky platform added further accusations against the prisoners.

The Sky ECC platform distinguished itself from ordinary encrypted chat platforms by positioning itself as highly secure and requiring a paid subscription that cost users thousands of dollars. It is ironic that the network managed to deceive the police despite its high cost. Although the criminals probably did not find it amusing.

In recent years, law enforcement agencies worldwide have conducted complex operations against companies providing encrypted telephone services. Alongside Sky ECC, other prominent cases of shutting down protected platforms include the elimination of ANOM and ENCROChat messengers.

Disclosure of information related to various crimes, even years later, underscores the magnitude of the problem. Numerous pieces of evidence discovered in Sky ECC are being dissected and employed in ongoing indictments.

In their pursuit of profit, criminals are willing to invest substantial amounts of money in “secure” communication channels. However, all their efforts are in vain as their plans collapse and they lose their freedom.

In the modern Internet, it is improbable to find foolproof methods of ensuring complete confidentiality of correspondence. Therefore, it is advisable to refrain from engaging in dubious or illegal activities online.

/Reports, release notes, official announcements.