by Dan Moren
The FBI’s smartphone trap ran on ‘ArcaneOS’
Ars Technica’s Ron Amadeo has more details on the fake phones the FBI seeded amongst criminals:
Two different interfaces would launch depending on what PIN you typed in on the lock screen. PIN one would show a bunch of popular but non-functional apps, like Tinder, Instagram, Facebook, Netflix, and Candy Crush. Presumably, this was meant to fool any third parties checking out your phone.
A second PIN would enter what was supposed to be the secure section of the phone, showing three apps: a clock, calculator, and the settings. From here, the “calculator” app actually opened a login screen to Anom, which targets were told was a secure, encrypted way to chat. This was basically the smartphone equivalent of a fake book triggering a bookshelf to slide over, revealing a secret passage. It’s so secret, it has to be secure!
I love this story so much. It kind of reminds me of the “secret” games and programs you could install on your graphing calculators back in the day.