Hacking. Disinformation. Surveillance. CYBER is Motherboard’s podcast and reporting on the dark underbelly of the internet.
Dutch police have cracked another encrypted phone company, this time reading messages from, and then shutting down, “Exclu,” according to announcements from the police and Dutch prosecution service.
The news demonstrates law enforcement agencies’ continued targeting of the encrypted phone industry, part of which has served organized criminal syndicates for years. The Dutch police specifically have been behind many of these hacks and shutdowns, working on other investigations into companies such as Ennetcom and Sky.
“Our application has multiple use cases. Use it for encrypted chat or mail communication and store your files and notes locally in the encrypted and compartmented vault,” Exclu’s website reads. “Our communication platform has integrated the most sophisticated encryption protocols in the world to ensure no one gets access to your data.”
Do you know anything else about Exclu? Were you a user or administrator of the service? We’d love to hear from you. Using a non-work phone or computer, you can contact Joseph Cox securely on Signal on +44 20 8133 5190, Wickr on josephcox, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the announcements, Dutch authorities said they had been able to read Exclu messages over the last five months. Authorities estimated Exclu had around 3,000 users, with 750 of those speaking Dutch. Haroon Raza, a Dutch defense attorney, told Motherboard many of his clients used Exclu.