EncroChat called itself “an end-to-end security solution” that provided customized Android handsets as well as an OTR messaging application. EncroChat usually sold Samsung phones with a modified version of Android. Some units had no functioning GPS, camera, or microphone. The phones came pre-installed with the EncroChat application as well as other applications provided by the company. EncroChat, the application, “routed conversations through a central server based in France.” The service had roughly 60,000 users at the time of its closure.
The French National Gendarmerie, assisted by law enforcement in the Netherlands, installed malware on EncroChat servers in France. “The malware allowed them to read messages before they were sent and record lock screen passwords,” according to a Wikipedia entry on the company. The malware affected more than half the devices in Europe, according to the company. Law enforcement agencies worldwide received access to the data pulled from the hacked EncroChat server.