CIA Encryption Company
Image via Flickr
CIA Encryption Company
Image via Flickr

Once upon a time, there was a Swiss company called Crypto AG which produced top-notch encryption devices to let nations communicate securely with their spies, soldiers and diplomats across the globe. And until WSJ reported, it’s believed the firm’s products were in really secured. But now, as per WSJ, the firm Crypto AG was owned by two major intelligence agencies the world, US and Germany!

Since 50+ years!

The belief that Crypto AG was owned by both CIA and BND (Germany’s intelligence agency) for more than 50 years was broke by WSJ research. Crypto AG has gained importance at the time of World War 2, where the firm took with the production of code machines. These devices are eventually leveraged by US troops and other nations for communicating with their spies all over the world.

Countries (Blue) that were being spied by the US and West Germany through Crypto AG

While the firm was refluxed with heaps of cash, it was still believed to be secured machines maker by everyone. It’s a wide range of products including machines navigating waves of technology from mechanical gears to electronic circuits, cryptography encryptions, silicon chips and finally software. But this has fallen ever since the US pulled out of it, as the world’s shifting towards online encryption technologies.

Reports reveal that CIA along with Germany’s BND has a controlling stake in Crypto AG until the early 1990s. The relationship was kept confidential partnership and hasn’t leaked until till date. And when BND exited from Crypto AG in the early 1990s, the CIA has acquired BND’s stake and remained in it until 2018.

One of the Crypto AG’s machines; H-460

Crypto AG clients include the US, Germany, Iran, Latin America, arch-rivals India and Pakistan and the even Vatican. Yet, no one knew that the US along with Germany rigged Crypto AG’s machines to unearth all their secrets. It’s believed the firm to supply its encryption machines to around 120 nations.

Spied operations include the Iranian hostage’s crisis, Argentina’s military during Falklands war etc. It’s believed that over a dozen nations still rely on Crypto AG’s machines. And when the Swiss government liquidated the firm, CyOne acquired all its shares and now claims that it has no clients.

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