Hagelin/Crypto AG History

This time line will illustrate machine development by the Swiss Hagelin/Crypto AG Company from the 1940's to the 1960's.

Graphic source: Extracted from the History of Hagelin Cryptos and provided courtesy John Alexander, G7GCK Leicester, England. E-mail: See Museum Info section.

This is 14 Luntmakaragatan Street in Stockholm, Sweden where Hagelin's original factory and  headquarters  (Aktiebolaget Cryptoteknik) stood in the early 1930's according to David Kahn's "The Codebreakers". (Photo courtesy Frederic Andre, email: fred_dess(at)hotmail.com)

The Intelligence Coup of the Century

For many years it has been speculated that the cipher machines of Crypto AG (Hagelin) have exploitable weaknesses (backdoors) that can be used by Western intelligence services to break encrypted messages.From the Friedman Collection it was already known that a secret unwritten Gentleman's Agreement existed between Hagelin and the American NSA from 1951 onwards.

But the actual story is almost unimaginable. Investigative journalists of the German TV station ZDF, and the American newspaper Washington Post, have discovered that in 1970, Crypto AG was secretly purchased by the German Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND) and the American Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in a covert operation named RUBICON. For several decades, it enabled NSA - and its German counterpart ZfCh - to read virtually all diplomatic traffic of the countries that were on the CIA/NSA target list.

Over the course of the following days and weeks, several news media will report about Operation RUBICON,starting Tuesday 11 February 2020 at 21:00 (CET) with the German ZDF television program Frontal-21,followed the next morning by the US newspaper Washington Post. On Wednesday 12 February at 21:00,the Swiss SRF television program Rundschau will broadcast a one-hour feature on the subject. On Saturday15 February at 14:00 (CET), the Dutch radio program Argos will reveal some of the Dutch aspects of Operation RUBICON. This broadcast will be available as a podcast later.

For a full media overview, please check the Crypto Museum page about operation RUBICON regularly:

Crypto Museum have prepared a full in-depth review of Operation RUBICON, in which a detailed account ofthe technical aspects of the operation will be given. It will be released through the above link, as soon as the dust has settled. As part of our review, we have created more than 20 new pages about Crypto AG (Hagelin) equipment,
and other subjects that are related to the operation. All of this will be released soon.

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Feb 11/20