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[dupe] Swiss crypto company backdoored by CIA for decades (bbc.com)
59 points by jascii 15 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 20 comments

Post from yesterday: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=22309478

And the day before: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=22297963

[Edited to be less annoying and more useful, sorry about that]

> Edited to be less annoying and more useful, sorry about that

Thank you, much better :)

Changed my downvote to an upvote.

What I don't understand about this "news" is why it was published by mainstream media now. Anybody interested in cryptography knew about the Crypto AG debacle since around the late 90s, it was mentioned in every discussion next to the infamous Clipper chip.

Could someone who followed this more closely educate me what has changed in comparison to earlier accounts of the "news"?

If this is coming out now it means the CIA has found a better mechanism to spy

This was "out" over a decade ago.

> This was "out" over a decade ago.

"This" now was not out until now, actually. The "new news" are the aspects of the actual direct ownership of a "Swiss" company by the BND and CIA and a lot of new juicy details in the Washington Post article. The readers can check my other comment here, and then the original new coverage (by the Washington Post and ZDF), not the "second hand" articles.

It's newsworthy! Or at least, the original stories (from a few days ago) were. The specifics are worth reading about.

>His technology became so advanced that the US government worried it would stop them spying on other governments' communications. //

And now it's happening again with 5G ...?!

A timely reminder never to use voting machines.

Note: By crypto they mean cryptography here.

Have we really gotten to the stage where this needs to be said?

I did interpret this as being related to cryptocurrency, so quite possibly.


I was stating my initial interpretation from the title alone.

It should be a given that responding in a chain with the OP stating 'By crypto they mean cryptography here.' I have ascertained the 'crypto' in the title now refers to cryptography.

You want a cookie? Where did I imply you didn't know?

My point is with or without this comment which now appears for every reference of "crypto" you would find out very easily.

I spelled out why it wouldn't have taken more than 5 seconds for anyone to realize, even if the comment wasn't there.

You now flagged comment was explaining ways one could check. I was showing this explanation was redundant.

I forget not everyone is capable of understanding subtext. The subtext of explaining how trivial it is to check, is that the comment is not needed for every single post with the word crypto

The company was called Crypto AG, so some disambiguation is understandable.

Sadly probably yes.

It would be pretty impressive if they had backdoored a Bitcoin company decades ago

The actual title of the article is "Swiss machines 'used to spy on governments for decades'." The title on HN currently is against the HN policy.

Also there is a washingtonpost.com original, where BBC is only talking about it, and the original was extensively commented on HN recently:


To those who earlier read about the company (even in Wikipedia!) before the article appeared the first part of that long article had almost no big surprises, describing more the general context. The "new" news are the BND involvement and the actual partial ownership by the CIA, but all that lacks the juicy details.

The second part, having more details, is actually very interesting, the things that appear like in the movies.

For example, an interesting coincidence about what happened to the son of the company's founder:

"Hagelin had once hoped to turn control over to his son, Bo. But U.S. intelligence officials regarded him as a “wild card” and worked to conceal the partnership from him. Bo Hagelin was killed in a car crash on Washington’s Beltway in 1970. There were no indications of foul play."


"Each year, the CIA and BND split any profits Crypto had made, according to the German history, which says the BND handled the accounting and delivered the cash owed to the CIA in an underground parking garage."


"The Germans were taken aback by the Americans’ willingness to spy on all but its closest allies, with targets including NATO members Spain, Greece, Turkey and Italy."

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