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[Cryptography] Second Swiss firm allegedly sold encrypted spying devices
Swiss public television, SRF, has found a second company besides Crypto
AG was involved in manufacturing manipulated devices allegedly used for
spying by foreign intelligence.
November 26, 2020 - 11:34
According to SRF sources, the Swiss company Omnisec AG had ties to US
intelligence services. This follows revelations in February by SRF,
German television ZDF and The Washington Post that Zug-based firm Crypto
AG was at the heart of a huge international spying operation led by the
CIA, and to a lesser extent by the German BND spy agency. Omnisec was
one of the largest competitors of Crypto AG.
Swiss cryptologist and professor Ueli Maurer was a consultant for
Omnisec for years and told SRF that in 1989 US intelligence services
(National Security Agency) contacted Omnisec through him.
Of concern are the OC-500 series devices. Devices were sold to several
Swiss federal agencies. However, Swiss authorities only noticed the
devices weren't secure in the mid-2000s.
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