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Crypto International AG
Successor to Crypto AG

Crypto International AG, or CIAG, is a Swiss manufacturer of cryptographic and communications equipment, and a provider of cyber security services, based in Hünenberg 1 (Switzerland). It is the successor to Crypto AG – the company founded by Boris Hagelin in 1952 – since 1 February 2018.


Crypto International AG is owned by the Swedish cyber security entrepreneur Andreas Linde, who took over the portfolio of Crypto AG (Hagelin) on 1 February 2018. For an overview of historical and legacy products, please refer to our Crypto AG page or visit the company's website below.

 Products
 History

  1. Until 11 February 2021 located in Steinhausen (Switzerland).

Operation RUBICON
On 11 February 2020, the German, Swiss and American press revealed that the predecessor of Crypto International AG — Crypto AG (Hagelin) — had been owned and operated since 1970 by the German intelligence Service Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND) and the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), as part of a secret operation code­named RUBICON. 1 Although the BND had left the operation in 1994, the CIA continued until the assets had been transferred to Linde in 2018 [1].

Shortly after the revelation of Operation RUBICON, the Swiss Government announced that pending a formal investigation, the export licence of Crypto International AG (CIAG) had been suspended. This appears strange, as CIAG was a completely knew legal entity that had no official ties with the old Crypto AG. In the first week of March, the police raided the offices of Crypto International AG in Steinhausen (Switzerland) to secure evidence, awaiting a formal SECO investigation [2].

On 3 July 2020, the Swiss newspaper Neue Züricher Zeitung (NZZ) announced that CIAG was about to lay off 83 of its 85 staff, which was effectively the entire workforce [3]. It seems likely that the two owners – Andreas and Emma Linde – were the only two remaining employees. It is currently unknown whether they will be taking legal steps against the former owners or the former directors of the old (now liquidated) Crypto AG. A few weeks later, the same newspaper announced that CIAG had filed for bankruptcy [7], although this seems doubtful as the company is not registered as such with the Commercial Register in the Swiss Kanton of Zug [8].

1 April 2021 - the CRYPTO logo is removed from the building in Steinhausen. © Copyright Patrick Hürlimann Fotografie [10].

On 11 February 2021, the company moved its legal seat from Steinhausen to a new address in Hünenberg [8] and updated its website accordingly. By June 2021 the old premises in Steinhausen was abandonned and the logo was removed from its facade. According to the local newspaper Zuger Zeitung, plans are underway for demolition of the 1966 factory and the administration buildings to make room for approx. 200 appartments [9].

The image above was made on 1 April 2021 by professional photographer Patrick Hürlimann in Steinhausen, when the company logo was removed from the now abandonned building in Stein­hausen. Over the course of the past year, Patrick has made an impressive series of photographs of the downfall of the once so big and famous Swiss company [10].  More photographs

 More about Operation RUBICON

  1. Initially called Operation THESAURUS, but later renamed RUBICON.  More

Asperiq AG
On 21 August 2020, the Swiss newspaper Tagesanzeiger revealed that after the announcement of the mass layoffs, on 4 July 2020, the company owners – Andreas and Emma Linde – had registered a new company with the Swiss Chamber of Commerce, named Asperiq AG [4]. The registration became effective on 7 August 2020 [5]. It is likely that Asperiq AG is affiliated with the Swedish Asperiq Group AB – founded in 2017 – as it is als owned by the Linde family.

 About Asperiq


Official address
  • Until 11 February 2021
    Crypto International AG
    Zugerstrasse 42
    6312 Steinhausen
    Switzerland

    Phone: +41 (0)41 749 7722
    Website: www.crypto.ch

  • From 11 February 2021
    Crypto International AG
    Rothusstrasse 23
    6331 Hünenberg
    Phone: +41 (0)41 749 7722
    Website: www.crypto.ch
References
  1. Crypto Museum, Operation RUBICON
    February 2020.

  2. Urs Paul Engeler, Razzia bei der Crypto AG
    Handelszeitung (Switzerland). 18 March 2020.

  3. Marcel Gyr, Crypto International entlässt fast die gesamte Belegschaft...
    Neue Züricher Zeitung (NZZ), 3 July 2020.

  4. Tagesanzeiger, Crypto International: Eigentümer gründen neue Firma
    Retrieved August 2020.

  5. Monetas Handelsregister, Asperiq AG
    Retrieved August 2020.

  6. Monetas Handelsregister, Crypto International AG
    Retrieved June 2021.

  7. Marcel Gyr, Crypto International enlässt fast die gesamte Belegschaft —
    als Folge eines fragwürdigen Enscheids des Bundesrats
    Neue Züricher Zeitung (NZZ), 3 July 2020.

  8. Commercial Register Kanton Zug, Crypto International AG
    CHE-421.008.995. 21 December 2017 — 11 February 2021.

  9. Zuger Zeitung, The final dismantling of Crypto AG
    8 June June 2021. Photographs: Patrick Hürlimann, 7 April 2021.

  10. Patrick Hürlimann, Taking down the CRYPTO logo from the building in Steinhausen
    1 April 2021. Reproduced here with permission from the artist.
Further information
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© Crypto Museum. Created: Tuesday 14 January 2020. Last changed: Monday, 14 June 2021 - 09:55 CET.
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