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Latest news
This page contains the latest news regarding the subjects on the Crypto Museum website. Important developments and crypto-related news will be reported here. We also send out Twitter notifications every now and then. Click the Twitter icon at the top of the page to read our tweets.

Older news can be read by using the blue buttons on the left or the grey buttons at the top.

C-52 and CX-52 uncovered
24 February 2021

After more than two years of researching the wide variety of Hagelin C-52 and CX-52 cipher machines in collections, museums and auctions, Bart Wessel has just published his long awaited technical paper on these unique machines.

He explains the many types, models, versions, variants and other differences, and gives a detailed account of how they work.

 Download the paper
 About the CX-52
CX-52 parts

SG-41 uncovered
6 February 2021

At last a detailed technical description of the operating principle of Schlüsselgerät-41, also known as SG-41 or Hitlermühle (Hitler Mill), is now available in a paper by Klaus Kopacz and Paul Reuvers.

 Download the SG-41 paper
 Visit our publications page
 Visit the SG-41 page

SG-41 in 'folded' condition

ICCH website goes live
5 February 2021

The International Conference on Cryptologic History (ICCH) is a forum for the discussion of cryptologic history. Established in 2004 as 'Crypto Collectors', the group includes members located in many countries around the world. ICCH holds events - both online and in-person – and has an e-mail list for general discussion. As of today, the ICCH has an official website.

 Visit the ICCH website

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Fialka Manual free of charge
6 January 2021

To provide a little bit of comfort in these difficult COVID-19 times, we have decided to make the Fialka Reference Manual available free of charge.

This manual, that was first released in 2005, contains detailed information and drawings of the Russian M-125 (Fialka) cipher machine. It used to be available in printed form for EUR 55 from our museum shop, but is now totally free. However, if you appreciate our work, you might want to consider making a small donation.

 Download the manual

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Objects from Museum Jan Corver for sale
14 December 2020

After 25 years, Museum Jan Corver, the HAM radio museum of The Netherlands, is closing its doors, due to the high age of the owner and the lack of a successor. For the core collection, the museum foundation is still looking for a successor. All items related to espionage have been handed over to Crypto Museum.

The remaining objects – thousands of radio-related items – have been handed over to Stichting Onterfd Goed in Eind­hoven (Netherlands), where they are now for sale.

 Onterfd Goed website

Professor Oberman
14 December 2020

Currently in preparation is a paper about the Dutch Professor Oberman and his crypto-related work during the years 1946-1965, which will be presented at the forthcoming HistoCrypt Conference, that will be held in The Netherlands in September 2021 (subject to Corona crisis developments).

People who have background information or (better) documentation about Professor Oberman's crypto-related work, or who have worked with him in the past on the subject, are kindly invited to contact us. Also, if you have a specific question about Professor Oberman's crypto-related work, that could assist the research, we would like to hear from you.

 About Professor Oberman
 Contact us
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Swiss neutrality
26 November 2020

Following the revelation of Operation Rubicon in February of this year, and the subsequent Swiss parliametary investigation that published its results earlier this month, the Swiss television program Rundschau now reveals that another Swiss manufacturer of high-end crypto gear, Omnisec AG, was also in the pocket of the CIA.

 Read the full story
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The International Cryptology Game
25 October 2020

Great news from Poland. The next edition of the CODEBREAKERS International Cryptology Game is about to start. The game is dedicated to Polish mathematicians who broke the code of the well-known German Enigma cipher machine, which is now 88 years ago. The secret work of the Polish mathematicians contributed considerably to the success and victory of the Allies during WWII.

The game will be released in six languages — English, French, Spanish, German, Polish and Russian — and combines elements of history, mathematics and logic in an accessible way. By learning about encryption and decryption methods, the participants solve virtual puzzles and break increasingly difficult secret messages.

It is worth noting that everyone can enter the game, as long as they can read. There are three levels of difficulty: TRIAL, BASIC, ADVENTURE. Prior knowlege about breaking ciphers is not required. Depending on the level of difficulty, each team may consists of 1, 2 or 3 people.

Sign up now:

Crypto International AG files for bankruptcy
27 August 2020

Following the news of early last month (see below), that Crypto International AG — the successor to Crypto AG — was about to dismiss most of its workforce, the Swiss newspaper NZZ has just announced that the company has filed for bankruptcy.

The activities will be taken over by the Swedish company Asperiq Group AB, which is also owned by Andreas and Emma Linde. A few weeks ago, on 7 August, the Linde family also registered a new company by the name of Asperiq AG with the Swiss chamber of commerce.

 Read the NZZ article

Mass layoffs at Crypto International AG
4 July 2020

According to the Swiss newspaper Neue Züricher Zeitung (NZZ), Crypto International AG (CIAG), announced yesterday that it will lay off 83 of its 85 staff, which is nearly the entire work­force. CIAG was established two years ago by Swedish entrepreneurs Emma and Andreas Linde, when they purchased part of the product portfolio of the former Crypto AG (Hagelin).

In February, journalists from the Washington Post, German televion ZDF and Swiss television SRF, had revealed that for many years, the equipment from Crypto AG has been manipulated by BND and CIA, under the name Operation RUBICON. Following these revelations, the Swiss Government has withdrown the export licence of CIAG and has announced a formal criminal investigation.

 Read the NZZ article

Maximator: European five-eyes revealed
7 April 2020

In an article in Intelligence and National Security, Dutch Professor of computer security Bart Jacobs reveals the existence of a secret signals intelligence partnership that can be seen as the European equivalent of the UKUSA Five Eyes. The partnership — known as MAXIMATOR — started in the late 1970s and comprises Denmark, Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands and France. It is believed that it is still active today.

 Full article
 Argos Radio (Dutch)
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Operation RUBICON
19 March 2020

The full story of Operation RUBICON — the secret purchase of Crypto AG (Hagelin) by the American CIA and the German BND — is now available on the Crypto Museum website.

 Read the full story
 In the media
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Philips helped the CIA to spy on Turkey
20 February 2020

Today, the Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant, revealed how Philips created a superchip to eavesdrop on the diplomatic traffic of many countries, including Turkey. This was done by supplying these countries with a rigged version of the Aroflex cipher machine.

 Volkskrant website
 More about Aroflex
Philips Aroflex

The intelligence coup of the century
11 February 2020

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 we already knew 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 now 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 sister ZfCh - to read nearly all diplomatic traffic of the countries that were on the CIA/NSA target list.

 Learn more
Click to see more

Over the course of the next few days and weeks, several news media will report about Operation RUBICON, starting tonight with the German ZDF television program Frontal-21, And tomorrow morning, the US newspaper The Washington Post will give a detailed account of the operation. Crypto Museum will provide detailed technical backgrounds at a later moment. Coming soon...

Enigma. We have got news.
6 December 2019

It is widely known that the Poles were the first to break the Enigma cipher, and that – just before the outbreak of WWII – they shared their know­ledge with French and British intelligence, during a secret meeting in Pyry (Poland). However, the exact details of the Pyry meeting have so far never been found in French or British archives.

In this video, Polish writer Marek Grajek presents new facts about the breaking of Enigma, based on files disclosed by French intelligence in 2016, and comments on it together with Sir Dermot Turing and Prof. Philippe Guillot.

 Watch the video (English subtitles)
 Same videowith French subtitles
Click to see more

Secret Communications 3
4 June 2019

Following the success of our earlier exhibitions in 2013 and 2016, Crypto Museum has once again teamed up with Athur Bauer's Foundation for German Communication in Duivendrecht (Netherlands) for an exhibition that will open in November of this year.

 More information
Resonant cavity microphone for 360 MHz

NSA intervention in The Netherlands
20 April 2019

The Dutch investigative radio program Argos will today reveal how the NSA changed the algorithm of an existing consumer encryption device, with help from multinational electronics giant Philips.

The story, which dates back to 1983, involves a pocket computer with built-in DES encryption, and even Nelson Mandela. Discover how the PX-1000 – developed by Text Lite and marketed as a pocket telex – was weakened to give the NSA an advantage over other agencies.

 Replay the broadcast
 About the PX-1000
Original PX-1000 made in 1983

KGB Spy Museum opens in New York City
17 January 2019

Today, the exciting new KGB Spy Museum in Manhattan (New York) opens its doors to the press. Over the past few months Lithuanian collector Julius Urbaitis and his daughter Agne have been working hard to bring an interesting and diverse collection of Cold War Spy gadgets together in their new 4000 square-feet museum at 245 West 14th Street in New York.

The museum will be dedicated to the history of the KGB and its far-reaching operations over the years. There are many artifacts, including spy cameras, spy radios, concealment devices, cipher machines, etc.

 More about the museum
 KGB Spy Museum website
Click to see more

 News in 2018

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Crypto Museum. Last changed: Thursday, 25 February 2021 - 07:55 CET.
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