Swiss perspectives in 10 languages

Swiss defence contractor denies second hack claims

André Wall
RUAG CEO André Wall (pictured here before his move to RUAG last November) is suspicious of the latest hacking claims. Keystone / Steffen Schmidt

The Swiss government-owned defence contractor RUAG International says it has found no evidence of a second major hack but does admit uncovering “serious security flaws” in its IT system.

In an interview with the Neue Zürcher Zeitung newspaper, RUAG CEO André Wall cast doubt over the veracity of media claims that hackers recently infiltrated the company for a second time.

“We have no indication of a hack like the one presented by Rundschau [the Swiss public television SRF programme that brought the claims]. We have no indication that data was accessed or stolen,” Wall said on FridayExternal link.

He added that Rundschau had declined to make all of its evidence available to RUAG’s investigation. He speculates that the Rundschau reporters may have been duped by malicious actors.

This, he suggests, may be motivated by RUAG’s decision to sell off parts of its business, including its munitions-making division. “Hackers usually have a motivation. They want to extort money or change something. What’s the motivation here?”

But Wall does admit that the external review of IT security had found serious problems. “As a result, we had to implement some immediate measures, such as rolling out patches immediately and expanding our security monitoring,” he said.

The company did suffer an earlier serious hack, suspected to have originated in Russia, between 2014 and 2016. This resulted in the company separating its Swiss and international activities.

RUAG confirmed earlier this year that it had decided to sell off its defence-related divisions to concentrate on the booming space market.

The disputed allegations of a second hack last month caused some politicians to demand the sell-off to be suspended.

In compliance with the JTI standards

More: SWI certified by the Journalism Trust Initiative

You can find an overview of ongoing debates with our journalists here. Please join us!

If you want to start a conversation about a topic raised in this article or want to report factual errors, email us at

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR