[rc5] Enigma and Purple (was Re: One Time Pad)

Skip Huffman SHuffman at Atl.Carreker.Com
Tue Oct 28 08:53:23 EST 1997


On Mon, 27 Oct 1997 15:23:51 -0500, Ranjit Annamalai wrote:

>Does anyone know the particulars on how those two systems worked
>and how we managed to crack them encryption scheme?  From what I
>remember we managed to crack  one of the systems before we actually got
>a hold of the code wheels.  Is this because in actuality the code wheel
>combinations weren't longer than the message or that the wheels weren't
>changed?


There is a book and a very good PBS video called "The Codebreakers"
that goes into exactly that.  To my chagrin I have not yet read the
book, but I have seen the video.  
Alan Turing is the central figure.

The major difference that I see between OTP and Enigma is randomness. 
If the wheel is moved one position it is not random, it is sequencial. 
Also the wheels were not changed for each message, so there was
repetition.  The wheel may even have been reset to zero at the
beginning of each message, but I do not know that for sure.

Enigma was cracked the old fashioned way.  Heavy analysis.  Get lots of
samples, a bunch of really smart mathemeticians, a long table, a BIG
pot of coffee and get to work.

Skip Huffman
Carreker-Antinori
Atlanta Office
Quality Group
"A penny saved may be a penny earned, but it's a waste of
 a deposit slip and it really pisses off the tellers."


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