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Toy Converted Into an Enigma Machine

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the my-first-encryption dept.

Toys 39

An anonymous reader writes "Enigma machines (the machine Germans used to encrypt messages during World War II) are cool, both from the perspective of the technology behind them and the effort that went into cracking them. This project shows how to convert a toy from a second-hand store into an Enigma machine."

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39 comments

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Obligatory AYBABTU (0)

intellitech (1912116) | more than 3 years ago | (#35212498)

All your message are belong to us

A new source for Munitions! (1)

sabt-pestnu (967671) | more than 3 years ago | (#35212632)

Every child should have his own implements of war!

Oh, wait... they stopped putting it on the munitions list in what, 1992? Well how about toy rockets, then? Toy Rockets can be very dangerous in the right hands!

Re:A new source for Munitions! (1)

stealth_finger (1809752) | more than 3 years ago | (#35213720)

Toy Rockets can be very dangerous in the right hands!

Or awesome!

Re:A new source for Munitions! (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 3 years ago | (#35214082)

I'm waiting for them to ban model airplanes myself. After all if you mount a cam on one you could take pictures of....things! Terrorists could use pictures of things to plan...well...stuff!

Seriously while this is a cool hack it shows that all that is really needed is a good imagination and the will to tinker to turn just about any CPU into something that could be theoretically useful to a foreign power or terrorist. After all that is kinda the point of Turning complete, isn't it? That a Turning complete machine can simulate any other Turning complete given enough time and/or cycles?

Re:A new source for Munitions! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35214954)

Turing. Not turning.

Re:A new source for Munitions! (1)

FilthCatcher (531259) | more than 3 years ago | (#35217182)

Or maybe he's discussing hand-crank-powered devices.

It would have been a lot cooler (5, Insightful)

joeflies (529536) | more than 3 years ago | (#35212652)

if the hack didn't involve sticking an arduino in it. When you add that part, it's not really a hack anymore, it's just a replacement cover for new internals.

Re:It would have been a lot cooler (1)

zill (1690130) | more than 3 years ago | (#35212974)

However without the Arduino they wouldn't have enough blog-creds to get on /..

PS: What's a better alternative to "/.."?

Re:It would have been a lot cooler (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35212998)

/. . /.

Re:It would have been a lot cooler (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35213082)

PS: What's a better alternative to "/.."?

Parent Directory?

Or perhaps if that isn't what you meant, you could just not be lazy and type "Slashdot.".

Re:It would have been a lot cooler (2)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | more than 3 years ago | (#35214432)

parent directory is ../ (or just ..)

/.. would be the parent directory of ROOT. so direct access to god?

Re:It would have been a lot cooler (1)

tonique (1176513) | more than 3 years ago | (#35215240)

No, it's SOIL.

(Or SEED, but that doesn't exist any more.)

Re:It would have been a lot cooler (1)

Applekid (993327) | more than 3 years ago | (#35213328)

if the hack didn't involve sticking an arduino in it. When you add that part, it's not really a hack anymore, it's just a replacement cover for new internals.

Complete agreement here. It's not so much converting a toy into an Enigma machine, it's using a toy as an interface to an Enigma emulator.

Re:It would have been a lot cooler (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#35218562)

What would make it cool would be if the device would work normally until you pressed some key combination. Which might be how it is, I only glanced over TFA. And even cooler would be if it used some kind of secure crypto. Solitaire?

Re:It would have been a lot cooler (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35213878)

Yep.. same sentiment here. He didn't re-purpose the toy, he gutted it.

How about an enigma machine made out of paper? (2)

sean_nestor (781844) | more than 3 years ago | (#35212806)

Re:How about an enigma machine made out of paper? (1)

RealGrouchy (943109) | more than 3 years ago | (#35215516)

That's cool.

The documentation could be clarified. I.e. Operation should start with:

1a. Before encoding/decoding a letter, shift the right rotor up one space.
1b. If the (up arrow) notch is in the window row (Row A), the next time you move that rotor, also move the rotor to its left.

When you decipher the sample message, "QMJIDO MZWZJFJR," you learn the German word for "Ovaltine".

- RG>

Slightly off topic, but... (1)

zill (1690130) | more than 3 years ago | (#35212946)

I sincerely apologize for combining anti-semitism, meme spewing, and off-topic all in one post, but I believe this image [wordpress.com] is relevant.

Oops (1)

davegravy (1019182) | more than 3 years ago | (#35213090)

This project shows how to convert a toy from a second-hand store into an Enigma machine.

The only problem with that word is how closely it resembles the word: Enima

Re:Oops (1)

ELCouz (1338259) | more than 3 years ago | (#35213124)

You mean... Enema ?

Re:Oops (1)

davegravy (1019182) | more than 3 years ago | (#35213200)

Re:Oops (1)

gknoy (899301) | more than 3 years ago | (#35214644)

... Which would be a misspelling of the proper word for the same thing?

Re:Oops (1)

The Archon V2.0 (782634) | more than 3 years ago | (#35216242)

We spend months bickering about reliability of Wikipedia articles and then someone comes along and cites the Urban Dictionary.

Why do we even try?

Re:Oops (1)

davegravy (1019182) | more than 3 years ago | (#35213248)

Re:Oops (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35216354)

What do Chuck Norris and a platypus have to do with it?

Re:Oops (1)

CheerfulMacFanboy (1900788) | more than 3 years ago | (#35213192)

This project shows how to convert a toy from a second-hand store into an Enigma machine.

The only problem with that word is how closely it resembles the word: Enima

Don't tell Edward Nigma, or he'll riddle you with bullets. If he can figure out what you mean.

Misses most of the coolness (4, Insightful)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 3 years ago | (#35213102)

Which is the mechanical aspect. Doing it all in software just doesn't count.

Used by the germans??? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35213344)

The Enigma machine was made and used by the British, not ze Germans.

Just sayin....

Re:Used by the germans??? (1)

keitosama (990483) | more than 3 years ago | (#35214024)

No, they were used by the Germans as well as other countries.

Re:Used by the germans??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35214064)

ur wrong mate

Re:Used by the germans??? (1)

gknoy (899301) | more than 3 years ago | (#35214684)

The first Enigma was invented by German engineer Arthur Scherbius at the end of World War I.[1] This model and its variants were used commercially from the early 1920s, and adopted by military and government services of several countries — most notably by Nazi Germany before and during World War II.[2] Several different Enigma models were produced, but the German military models, the Wehrmacht Enigmas, are the ones most commonly discussed.

from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enigma_machine [wikipedia.org]

The British captured an Enigma machine from a U-boat, and then cracked the code and used it to read a large amount of previously-secret German communications. Sorry, you basically had it completely backwards. :)

This is crude! (1)

Virtucon (127420) | more than 3 years ago | (#35215200)

It should have been done with Legos!

Thanks a lot (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 3 years ago | (#35216028)

Now when I see my kids playing with their Speak n Spell I'll wonder if they have been recruited into a clandestine neo-Nazi organization.

Re:Thanks a lot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35216492)

not a neo-Nazi organization, but they are being recruited for a clandestine operation known as 'growing up.

The goal it to play your emotions like a fiddle while they drain your wallet.

Re:Thanks a lot (1)

Born2bwire (977760) | more than 3 years ago | (#35218352)

"E-u-g-e-n-i-c-s... Eugenics."

"Say it... Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Fuehrer."

Ein Robert Reich (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#35249952)

Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Fuehrer

Ein Volkswagen, ein Robert Reich, Ayn Rand.

No plugboard or Ringstellung so not really... (1)

ozratman (1139715) | more than 3 years ago | (#35218524)

No plugboard or even a Ringstellung (inner ring settings) so not really a wartime enigma. It's only simulating the rotors of a pre war enigma that could be beaten by some bigram tables and/or a crib. Still top marks for a circuit bent crypto project.

MUNIX (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35218834)

MUNIX Super Root == /..

I couldn't concentrate on the video (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35219540)

All I could concentrate on was the fat breathing.

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