Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Do-It-Yourself Electronic Enigma Machine

timothy posted more than 10 years ago | from the beats-pig-latin dept.

Encryption 213

Radio Shack Robot writes "The Enigma-E is a DIY Building Kit that enables you to build your own electronic variant of the famous Enigma coding machine that was used by the German army during WWII. It works just like a real Enigma and is compatible with an M3 and M4 Enigma as well as the standard Service Machines. A message encrypted on, say, a real Enigma M4 can be read on the Enigma-E and vice versa."

cancel ×

213 comments

A friendly reminder from your local SCO-chapter (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8354640)

WHAT OPERATING SYSTEM DO YOU USE because it has ALL BEEN LOGGED!.

"ONE LINE OF SOURCE CODE MEANS GUILTY!"

You had a safe, comfortable middle-class life? No, you thought you had, but you didn't. You are a CRIMINAL, you are GUILTY and you can be EXECUTED.

You are just another statistic criminal. Do you want YOU and your PARTNER and KIDS to be DRAGGED from your home and SHOT IN THE STREET?

Is your anus [hick.org] insured for AIDS RAPE? [crazyninjas.org]

Does your life insurance cover FORCED PRISON SEX [crazyninjas.org] and AIDS DEATH [adorablebunnies.com] ? Check the policy - maybe not. Does "your" life-insurance carry a clause in the contract about perverts [cmdrtaco.net] , convicts [cowboyneal.org] and enemies of society [slashdot.org] JUST LIKE YOU? Why should they insure "SOURCE CODE THIEVES" like you?

Scociety hates you.

What are your family going to do when you are jailed for 50 years with no parole? Do you reckon your spouse will hang around for 1 year let alone 50 years before they get lonely and find another partner to love them [touchedmyjunk.com] ?

You can be JAILED and RAPED.

A great big muscle-bound GAY RAPIST [georgebush.com] will tie you to the PRISON BARS and RAPE YOUR ASS [hick.org] with his AIDS AND WART-INFESTED PENIS [crazyninjas.org] .

You will be forced to SUCK AIDS INFECTED DICKS [lemonparty.org] . Do you want that?

SOCIETY SUCKS and you had better get used to it because this is what you can expect when YOUR COMPUTER is EXAMINED FOR EVIDENCE [kernel.org] by the "government".

You will soon learn how "LAWFUL" AND "CORRECT" your government is when you are being raped and the prison guards are looking the other way - or WATCHING or JOINING IN.

DO YOU WANT TO BE RAPED? WELL, DO YOU?

Your "government" wants you to be RAPED IN THE ASS [redcoat.net] and you had better wise up before they get YOUR ass, because they can recover what OS you use LAST YEAR and use it to kidnap you and rape you.

STOP yourself and your family and kids being kidnapped and raped by criminals.

Protect yourself - don't be a dirty GNU hippie - BUY A SCO(R) LISENCE(tm) TODAY!.

NOW ONLY $699, YOU COCK SMOKING TEABAGGERS!!!!! [thescogroup.com]


This message was generated by the good GOATDOCTOR - Proctologist by Trade (now with 33% more niggardly behaviour!)

Re:A friendly reminder from your local SCO-chapter (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8354885)

Awwwww, now you are a cuddly cuddle-bear!

If you only weren't soooo ugly, someone would even love you.

No thank you... (-1, Offtopic)

Bones3D_mac (324952) | more than 10 years ago | (#8354641)

My bowels are fine.

OMG (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8354642)

Oh...my...god...

This third post is such a nigger [jeffcovey.net] .

Hi mom! [nazi.org]

I need Portland Group's Fortran compiler, please (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8354757)

For Linux, that is.

Could someone please post a copy on Kazaa? I can't seem to be able to find much Linux stuff on Kazaa anyway.

Had some hot singaporean pussy (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8354647)

Mmm... what a night!

Do you have a deathwish? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8354682)

Do you have a deathwish or what?

Never, ever have casual sex with muslim women! If their family finds out about you two, she'll be killed and then her family will be coming after you.

Are you an asshat? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8354804)

The majority of Singaporeans are Chinese.

Re:Are you an asshat? (0, Offtopic)

gujo-odori (473191) | more than 10 years ago | (#8355050)

The majority of *rich* Singaporeans are Chinese, but the majority of Singaporeans are Malays, and the great majority of them are Muslims.

But no worries, the ones you'll get laid by are Chinese, and they're hot.

Well, that's just dandy, but (-1, Offtopic)

Bishop, Martin (695163) | more than 10 years ago | (#8354650)

does it run linux? Someone had to say it, I'm proud to be the first.

Thatcher's speeches available on 3 CDs (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8354802)

Now this is just sick [bbc.co.uk] :

"The speeches of Lady Thatcher are to be released as a boxed set of CDs.

The three-disc compilation of the Conservative former prime minister's greatest hits includes a speech set to acid house music."

What's the point? (5, Interesting)

PacoTaco (577292) | more than 10 years ago | (#8354651)

If you're not going to do the real thing, why not just make a software replica?

Re:What's the point? (4, Funny)

The Snowman (116231) | more than 10 years ago | (#8354696)

If you're not going to do the real thing, why not just make a software replica?

What kind of geek are you? Don't you find it cool to have tons of useless hardware laying around???

Re:What's the point? (5, Insightful)

Nakito (702386) | more than 10 years ago | (#8354736)

why not just make a software replica?

Maybe for the same reason that it's more fun to fly an airplane than to fly MS Flight Simulator, even if you're not flying an F-16. Simulations are nice, but sometimes you just want to get away from your computer and play with tangible things. And just because it's not the historical Enigma doesn't mean it's not cool in its own right.

Re:What's the point? (4, Interesting)

mm0mm (687212) | more than 10 years ago | (#8354773)

If you're not going to do the real thing, why not just make a software replica?
1. just preference
2. educational purposes
3. more tangible interface than multi-tasking keyboard/mouse + monitor
4. hobbyist mentality
5. nostalgia to pre-PC era

there are ways to achieve the same result, and obviously some people prefer harder and more time-consuming way. Also for some people writing code may take more time than building a DIY kit. some people prefer to drive 67 mustang than 03 accord or mercedes. others ride a bicycle.

Re:What's the point? (5, Interesting)

eclectro (227083) | more than 10 years ago | (#8354783)


Steve Ciarcia of Circuit Cellar [circuitcellar.com] fame once said "Soldering iron is my favorite computer language."

Well, it's mine too. For those who don't know who Steve is, there was this magazine on the newstands that was really cool to read and it was called "Byte" [byte.com] . Steve ranked up there with the Woz for hardware crafting.

I remember back in the day when you would go to the store and it was the only computer magazine there.

If you like crafting hardware, you can have a lot of fun by finding a library (most likely university) that has the back issues shelved somewhere.

Yes, I'm older than most of you here.

Re:What's the point? (4, Funny)

beaverfever (584714) | more than 10 years ago | (#8355031)

I remember back in the day when you would go to the store and it was the only computer magazine there. ...and we'd have to walk 40 miles in the rain, up hill, to get to the store, and when we got there, magazines were only a nickel, but we'd have to save for a month just to get that nickel. Anyways, we'd get home with our magazines and read them by the light of an oil lamp, and we were happy!

Oh those computers, they were as big as a barn, and every time we booted them we'd have to punch in every line of *bonk!*

Re:What's the point? (4, Interesting)

MobyTurbo (537363) | more than 10 years ago | (#8354793)

I recall reading that the original Unix crypt(3) algorithm was based on the Enigma machine. It was picked specifically because it was already broken, so that the NSA wouldn't complain. Nowadays POSIX (and Linux) crypt(3) uses DES to encrypt, though there are known ways to break crypt's implementation of DES too. (Thus one should enable shadow password files. :-) )

Re:What's the point? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8354821)

I have found out that having a Windows 2000 Server for Kerberized central authentication for all my computers is the way to go.

Re:What's the point? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8355053)

Good luck.

Re:What's the point? (1)

TygerFish (176957) | more than 10 years ago | (#8354933)

If you're not going ot do the real thing, why not just make a software replica?


That's a brilliantly simple, brilliantly clear Idea!

Of course, some of the fun must be a matter of having and assembling some kind of hardware, because when you get to the root of the matter, what you would get with the electronic kit, a software emulation, (or, for that matter, the original machine) would be the ability to generate one of serveral codes that have been cracked for about twice the time that most slashdot readers have been alive.

Re:What's the point? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8355035)

Why make it? Because it's not there, yet!

Original Messages (5, Interesting)

The Snowman (116231) | more than 10 years ago | (#8354653)

I wonder if there is anywhere to get original Nazi Enigma messages to decode.

Re:Original Messages (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8354662)

Try here [nazi.org] .

RTFA (5, Informative)

Safety Cap (253500) | more than 10 years ago | (#8354670)

We've also got a first in the manual: Frode Weierud and Geoff Sullivan, two well respected Enigma researchers,
have aquired a large number of original German army messages, which have never been published before. Especially for the Enigma-E, they've released some of these messages, complete with the related Enigma settings and decrypts.

Re:RTFA (3, Funny)

dj245 (732906) | more than 10 years ago | (#8354854)

Now if only Bablefish could translate German with half the accuracy with which the Enigma machine decodes messages...

"Space Chase" translated to italian, to german, to french, to english, is "continuation of sector".

Re:Original Messages (3, Funny)

Penguinshit (591885) | more than 10 years ago | (#8354717)


Here you go..

Decode this. [216.10.109.153]

Re:Original Messages (1)

chrome (3506) | more than 10 years ago | (#8354764)

I don't know why that was marked as troll. I decoded it. Was funny!

Oh well, some people have no sense of humour :(

Re:Original Messages (3, Funny)

garbagedisposal (728721) | more than 10 years ago | (#8354758)

"I wonder if there is anywhere to get original Nazi Enigma messages to decode."

Yes but where can I get some original Nazi's to send them to?

Re:Original Messages (5, Informative)

orthogonal (588627) | more than 10 years ago | (#8354835)

Yes but where can I get some original Nazi's to send them to?

Well, the flippant answer is Argentina (Or Brazil).

On a more serious note, you might try Latvia [www.dol.ru] ; in 1998 about 500 Latvians, former members of the Waffen-SS marched through Riga to celebrate the 55th anniversary of the SS.

Up until 1996, you could have looked in Indiana in the United States [aeronautics.ru] :
Kazys Ciurinskas, a former member of the Lithuanian SS division accused of killing Russian and Lithuanian Jews and POWs, lived in Indiana since the end of the war. Ciurinskas collected a $540 monthly pension from the German government since 1960 while living in the US and being a US citizen. In a 1995-97 United States of America v. Kazys Ciurinskas case the US District Court in Indiana stripped Ciurinskas of US citizenship.


Interestingly, the amount of the pension paid to these former SS by the German government varies based on their final rank in the SS -- higher ranks get a bigger pension. Only recently -- and only after international pressure -- did the German government modify its pension law to strip the pension from war criminals, and even so, there is no requirement that any investigation be made of recipients, nor is there any mechanism to do so, so even known war criminals can continue to collect payments from the German government.

Ironically, some war criminals even receive, in addition to their normal pensions what are called "victim's" pensions -- including those believed to have massacred American soldiers. The following [remember.org] was written in 1997, and thus may be slightly out of date:
The well-respected German military historian Gerhard Schreiber estimates the number of war criminals receiving these extra payments from the German government at 50,000. Wolfgang Lehnigk-Emden, from Ochtendung near Koblenz, is one of the "victims." According to a German federal court, Lehnigk-Emden killed 15 unarmed women and children in Caiazzo near Naples in Italy in October 1943. Because Lehnigk-Emden was later injured (shot in the leg) while trying to escape from an allied POW camp and suffers a mild handicap, he receives an additional "victim" pension.


Another current recipient of victim pensions is the former SS Hauptsturm-fuhrer Wilhelm Mohnke. Mohnke, who was a close confidant of Adolf Hitler and commandant of the "Fuhrerbunker" in Berlin during Hitler's last days. According to the US Department of Justice "there is very substantial evidence pointing to Wilhelm Mohnke's personal involvement in the perpetration of Nazi war crimes" -- for his role in the massacre of 72 American POWs in 1944 during the Battle of the Bulge.


At the same time that Germany provides monthly pension payments to former members of the SS and war criminals, persons forced to be slave laborers for the Nazi regime get far less [tomhayden.com] :
[U]nder an agreement... brokered by the U.S. and German governments, however, survivors of slave labor under the Nazis will be awarded only $790 each for back pay and a lump sum of $7,894 each in recognition of the 55-year delay. Those who were exploited as "forced labor," such as Nazi prisoners working in agriculture, will get a mere $5,000 each.


So, frankly, any Old Folks (Pensioner's) Home in Germany should provide you with plenty of "original Nazis", living comfortably thanks to the largess of the current German government, while their victims -- those who survived at all, those who haven't died while waiting for their reparations -- continue to suffer.

(Of course, I will now be modded down as an anti-German racist [slashdot.org] , because it's not fair to burden the German youth of today [slashdot.org] with uncomfortable history -- even if that "history" is policies, such as the pensions, continuing to this day.)

Re:Original Messages (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8354868)

members of the Waffen-SS marched through Riga to celebrate the 55th anniversary of the SS.

Actually the war-time behaviour of Waffen-SS was not as bad as the notorious term SS would lead one to believe.

SS consisted of the military arm, Waffen-SS, and SD (sicherheistdienst), that is, security service. The latter was directly responsible for many war-time atrocities whereas the Waffen-SS was mostly an above average (training and equipment-wise) military force.

Re:Original Messages (4, Insightful)

FFFish (7567) | more than 10 years ago | (#8354897)

Of course, I will now be modded down as an anti-German racist

Well, no. You should be modded down as an anti-soldier bigot.

There's a very good chance that your country has soldiers engaged in a military action that others see as warfare against an ethnic group. Presumably those soldier continue their action because they have promised on their honour to uphold their country's decisions.

Should the US soldier in Iraq be shunned for participating in an illegal war? Should the Israeli soldier dropping bombs on Palestinian houses be scapegoated for killing civilians?

Well, yes, probably they should: the world would be a lot better if every common person were to just act decently toward every other human being.

But we don't: they are soldiers who committed to doing what they are being told by our own elected governments to do, and out of respect for that commitment we promise to look after them for life.

Well, okay, maybe not for life, as some of our countries seem a little too eager to cut back veteran's pay and healthcare and long-term group home care. But for most of their life. An admittedly short life given that some of our countries seem a little too reluctant to supply airworthy helicopters or bulletproof vests.

Come to think of it, maybe our own nations are anti-soldier bigots. How ironic...

Re:Original Messages (0, Offtopic)

orthogonal (588627) | more than 10 years ago | (#8354958)

Well, no. You should be modded down as an anti-soldier bigot.

There's a very good chance that your country has soldiers engaged in a military action that others see as warfare against an ethnic group. Presumably those soldier continue their action because they have promised on their honour to uphold their country's decisions.


What a specious argument -- while I disagree with the war in Iraq, I can tell the difference between that and Hitler's invasion of Poland (and then France, and Russia, and.... ). Anyone who claims there's a general moral equivalency between American soldiers and Nazi war criminals has either decided to jettison decency in order to make a point, or simply has no real grasp of the historical realities -- or is a despicable troll.

Son, if you can't distinguish between American soldiers defending their country and Nazi members of the SS invading Germany's neighbors, if you can't tell the difference between decent soldiers and war criminals, then no amount of argument on my part is going to make you see the light.

I don't begrudge Germany's common soldiers getting a small pension, even if their service was in Nazi aggression. Yes, some of the Waffen-SS were "common" battlefield Soldaten -- but some were war criminals.

But I have to ask why slave laborers get no more that about $7000 total, when some former SS get that much in a year.

And I have to draw the line at war criminals. Germany giving pensions to Nazi war criminals is just a slap in the face to Germany's victims and to all Americans who sacrificed to bring an end to Hitler's Reich -- it's those American soldiers I'm standing up for.

I don't think those American veterans would call me a bigot for thinking they're not the moral equivalent of Nazi war criminals.

I won't ask that you apologize to me, but I do ask that you apologize to the American soldiers you've compared to Nazis.

Re:Original Messages (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8354964)

And I have to draw the line at war criminals. Germany giving pensions to Nazi war criminals is just a slap in the face to Germany's victims and to all Americans who sacrificed to bring an end to Hitler's Reich -- it's those American soldiers I'm standing up for.

What about the allied soldiers from other countries?

Poster also did not compare American soldiers to Nazis; he just pointed out that soldiers are paid to follow orders, and that we can't necessarily begrudge them for following stupid orders. Although I would draw the line at war criminals -- there's no excuse for that.

Re:Original Messages (0, Offtopic)

orthogonal (588627) | more than 10 years ago | (#8355007)

What about the allied soldiers from other countries?

Yeah, honestly I considered substituing "Allies" for Americans, but I was worried that

1) as an American I should speak only for Americans, and

2) Allied soldiers in World War II included the Soviets, and the Soviets did commit war crimes -- most notably, the Katyn Forrest massacre of 11,000 Polish officers (which was for a long time blamed on the Nazis) and lots of brutal rapes and murders of German civilians at the end of, and immediately after, the war.

So as to not muddy the message, I just wrote about "American soldiers". But I do not mean to minimize the sacrifices of our Allies -- indeed, had it not been for the stalwart British as led by Mr. Churchill, America might never have been able to take the war to the German homeland.

Poster also did not compare American soldiers to Nazis; he just pointed out that soldiers are paid to follow orders....

He (FFFish (7567)) explicitly said "There's a very good chance that your country has soldiers engaged in a military action that others see as warfare against an ethnic group. Presumably those soldier continue their action because they have promised on their honour to uphold their country's decisions.

What that ignores is that fighting against enemies predominantly of one ethnic group, as for example, America fighting against Italy in WWII, is very different than targeting one ethnic group, as the Nazis did with the Jews, the Slavs, and the Roma ("Gypsies").

The two are not at all morally equivalent, and it's pure sophistry to conflate Nazi-style genocide and "normal" warfare as practice by America.

And before anyone objects, yes, there were some war crimes committed by Americans, and yes, there were some "good Germans" who avoided or actively opposed Nazi criminality. The difference is one of policy and intent: U.S. soldiers aren't trying to commit genocide; the Nazi Einsatzgruppen were trying and succeeding at genocide. And that's why FFFish (7567)'s comment is so objectionable: because it sees no difference between these two very different kinds of soldiers.

Re:Original Messages (not quite good enough....) (5, Insightful)

TygerFish (176957) | more than 10 years ago | (#8355019)

Of course, I will now be modded down as an anti-German racist

Well, no. You should be modded down as an anti-soldier bigot.


The former poster wrote about the German Government's maintaining pensions to former Nazi soldiers without regard to actions during their service (e.g., a mass-murderer getting extra money for being wounded trying to escape). He suggests that there is an injustice in this because nazi victims often received less compensation.

The latter poster, claiming that the former is bigoted against soldiers is missing or ignoring the former's main (and quite simple) point: people who should have been tried for crimes against humanity should probably not receive more compensation than those who narrowly escaped them.

In arguing for a nation's love for and responsibility to the men who serve it as soldiers, and extending it by obtuse omission to war-criminals, the second poster ignores historical precedent and insults the soldiers of every army that ever had fought for any decent purpose.

The outcome of the trial of Adolf Eichmann in Jerusalem made it perfectly clear that *some* military orders (shooting unarmed civilians, murdering soldiers who surrender, etc.) should not and cannot be obeyed.

When such orders are given, it is the soldier's duty to think not of his country but of civilisation and do whatever is necessary to not carry out those orders and some soldiers have actually done just that--like Israeli pilots who refused to take part in missions against the palestinians.

The comparison of Nazi units charged murdering jews, allied prisoners, securing slave-labor, etc. is particularly insulting in that the United State's invasion and occupation of Iraq is one of the worst decisions an American President has made in decades. The whole thing was and is a bad idea--a stupid and naive pursuit of political gain and personal desire which can in no way be seen as commensurate with the United State's security, nor with the stability of the Middle-East.

I believe all of this is true with respect to the dog's breakfast of policy in Iraq, however the mission brief of U.S. soldiers currently serving in the Gulf probably does not include 'aid in the work of rounding up the intelligentsia for early extermination,' nor any one of scores of other tasks that the Nazis acommplished throughout occupied Europe.

For the sake of intellectual rigor if nothing else, Please think through your comparisons more thoroughly in future.

Re:Original Messages (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8354863)

Yes but where can I get some original Nazi's to send them to?

Try here [nazi.org] .

The problem with decoding original nazi messages.. (3, Funny)

Kinniken (624803) | more than 10 years ago | (#8354895)

Is that once you have decoded them, which is a cool, "geek" task, they are in German! And translating German to English or whatever your language is is much less fun and much harder for the average geek ;-)

Here's my Electronic Enigma Machine (5, Informative)

OverlordQ (264228) | more than 10 years ago | (#8354654)

Here's my [cpan.org] Electronic Enigma Machine.

Electronic Version? Why not just use software (5, Interesting)

pajor (310214) | more than 10 years ago | (#8354655)

Who would want an electronic version of the Enigma machine? You could just code one up in python or even write a bash script. If I was gonna build an enigma, it better have all the gears and knobs that an original one did.

Maybe I don't understand WWII fandom, but I understand geekfandom, and if you're going to build something that used to be a gear device, I don't wanna emulate it on my dreamcast.

Now what would be cool is to build the vacuum tube based machine the allies used to crack various codes...

Re:Electronic Version? Why not just use software (1)

The Snowman (116231) | more than 10 years ago | (#8354680)

Who would want an electronic version of the Enigma machine? You could just code one up in python or even write a bash script.

Yeah, but having the quasi-real *hardware* is cool, too.

Now what would be cool is to build the vacuum tube based machine the allies used to crack various codes...

I don't know about tubes, but transistors would be good (less problems, easier to replace). Either way it would be nice to have some replica hardware, just for nostalgia if nothing else. Knowing that modern computers have 10x the power of old mainframes that took up the entire first floor of my house is no good, my soviet russia wants a beowulf cluster of... nevermind :-)

Re:Electronic Version? Why not just use software (4, Funny)

kinema (630983) | more than 10 years ago | (#8354726)

Maybe people just want a new elctronic device so they can attempt to port Linux and/or NetBSD.

Re:Electronic Version? Why not just use software (1)

Felinoid (16872) | more than 10 years ago | (#8354786)

Who would want an electronic version of the Enigma machine?
A time travler...
And while we are at it if any time travlers are reading the Slashdot archives remember to pull the URL off the Wayback machine [archive.org] (Becouse no doupt the URL went away 25 years ago.. shortly after slashdotting).

I'm gona guess this saved you one jumps worth of fule so now if you'll jump over to 1979 and warn me to NOT go to my girlfriends HS.
(Thinking with the wrong orgen almost screwed my education... and her HS has a shotty computer lab)

Re:Electronic Version? Why not just use software (1)

panurge (573432) | more than 10 years ago | (#8354899)

Unfortunately, in a completely incomprehensible fit of apparent insanity, Churchill ordered Colossus and its plans destroyed after WWII. It's strange that someone who was otherwise quite far-sighted (after visiting Bletchley, his memo read something like 'Give them everything they ask for immediately' ) could throw away a major technological advance.

Re:Electronic Version? Why not just use software (1)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 10 years ago | (#8354923)

If I was gonna build an enigma, it better have all the gears and knobs that an original one did.

Enigma-replica [enigma-replica.com] . Though this guy tries to make all the parts as an original, he uses a lot of plastic rather than metal.

Just think (1, Redundant)

Bobdoer (727516) | more than 10 years ago | (#8354656)

You could encode a secret message on this machine and then send it to a friend with a notice telling them to buy a machine too!
Seriously, beyond some amount of coolness (much less because it's an electronic version as opposed to a mechanical one) this doesn't have much use.

How does it work ?? (4, Interesting)

vinit79 (740464) | more than 10 years ago | (#8354660)

I looked at the site and the manuals arent online. I there any information abt how the enigma coding actually work ????

Re:How does it work ?? (5, Informative)

Bobdoer (727516) | more than 10 years ago | (#8354673)

This page [codesandciphers.org.uk] explains Enigma fairly well.

Re:How does it work ?? (1)

happyhippy (526970) | more than 10 years ago | (#8354690)

Thank you for the link.

Re:How does it work ?? (5, Informative)

OverlordQ (264228) | more than 10 years ago | (#8354681)

The Enigma machine was a simple cipher machine. It had several components: a plug board, a light board, a keyboard, a set of rotors, and a reflector (half rotor). The original machine looked a lot like a typewriter.

The machine has several variable settings that affect the operation of the machine. The user must select three rotors from a set of rotors to be used in the machine. A rotor contains one-to-one mappings of all the letters. Some Enigma machines had more than 3 rotors which just added to the number of possible encryption combinations. The other variable element in the machine is the plug board. The plug board allowed for pairs of letters to be remapped before the encryption process started and after it ended.

When a key is pressed, an electrical current is sent through the machine. The current first passes through the plug board, then through the three rotors, through the reflector which reverses the current, back through the three rotors, back through the plug board and then the encrypted letter is lit on the display. After the display is lit up, the rotors rotate. The rotors rotate similar to an odometer where the right most rotor must complete one revolution before the middle rotor rotated one position and so on.

As the current passes through each component in the Enigma machine, the letter gets remapped to another letter. The plug board performed the first remapping. If there is a connection between two letters, the letters are remapped to each other. For example if there is a connection between "A" and "F", "A" would get remapped to "F" and "F" would get remapped to "A". If this isn't a connection for a particular letter, the letter doesn't get remapped. After the plug board, the letters are remapped through the rotors. Each rotor contains one-to-one mappings of letters but since the rotors rotate on each key press, the mappings of the rotors change on every key press. Once the current passes through the rotors, it goes into the reflector. The reflector is very similar to a rotor except that it doesn't rotate so the one-to-one mappings are always the same. The whole encryption process for a single letter contains a minimum of 7 remappings (the current passes through the rotors twice) and a maximum of 9 remappings (if the letter has a connection in the plug board).

In order to decrypt a message, the receiver must have the encrypted message, and know which rotors were used, the connections on the plug board and the initial settings of the rotors. To decrypt a message, the receiver would set up the machine identically to the way the sender initially had it and would type in the encrypted message. The output of typing in the encrypted message would be the original message. Without the knowledge of the state of the machine when the original message was typed in, it is extremely difficult to decode a message.

Re:How does it work ?? (2, Informative)

urbaneassault (233554) | more than 10 years ago | (#8354799)

if you're going to copy and paste, the least you could do is credit the source: http://www.ugrad.cs.jhu.edu/~russell/classes/enigm a/how.html [jhu.edu]

Re:How does it work ?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8354881)

He was asking how it worked, not for a link to someplace that asked where it worked. Fag.

Simple Cipher Machine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8354810)

You're joking, aren't you ?

Re:How does it work ?? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8354747)

There is some sort of description [home.cern.ch] written by Turing himself

This is what other people say about the Enigma-E (-1, Troll)

mattjb0010 (724744) | more than 10 years ago | (#8354665)

...George and I enjoyed building it very much. It provided several years of entertainment. With it, we were able to work out that the baddie Osama was definitely hiding out in some place called Afghanistan. We went and kicked some Arab butt which was a lot of fun, but he escaped somehow and now we can't find him. We also found out that Osama's friend Saddam had some bad weapons. We told our buddies about it, and they wanted to kick some Arab butt too. So we told some other people that the weapons were really bad. Our pal Tony who lives across the river even told people that the weapons were all ready to use. We got Saddam really good.

--Donald

Too late (-1, Redundant)

EvAck (753357) | more than 10 years ago | (#8354668)

Why are there project like this? I feel like the past is keeping us from the future. The people who are dedicated to making engima-like encryption are clearly intelligent...why not dedicate such brain power to making newer,better encryption schemes. The next break through in the code-maker/code-breaker war is just around the corner. Why not work in it, instead of reprodoucing the past?

Re:Too late (3, Insightful)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#8354713)

Understanding the past is a key to ruling the future.

It's just like how American-Indian "Windtalkers" could befudle opposing intercepters simply by speaking their native language. It's really hard to crack a code when you don't know what the encoding process used was in the first place. You can't brute force guess keys until you know what you're supposed to do with them.

Re:Too late (2, Funny)

WhodoVoodoo (319477) | more than 10 years ago | (#8354728)

Right you are, But I could have used this to hand-encode all my Kazaa packets until YOU had to go and spill the beans! Thanks a BUNCH! Now they'll add Enigma support to carnivore, and I'm stuck with IPSEC!

Way to go, commie!
=P

Who needs one? (5, Funny)

Sub-MOA (635383) | more than 10 years ago | (#8354671)

I'll drop one off at Bletchley on the way to picking up my Gray's Sports Almanac.

Re:Who needs one? (3, Funny)

garbagedisposal (728721) | more than 10 years ago | (#8354745)

"I'll drop one off at Bletchley on the way to picking up my Gray's Sports Almanac."

I say, could'nt make that two could you old boy?

Re:Who needs one? (3, Funny)

baldcamel (754810) | more than 10 years ago | (#8354969)

Bletchly Park? What is that got to do with enigma?

I thought that it was the US Navy. Did U-571 lie to me?

Re:Who needs one? (3, Informative)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 10 years ago | (#8355026)

I'll drop one off at Bletchley on the way to picking up my Gray's Sports Almanac.

The construction of the Enigma wasn't really the problem. The Enigma had been in use since the early 30s and the Poles knew exactly how they worked, and later shared that with the Allies as war grew closer and Poland was invaded. Decoding a message required knowing the settings used. At Bletchley Park they built "bombes" (originally following a Polish design) that could run decodes automatically hundreds of times faster than a real Enigma to try out the huge number of possible initial settings.

Actually a great deal of their success in decoding was due to sloppy methods used by the Germans. Having messages begin in a predictable way was a "crib" that enabled good guesses to be made of the settings. And even more directly, capturing code books with schedules of code settings, as was done several times, (but not by the Americans as was depicted in U571). If the Germans had used the Enigmas with due care they never would have been cracked.

However, it's rarely noted that the Germans were almost as good at decoding Allied signals. There's very little written about that, but I have seen notes that they could read just about any Royal Navy code, for instance.

Enigma worked by looking like nonsense (4, Interesting)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#8354672)

Enigma was an interesting development in cryptography because the rotating wheels caused the crypto output to be evenly distributed accross the alphabet. Therefore, it couldn't be solved by the typical letter replacement cypher techniques of assuming the most used letter in the code stands for "E" until proven otherwise, and working from there.

An Enigma-based crypto engine for binary data might be quite the interesting modern update. Especially because a brute force guessing of a 256-byte wheel would take a long time, and three wheels on top of each other would send the probablities of guessing your way into it into the stratosphere.

Re:Enigma worked by looking like nonsense (2, Interesting)

The Snowman (116231) | more than 10 years ago | (#8354689)

An Enigma-based crypto engine for binary data might be quite the interesting modern update. Especially because a brute force guessing of a 256-byte wheel would take a long time, and three wheels on top of each other would send the probablities of guessing your way into it into the stratosphere.

Granted Enigma encryption is weak by today's standards, I think this would be interesting nonetheless. But with today's hardware, we could add arbitrarily many rotors (wheels) with negligible speed difference. I am sure even a thousand rotors would not be slow, but it would make for a stronger cipher.

Re:Enigma worked by looking like nonsense (5, Interesting)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#8354705)

The thing is, a 1000 rotor system of used for binary usage would result in a key that's 256,000 bytes long, and each message would reqire 1000 bytes of information as to where to start each wheel.

Then again, what better way to remind people that longer keys equals more power?

Re:Enigma worked by looking like nonsense (2, Insightful)

Ckwop (707653) | more than 10 years ago | (#8354887)

Longer keys are not better.

The point of cryptography is to take a big secret, like a file, and turn it into a little secret which is the key. The idea being that a small secret is easier to protect than the bigger one.

A key that's 256,000 bytes long is a key that defeats the object of cryptography. How do you intend on storing 256,000 bytes securely?

People use 128-bit keys for a reason. They're big enough to avoid brute-force but small enough so that we can remember them (usually via a passphrase). We always want the *smallest* possible key that gives us security against brute-force.

Simon.

Python implementation of rotor encryption (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8354770)

Documented here. [python.org]

It's in the standard library and supports an arbitraary number of rotors. I don't know if it's strictly compatible with the original Enigma, though.

Re:Enigma worked by looking like nonsense (2, Interesting)

Ckwop (707653) | more than 10 years ago | (#8354898)

You can generally build a secure cipher out of any old mathematical junk provided that you take care in assembly.

The thing is, in modern crytography we simply don't need a rotor. A rotor system could be made very complicated indeed and complication is not good for security. Most ciphers use a static substitution as their non-linear step because when designing a cipher we want it to be simple to analyse.

That might sound counter-intuative but think about it. If I can prove my cipher can withstand attacks A,B & C then that's a bonus. If your cipher is too complicated to build proofs of security against attacks A, B & C we can't be sure it's secure against them.

This is why most modern ciphers are fairly simple designs but due to this simplicity, we have a huge weight of analysis behind them.

Simon.

Re:Enigma worked by looking like nonsense (5, Informative)

mlush (620447) | more than 10 years ago | (#8354796)

Enigma was an interesting development in cryptography because the rotating wheels caused the crypto output to be evenly distributed accross the alphabet. Therefore, it couldn't be solved by the typical letter replacement cypher techniques of assuming the most used letter in the code stands for "E" until proven otherwise, and working from there.

One of the interesting weaknesses of the Enigma cypher was no letter could be encoded as itself. One part of the cracking process was to look for messages that had a known content (weather reports were a favorate, the Germans were very keen on standard formats in their reports) This could be used to narrow down the number of possible keys

Source [mlb.co.jp] A tired German operator has been told to send out dummy messages and he typed only the last letter of the keyboard : ``L''. The British code breaking expert immediately recognized the missing ``L'' in the enciphered message and they got a very big crib.

* [cipher]DAOACQAOFFNNHDYAPSGZHEPTWCFZEPAARVDZOSWJDH XMESGWSGRQYOZ
* [plain] LLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL LLLLL

Re:Enigma worked by looking like nonsense (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 10 years ago | (#8354952)

I've heard that story before. It surprises me. While an enigma will generate convincing random letters, and it makes sense to use one for that, it's surprising that he bothered setting up his machine to use the day's settings.

applet (4, Informative)

batura (651273) | more than 10 years ago | (#8354679)

I thought this was kinda cool, so I looked around for a java applet and found one: Its pretty cool. [jhu.edu]

Re:applet (5, Funny)

The Snowman (116231) | more than 10 years ago | (#8354700)

I wonder if the real Nazi Enigma machines also had Java.lang.NullPointerException errors...

Re:applet (1)

mattjb0010 (724744) | more than 10 years ago | (#8354795)

I thought this was kinda cool

WAKHPUZNZF

Oh, well in that case... (3, Funny)

mynameis (mother ... (745416) | more than 10 years ago | (#8354687)

I was thinking to myself "This is way too difficult to build..."

But then I noticed that the 65+ page manual includes:

How to build a wooden box

And if that wasn't enough, the fact that it has

Full 26-key keyboard with key-click sound
sealed the deal!

I really wanted to make a Darl joke, but alas...

Herzlicher Glukwunsch...

Enigma cracking: Circa 2004 (2, Interesting)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#8354695)

If an e-mail message were to be encoded using Enigma, does there exist any modern-era software for cracking it? Or would the US Government be forced to pull out the vacuum tubes and crack it the way they did in WWII again?

Re:Enigma cracking: Circa 2004 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8354699)

Nice troll.

It was the Poles who initially cracked it and the Brits, who at first failed to realize its full potential, put it to good use. US had nothing to do with it.

Re:Enigma cracking: Circa 2004 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8354858)

It was the Poles who initially cracked it and the Brits, who at first failed to realize its full potential, put it to good use. US had nothing to do with it.


Yeah, I saw that movie too. ;-)

Re:Enigma cracking: Circa 2004 (3, Interesting)

The Snowman (116231) | more than 10 years ago | (#8354708)

If an e-mail message were to be encoded using Enigma, does there exist any modern-era software for cracking it? Or would the US Government be forced to pull out the vacuum tubes and crack it the way they did in WWII again?

I doubt that a cracking program would have the Enigma algorithm built-in, but Enigma is suceptible to a type of brute force attack. Generally you can do heuiristic analysis on a cipher to get a good head start, then brute force a smaller subset of the data. On modern hardware this would probably take a few seconds, if that long.

Nah they just send you to that place in Cuba.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8354712)

After a few years you would spill the beans..

Nobody cracked anything (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8354732)

They found a working Engima and the codebooks on a German UBoat.

Re:Enigma cracking: Circa 2004 (4, Interesting)

WWWWolf (2428) | more than 10 years ago | (#8354845)

Enigma encryption might have been a great leap ahead and looked completely state of art in the WW2, but today, it's quite trivial to crack. Enigma could be easily bruteforced - just check through the entire keyspace.

It also probably wouldn't stand too long if real crypto breakers who knew their stuff would start their job without knowing anything about the encryption scheme, even. The science has gone so far in recent times.

And an easy way to illustrate: Compare output from Enigma with any modern cipher. Enigma output looks like completely mangled words - the text is garbled, the layout of the message is exposed. Modern cipher output looks like a completely random arrangement of bits, everything completely spread around the message with no point to really take a good grip on. With Enigma, if you know that Nazi guy is always putting "Heil Hitler" at the end, you have already cracked that much of the message.

If the thing looks trivial, then it probably is. If it doesn't, it probably isn't. Of course, this isn't always true [schneier.com] in either way [interhack.net] .

Now I'll get more coffee so I can start making sense today.

Re:Enigma cracking: Circa 2004 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8354851)

And you got modded UP ??
Man I want some of the stuff the mods are smoking !

BWHAHAHAHA stupid mods!
RTFA or educate yourself about enigma and then maybe you wont fucking trolls asking "Hey can US break Enigma now ?"

huh? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8354715)

Who'd want an encryption code that's been cracked for 60 years? I don't see the point.

God, some of you nerds really need to get laid.

Oh! well! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8354716)

Yeah, this is all well and good... UNTIL you are branded a NAZI WAR CRIMINAL or some kind of SUBVERSIVE ANTI-CAPITOLIST IRAQI SYMPATHIZER by the FBI.

An anyhow, if you were a real patriot, why would you need to use an evil foreign nazi code machine? eh?
Damn Commies.

(please note: my brain functions on its own aenda and is not to be associated with the opinions or actions of my patriotic, american body. Heil Bush!)

Building replicas (5, Insightful)

defectorg (574483) | more than 10 years ago | (#8354720)

This guy [enigma-replica.com] is making a replica [enigma-replica.com] of an Enigma.
Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Ertel is working on making duplicates which you can buy completely build here [fh-weingarten.de] .

SSH (0)

bluewee (677282) | more than 10 years ago | (#8354743)

I rather use SSH, unless I can get the plans to an actual machine.

Bummer (0, Redundant)

iswm (727826) | more than 10 years ago | (#8354748)

Too bad this isn't available in the US. It would make a really nice gift (To me).

Re:Bummer (2, Informative)

bearl (589272) | more than 10 years ago | (#8354999)

In the first paragraph of the order page:
"Both addresses below do ship worldwide so ordering one shouldn't be a problem."

Enigma-E Order Page [www.xat.nl]

niggers (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8354779)

are gayw

Am I the only person who... (3, Funny)

Zakabog (603757) | more than 10 years ago | (#8354782)

...read this as "Do-It-Yourself Electronic Enema Machine"? I probably wouldn't have if I knew what an Enigma Machine was (yeah yeah I'll read the stuff now)

This is an interesting... (4, Interesting)

SisyphusShrugged (728028) | more than 10 years ago | (#8354787)

This is an interesting little project, I remember learning about the history of the battle over the Enigma code in Computer Science, and the Colossus, the first programmable electronic computer...maybe now you can emulate a replica of the Colossus, the computer used to decipher the Enigma, and have a mini-WW2 cryptography battle on your computer!

An interesting piece of history...

LEGO Mindstorms (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8354791)

I always thought it would be cool to make an Enigma from LEGO.

Enigma Books (5, Informative)

iplead5th (703252) | more than 10 years ago | (#8354797)

I recomend to anyone who would like this Enigma machine thingy--or anyone interested in learning more about cryptography--to go out and get The Code Book by Simon Singh. Amazon [amazon.com] It explains in a fair amount of detail how cryptography works, but also the history behind it. I remember it having a chapter or two on the Enigma Machine and also how they broke it. It was a very interesting read, but it isn't a techinical book, more for reader enjoyment and probably at the level of anyone who wants to build this kit. There are some puzzles on the back that are pretty hard to solve, although it would be cool to use this enigma machine to solve the enigma code in the back--you would still have to figure out all the settings, so it would be impossible and not help at all, but imagine the cool factor. There are a lot of other great books on cryptography but this is the only one I have read yet so I feel its the only one I'm allowed to recomend to you guys.

Excellent (1)

pagaman (729335) | more than 10 years ago | (#8354808)

Now I can encrypt all of my personal messages. I just hope no one works out a way to decrypt them ;)

Am I the only one (-1, Redundant)

jcoy42 (412359) | more than 10 years ago | (#8354869)

that read that as "Do-It-Yourself Electronic Enema Machine", and had to re-read it like 4 times (in horror)?

Clearly, I need more sleep.

I can finally talk to the Germans! (2, Funny)

SPYDER Web (717344) | more than 10 years ago | (#8354889)

Now if I only spoke german....

user feedback (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8354892)

This is what other users say about the Enigma-E:
Toyally Sucks! A.Hitler
Totally Rocks! W Churchill

Wow! (-1, Troll)

rjoseph (159458) | more than 10 years ago | (#8354938)

Now I can spend countless hours creating a real, true-to-life fake of a machine that has been obsolete for only 50 years! WOOO HOOO!

Oh look, a spoon. I shall commence stabbing myself with it.

Just immagine... (1)

Op7imus_Prim3 (645940) | more than 10 years ago | (#8354947)

A Beowulf Cluster of enigma machines would be totally unbreakable!

Level of difficulty (5, Interesting)

cancerward (103910) | more than 10 years ago | (#8354983)

In case any of you think that the Enigma was "broken" by the boffins of Bletchley Park, and with Gillogly's ciphertext-only attack, became "ancient history", there are some ciphertexts from WW2 [google.com] produced with the 4-rotor machine which have never been broken. (People have been so foolish as to say "Enigma is a joke to crack for my desktop" [google.com] ...)
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...