×

Announcing: Slashdot Deals - Explore geek apps, games, gadgets and more. (what is this?)

Thank you!

We are sorry to see you leave - Beta is different and we value the time you took to try it out. Before you decide to go, please take a look at some value-adds for Beta and learn more about it. Thank you for reading Slashdot, and for making the site better!

Enigma Machine for Sale on eBay

samzenpus posted more than 7 years ago | from the break-your-own-codes dept.

Encryption 175

RagingMaxx writes "An Italian antiques dealer has recently put to auction a mint condition, fully operational Enigma machine on eBay. The machine, dated circa 1938, will be sold to the highest bidder in just over a week, but after 30 hours of bidding the price has already surpassed $12,000 US. For those of you who can't afford the real thing, why not make your own?"

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Potential buyer (5, Funny)

EveryNickIsTaken (1054794) | more than 7 years ago | (#19912501)

I hear that the MPAA is interested in purchasing the machine - as they've heard that it has unbreakable encryption.

spoiler (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19912551)

HEDWIG DIES!

that little cracker owl gets it with an AK (not 47).

Re:Potential buyer (2, Insightful)

Gregb05 (754217) | more than 7 years ago | (#19912637)

Tagged Godwin.
MPAA doesn't want unbreakable encryption; who would they sue?


England and America for violation of DMCA?

Re:Potential buyer (1)

True ChAoS (157946) | more than 7 years ago | (#19913401)

Surely sir you have mistaken this for AACS? ohnowait...

$12,000 for an enima!?!!? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19912513)

There better be a rimjob happy ending at that price.

Re:$12,000 for an enima!?!!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19913863)

So you would pay $12,000 for an Enigma and a Rimjob?

Darn (5, Funny)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#19912523)

Looks like it's only the 3 gear model. If it was the four gear model, I surely would have purchased it :P.

Re:Darn (5, Informative)

Detritus (11846) | more than 7 years ago | (#19912577)

How many four gear models survived the war? They were installed in u-boats, which weren't noted for a long life expectancy.

Re:Darn (4, Informative)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 7 years ago | (#19912673)

How many four gear models survived the war? They were installed in u-boats, which weren't noted for a long life expectancy.

When thinking of answers to questions like that I find it impossible to separate cryptomonicon from reality.

As usual, wikipedia has some answers [wikipedia.org]

Re:Darn (4, Funny)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#19912847)

You mean Cryptonomicon wasn't real?

Re:Darn (1)

simong (32944) | more than 7 years ago | (#19913057)

Of course it is, I'm posting from the machine hall on Kinakuta. Oh, wait a minute, no I'm not.

Re:Darn (2, Funny)

gijoel (628142) | more than 7 years ago | (#19913397)

A rare Abwehr Enigma machine, designated G312, was stolen from the Bletchley Park museum on 1 April 2000. In September, a man identifying himself as "The Master" sent a note demanding £25,000 and threatened to destroy the machine if the ransom was not paid.


The Master, eh? What's Mr. Saxon going to do about this, I'd like to know.

Re:Darn (4, Interesting)

Iphtashu Fitz (263795) | more than 7 years ago | (#19912681)

True, but at least a half dozen of them were successfully recovered by the Allies during the war. The movie U-571 is a dramatization of one of these successes, and the credits at the end of the movie list a number of other incidents where Enigmas were captured. No idea what happened to all of these though. My bet would be that either they ended up in museums or were destroyed after the war.

The Enigmas were not the only things destroyed (5, Informative)

Bearhouse (1034238) | more than 7 years ago | (#19912845)

In the interests of 'National Security', the British Govt. broke up the team that broke the Enigma codes, and 'classified' or destroyed the equipment that they had imagined, designed AND built to help. Thereby setting back the UK IT industry by - oh, let's say 10 years, IMHO.

Not gonna Karma-whore by posting a zillion Wikiped links, but it's all there if you're interested and don't know the story. Worth a read, newbies, since a lot of what you now take for granted was developed by these folks.

Re:The Enigmas were not the only things destroyed (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19913103)

FYI - Decryption was made possible in 1932 by Polish cryptographers Marian Rejewski, Jerzy Róycki and Henryk Zygalski from Cipher Bureau.

Re:The Enigmas were not the only things destroyed (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19913371)

That's an unfortunately common procedure. When the production of SR-71s was halted all the designs and equipment was destroyed so new ones couldn't be built. This probably set aerospace, metallurgy and who knows what else back for at least as much.

Re:The Enigmas were not the only things destroyed (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19913503)

Go back to bed, grandpa.

The Enigmas were not the only things destroyed-IT. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19913509)

"Thereby setting back the UK IT industry by - oh, let's say 10 years, IMHO."

It still is.

Re:The Enigmas were not the only things destroyed- (2, Funny)

clickclickdrone (964164) | more than 7 years ago | (#19914145)

>>Thereby setting back the UK IT industry by - oh, let's say 10 years, IMHO.
>It still is.
Look, I'm doing my best here guys...

Re:Darn (5, Interesting)

hoofie (201045) | more than 7 years ago | (#19913117)

While your post is correct about the film being a 'dramatisation', that film was some serious fiction. The Americans weren't even in the war when the first Enigmas were captured. The first capture of note [not an Enigma machine itself but something more vital] was grabbed from U110 by Sub-Lieutenant David Balme, aboard HMS Bulldog on the 9th May 1941 who was subsequently awarded a DSC for his actions. Before leaving the submarine, he grabbed a sealed envelope that contained the hyper-secret starting positions used by the Kriegsmarine.

This one looks like an Enigma 1 [Wermacht or Services Enigma]. They were also used by government and banks so this one could have been ex-government etc.

The important of cracking Enigma cannot ever be overstated. There is a general agreement amongst historians that the Allies ability to read the German's encrypted traffic shaved a couple of years off the war. I would encourage our American brethren to read the book 'Enigma:The Battle for the Code' by Simon Sebag-Montefiore. Its an exceptionally good and instructive read about the whole Enigma issue.

See also (in German): (5, Informative)

OmniGeek (72743) | more than 7 years ago | (#19913621)

A *very* interesting account of the Enigma's history from a postwar Polish perspective, translated in East Germany (I got my copy from the gift shop at the Rundfunkmuseum in Nuremberg). This is a translation from the Polish original.

German Translation: "Im Banne Der Enigma" (Under The Spell Of The Enigma)
Original title: "W krgu Enigmy", published in Warsaw in 1979
Author: Wladyslaw Kozaczuk

Translation published by: Militärverlag der Deutschen Demokratischen Republik
(translator's name not listed)
ISBN 3-327-00423-4

In addition to its rather interesting political perspective, the book has an extremely detailed account of the Polish Intelligence Service's work on Enigma, including material I'd not seen in most of the more accessible Western literature on Enigma. In essence, the Polish crypto boffins had Enigma cracked (including automated cracking machines) before the war even started, but lacked the resources to scale up their efforts as the machines were upgraded (addition of the plugboard and new rotors); that, and the German occupation of Poland and later France, led them to share their findings with Britain, and the history most folks hear about.

BTW, WRT the "Enigma-E" electronic Enigma machine, I highly recommend it. I still get a kick out of decrypting messages with the one I built (in its nifty wooden case). Well worth the cost for those who've gotten the "Enigma virus".

Re:Darn (4, Interesting)

piquadratCH (749309) | more than 7 years ago | (#19913623)

The important of cracking Enigma cannot ever be overstated. There is a general agreement amongst historians that the Allies ability to read the German's encrypted traffic shaved a couple of years off the war.

I would go as far and say that cracking Enigma prevented nuclear bombs over Europe. Nevertheless, the names of Rejewski, Turing and others have been forgotten or never known by the public. It's a shame.

Re:Darn - dramatization is a bit strong (0, Troll)

glamb (191331) | more than 7 years ago | (#19913647)

The fact that the US hadn't even entered the war at the time of the Enigma capture depicted in the movie is one little over dramatization!

Re:Darn (1)

clickclickdrone (964164) | more than 7 years ago | (#19914095)

>The movie U-571 is a dramatization of one of these successes
And wildly inaccurate too.

Re:Darn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19913013)

At least the one on U-571...

But it has the plug board (2, Informative)

mbone (558574) | more than 7 years ago | (#19912661)

It has the plug board, which means it was the military, not the weaker commercial, Enigma. And, there were no 4 gear models until the 40's.

It also has the military symbol... (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 7 years ago | (#19913281)

It also has a great big military symbol on it ... bit of a giveaway, really.

I know this is slashdot...but does nobody look at the pictures before posting?

Re:Darn (1)

Garabito (720521) | more than 7 years ago | (#19913287)

Looks like it's only the 3 gear model. If it was the four gear model, I surely would have purchased it :P.
I'll wait for the automatic transmission model.

Re:Darn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19914315)

I wouldn't want the 4 gear model. Those thin gears are nigh impossible to find these days.

Enigma, finally (1, Funny)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 7 years ago | (#19912527)

I hope I can scrounge up enough pgems for it. Do you know how rare Jah and Ber runes are? My kingdom for a 15% archon plate...

yes but... (0, Offtopic)

mixenmaxen (857917) | more than 7 years ago | (#19912529)

does it run Linux?

Re:yes but... (2, Informative)

garfi5h (1130099) | more than 7 years ago | (#19912599)

Try one of the 359 distros. See: http://www.informationweek.com/blog/main/archives/ 2007/07/too_many_linux.html [informationweek.com]
:)))

Re:yes but... (1)

garfi5h (1130099) | more than 7 years ago | (#19912687)

Does it have Intel VT or AMD-V virtualization extensions so I can run unmodified Windowz on top of Linux?

Re:yes but... (0, Offtopic)

Damastus the WizLiz (935648) | more than 7 years ago | (#19912713)

What? no Beowolf clusters?

Mod UP (-1, Offtopic)

Notquitecajun (1073646) | more than 7 years ago | (#19912691)

Oh, come ON with modding parent down. It's legitimately funny.

Re:Mod UP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19912897)

No it is not. Repeating the SAME FUCKING THING is not funny.

Re:yes but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19913851)

... and have a completely fair scheduler?

Re:yes but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19914243)

No, but it does run NetBSD.

Re:yes but... (1)

theendlessnow (516149) | more than 7 years ago | (#19914379)

They are working on a simplified one cog model made out of plastic that is a part of the 'One Enigma Per Child" project. It will run a custom Linux with an interface called Ugars.

First versions will also come in lime green and 'Hello Kitty' pink.

Obligatory (-1, Redundant)

ehaggis (879721) | more than 7 years ago | (#19912537)

Can it run Linux?

Instructions? (3, Funny)

JonathanR (852748) | more than 7 years ago | (#19912539)

It comes complete with instructions (cypher-text of course) on how to win the War on Terror. Ask DVD Jon for the key.

Re:Instructions? (2, Funny)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#19912815)

I did. He told me it was 09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0.

Re:Instructions? (1)

mbone (558574) | more than 7 years ago | (#19912971)

You are aware that the Germans referred to the resistance movements in Europe as terrorists ?

Re:Instructions? (1)

Analogy Man (601298) | more than 7 years ago | (#19914211)

And then there were the anarchists dressed as indigenous people (i.e. not in uniform) undermining an established democratic government by dumping that tea into Boston harbor.

Fantastic (2, Funny)

hcdejong (561314) | more than 7 years ago | (#19912543)

Now nobody will be able to understand what I'm saying.

Re:Fantastic (3, Funny)

gkhan1 (886823) | more than 7 years ago | (#19912837)

So, nothing new?

Re:Fantastic (1)

antime (739998) | more than 7 years ago | (#19913411)

Explaining implied humour always makes it better.

That explains it (5, Funny)

Hair-Dog13 (1130125) | more than 7 years ago | (#19912587)

Well, the low price must be due to the fact that you really have to have a set of two to use them......

Re:That explains it (0)

Jaaay (1124197) | more than 7 years ago | (#19912617)

Nobody will use them in the first place so they don't need a set, it's one of those antique things that someone will buy and never touch.

Re:That explains it (3, Funny)

g0dsp33d (849253) | more than 7 years ago | (#19912979)

Like the Vista install that came with my laptop?

Re:That explains it (4, Funny)

Garabito (720521) | more than 7 years ago | (#19913363)

    *   -----> The joke

   o
  -|-   -----> You
  / \

Re:That explains it (1)

mrjb (547783) | more than 7 years ago | (#19912621)

Okay, here's the second one. [tesco.net]

Re:That explains it (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 7 years ago | (#19912725)

Well, the low price must be due to the fact that you really have to have a set of two to use them......

Or a bombe

Re:That explains it (3, Funny)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#19912875)

Someone set us up the bombe.

Re:That explains it (1)

hcdejong (561314) | more than 7 years ago | (#19913837)

Or a bombe

AIU, that would be "Or a bombe, and a team of cryptographers". Cracking an Enigma message was a two-step process.
1. create a 'menu', a set of clues to be fed into the bombe, basically bringing down the number of possible combinations to a manageable level. The menu was created manually.
2. let the bombe do its run.

The future (2, Funny)

mickq (201389) | more than 7 years ago | (#19912601)

I can see these being attached to every Blu-ray2 and HD-DVD2 player.....

Re:The future (2, Insightful)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 7 years ago | (#19912689)

I can see these being attached to every Blu-ray2 and HD-DVD2 player.....

Then we really shouldn't have driven Alan Turing into suicide.

Re:The future (4, Funny)

gkhan1 (886823) | more than 7 years ago | (#19912709)

Yeah, that's the reason we shouldn't have driven Alan Turing to suicide.

Military or commercial? (3, Interesting)

sphealey (2855) | more than 7 years ago | (#19912625)

That looks more like a commercial machine to me. Does anyone see anything that marks it as a military version? Military equipment usually comes with manuals labeled "Machine, Cypher, Field, Mark 5.4.3.12.a" not "Enigma".

sPh

Re:Military or commercial? (1)

simong (32944) | more than 7 years ago | (#19912859)

The picture on boingboing looks like a commercial machine. It would be interesting to find out if there was any feedback from the military machine to the commercial machine though as it was the donation of a Polish commercial machine to the British Army that set British Intelligence on the track of decoding the messages.

Re:Military or commercial? (1)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#19912861)

That looks more like a commercial machine to me. Does anyone see anything that marks it as a military version? Military equipment usually comes with manuals labeled "Machine, Cypher, Field, Mark 5.4.3.12.a" not "Enigma".

Well, and "Shock and Awe" is probably the commercial version of "Military Op. Foxtrot Bravo 5.2.5.3.5.25.a [classified]".

The military are artistic guys in nature.

Re:Military or commercial? (1)

Diamon (13013) | more than 7 years ago | (#19912889)

There's no mention of any manual at all in the auction, and the only thing labeled Enigma in the pictures appear to simply be a piece of paper possibly used in a display to let people know what they are looking at. Considering it's a German machine a manual labeled anything in English would be a pretty good indicator that it's not original.

Re:Military or commercial? (1)

mzs (595629) | more than 7 years ago | (#19912927)

There is a Wehrmacht symbol stamped into the metal and there is a plugboard below the keyboard so yes this is most likely a military version.

Re:Military or commercial? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19913097)

That is not a Wehrmacht "symbol", but the coat of arms of the Third Reich, which in turn is a perverted version of its "predecessor" from the German Empire.

The Wehrmacht symbol, by the way, is a stylized Iron Cross, which is also the current emblem of German armed forces (and has been since the German Empire).

The secret message is: (5, Funny)

Alien Being (18488) | more than 7 years ago | (#19912645)

d-r-i-n-k y-o-u-r o-v-a-l-t-i-n-e

Re:The secret message is: (1)

garfi5h (1130099) | more than 7 years ago | (#19912767)

I have a ROT13 plugin for the enigma that will make the code harder to break.
Ok, bidding starts at 10 bucks.

Re:The secret message is: (1)

FredK (140786) | more than 7 years ago | (#19914011)

For those of you too young, a radio show called Captain Midnight was sponsored by Ovaltine, and featured decoders which they sold to kids.

Re:The secret message is: (1)

Drachemorder (549870) | more than 7 years ago | (#19914155)

... or for those of you who have not seen "A Christmas Story", which is where most people have encountered that reference.

Concern about the price. (3, Funny)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 7 years ago | (#19912659)

Gaahhh! How do I outbid the current price of $XCCCX921 ???

Probably a Bad Investment (-1, Flamebait)

N8F8 (4562) | more than 7 years ago | (#19912677)

Everyone knows WWII never happened, no Jews were killed and terrorism is just American propaganda. This is fake.

Re:Probably a Bad Investment (0)

FiveLights (1012605) | more than 7 years ago | (#19912711)

I got a chuckle, but I'm not modding you funny for fear of getting moderated UNAMERICAN.

Re:Probably a Bad Investment (1)

Plutonite (999141) | more than 7 years ago | (#19913941)

Your sarcasm is undetectable. You *were* being sarcastic, right?

unimpressed (5, Funny)

CubicleView (910143) | more than 7 years ago | (#19912721)

TFA is nothing more than an enigma wrapped in an ebay auction wrapped in a Slashdot article.

How secure is Enigma these days? (5, Interesting)

hcdejong (561314) | more than 7 years ago | (#19912729)

this page [thinkquest.org] claims modern computers can crack an Enigma message in "a few minutes".
But a recent effort to crack some M4 messages using distributed computing [bytereef.org] estimated some 10,000 PC-hours to break a message.

Re:How secure is Enigma these days? (3, Insightful)

Ecuador (740021) | more than 7 years ago | (#19912929)

The Enigma comes in different designs. The easily crackable "in a few minutes" has three rotors. The messages the project M4 uses were encrypted with the much tougher to break 4 rotor design (hence the M4 name of the project).

Re:How secure is Enigma these days? (3, Insightful)

tokul (682258) | more than 7 years ago | (#19913115)

Original Bombe was used to break three rotor commercial enigma. M4 Project is trying to break four rotor Kriegsmarine Enigma messages. Read the ones that are broken. Short messages, non-english language, lots of short cuts, only some words are from dictionary. Even if you broke one, you still have to decypher what von Looks wants to say in his message.

Kriegsmarine has some security rules for Enigma transmissions. U-boat commanders usually followed them.

Re:How secure is Enigma these days? (5, Informative)

cryptoguy (876410) | more than 7 years ago | (#19913527)

In theory there were a astronomically large number of possible combinations (3 x 10^114) of rotor wirings, pluggable wirings, and rotor positions in a three-rotor Enigma machine. That key space is incredibly far beyond the capabilities of modern computers to search. However, in reality there were only three rotors implemented at first (later there were five, from which three were chosen for each day). The allies knew the wiring of the three rotors before the war began, and deduced the other two. So instead of having to try all the theoretical combinations of rotors, they only had to try the combinations of the ones that actually were implemented.

The subs had a four-rotor machine, but the operators made a fatal mistake. In order for messages to be read on three-rotor machines, an operator encrypted the same message twice--once with three rotors and once with four. That gave the codebreakers the information they needed to deduce the fourth rotor. They built a machine for breaking the Enigma codes which, given what they knew about the rotors, they could break them quickly enough to be extremely useful in the war.

Also a German U-boat was captured, along with a code book showing the rotor positions for the next few months. With that information they learned enough about the four rotor system to be able to break those messages also.

Re:How secure is Enigma these days? (2, Informative)

guruevi (827432) | more than 7 years ago | (#19913981)

You're forgetting that an Enigma machine couldn't encrypt a letter to itself, so basically not all combinations of possible keys and wirings were possible. This made it easier for them to feed the bombe since they could reduce (manually) the number of possible combinations.

Why build one when you can play with an emulation? (2, Informative)

syousef (465911) | more than 7 years ago | (#19912741)

There are plenty if you Google "Enigma Emulator" or "Enigma Simulator"/"Enigma simulation"

http://homepages.tesco.net/~andycarlson/enigma/eni gma_j.html [tesco.net]

If you want to build something mechanical try a remote control aircraft. Much more fun.

Re:Why build one when you can play with an emulati (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19913091)

Why play with an emulation when you can have a real, functioning, paper enigma machine in the time it takes to print and use a scissor?

http://mckoss.com/Crypto/Enigma.htm [mckoss.com]

Question (0, Redundant)

rlp (11898) | more than 7 years ago | (#19912819)

Has anyone ported Linux to it? Which distro? :-)

Re:Question (3, Insightful)

Mr. Moose (124255) | more than 7 years ago | (#19913053)

Yes. All VI commands are Enigma encrypted.

A dupe? Or is there a regular market in these? (1)

dpbsmith (263124) | more than 7 years ago | (#19912867)

...Enigma machines were offered in 2003? [boingboing.net] , and offered on eBay in 2006." [theregister.co.uk]

Is there a regular market in these things? Or is this the same machine going through cycles of spiffing up and reselling? Either way, I'm not sure every Enigma that goes on sale is "stuff that matters."

A greater than $14k RESERVE? (1)

drrav (1115445) | more than 7 years ago | (#19912903)

Okay, I can understand the whole antiques thing fetching great prices, but I'm marvelling that it's hit $14,000 in bidding already... and has yet to reach the reserve price on ebay. Surely it can't have cost that much to do up/whatever repairs have been done...

Re:Bletchley Park has Enigma kits for sale (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19913135)

Bletchley Park has Enigma kits for sale:
nigma-E

"Enables you to build your very own battery powered Electronic Enigma machine, based on those used by Bletchley Park codebreakers during WWII. DIY simulation of the 8 wheel M3 and M4 Enigma. All components are included. Features an alpha-numerical display, lamp panel and 26 key keyboard as well as seperate Stecker board. Requires only basic soldering experience, although basic knowledge of electronics may be required to understand the circuit description".£119.99

What's remarkable (3, Insightful)

fishthegeek (943099) | more than 7 years ago | (#19912921)

to me is not the Enigma machine itself, but the Allied response to it and other Axis crypto systems. If you haven't had the chance yet you should read up on the folks at Bletchley Park, it's one of the most fascinating programs of WW2. Without a doubt the people that worked there contributed as much to the effort as any other single organization and probably shortened the war considerably.

There is a pretty good artile on Wikipedia [wikipedia.org]

why not make your own? (2, Insightful)

elgatozorbas (783538) | more than 7 years ago | (#19913101)

If I would make one, it would be all electromechanical instead of electronic. The breaking of the enigma code (as excellently described in e.g. Simon Singh's The code book) was only possible by exploiting implementation details. Kodus to the makers of the electronics kit, but a machine with an implementation different to the original one, loses most of its appeal to me.

and on the Japanese front ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19913131)

Code breaking led to at least one major victory on the Japanese front:

On the other side of the globe, US intelligence broke Japanese Code leading to multiple turning points in the War. Unsure of the destination of the massed Japanese fleet, the U.S. sent a low priority, unsecured transmission that Midway Island was facing a water shortage. When the Japanese sent a coded message that their target faced a water shortage, the Americans knew the Japanese battle plan and the famous Battle of the Midway was initiated. In another epic moment, the Americans intercepted a Japanese encoded message giving the specific flight itinerary of the famous Admiral Yamamoto. The United States sent a squadron to meet the notoriously punctual Japanese and deprived the Japanese Navy of the further service one of its great commanders.

http://www.cybertelecom.org/security/crypto.htm [cybertelecom.org]

The argument that code breaking may have shortened the war by two years has one tiny problem. The Germans and Japanese were probably trying to break our codes. Given the secrecy involved, we may never know how successful they were. So maybe code breaking lengthened the war. Maybe code breaking caused the war. We'll never really know. What we can say is that code breaking was very important to the conduct of the war.

Slightly off topic: I read a comment by someone saying that asking our troops to pull out of Iraq is treason in time of war. OMG. WW2 was a war. Iraq is something else. In WW2 it was clear that our fate depended on winning the war. Everybody was involved in supporting the war. All our efforts were focused on winning the war. That was a real war. This Iraq thing doesn't come close.

Re:and on the Japanese front ... (1)

mce (509) | more than 7 years ago | (#19914209)

For an excellent account of the German successes (and failures) at breaking the Allied naval codes during WW-II, see "German Naval Code Breakers" by J.P. Mallman Showell.

Over 15 grand ATM (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 7 years ago | (#19913169)

This will sell for over 50 thousand. Hey, it's e-bay. Count on it!

Re:Over 15 grand ATM (1)

Rob the Bold (788862) | more than 7 years ago | (#19913695)

They listed the same Enigma on eBay last week at $100 000 "Buy It Now", and nobody bit. Perhaps the auction format will be more enticing.

For the DIY enthusiast here's an alternative (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19913203)

Forget a DIY Enigma, how about a DIY Colossus? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colossus_computer [wikipedia.org]

Hmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19913445)

We never would've cracked the code if they'd been using a beowulf cluster of these things...

Current price 10am EST (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19913625)

16k and reserve still not met, wow.

Allied Tactic Against Enigma Wouldn't Work Today (1)

N8F8 (4562) | more than 7 years ago | (#19913827)

The only reason the Enigma cracking program was successful is that they knew how to keep is secret. Today there are too many factions in the Congress, FBI and CIA who get a kick out of destroying intelligence programs by leaking them too the press.

Godwin and eBay (3, Interesting)

Speare (84249) | more than 7 years ago | (#19913905)

Not to invoke Godwin's Law here, but I thought that eBay refused auctions of WWII Nazi German wartime memorabilia? Is it just those items that bear the symbol of the Third Reich? It's a cool object to geek sensibilities. I would say that today, it symbolizes a particularly crafty bit of code-busting on the part of the Allies against Nazi Germany, even moreso than the crafty bit of code-creating clock-engineering work on the part of the Germans. But it's still Nazi memorabilia on some level, which I thought was against eBay rules.

Hands on display at NSA Museum, Ft. Meade (4, Interesting)

Stainless_Steel_Mous (1130169) | more than 7 years ago | (#19913969)

Last time I was there, you could play with one of these at the National Cryptoglogic Museum near Ft. Meade in Maryland, URL: http://www.nsa.gov/museum/ [nsa.gov]

THis place is _really_ worth a visit. The staff are all retired NSA staff and are glad to talk to you about the exhibits (now that the equipment is declassified!) They have an excellent exhibit on Cold War era supercomputers, with a Cray and a Connection Machine CM-5 on display.

Enigma 2007, now bundled with Vista Home Edition (2, Funny)

Ztringz (1081803) | more than 7 years ago | (#19914043)

Imagine one of these sitting inside your computer, clunking and whirring everytime you accessed SSL pages.

Link to TFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19914333)

Darn, it's already slashdotted...

Make your own? (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 7 years ago | (#19914377)

http://www.xat.nl/enigma-e/ [www.xat.nl] - is an electronic *simulation*. That is no where close to 'making your own'.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?