Category Archives: Turing

How was the German cipher deciphered in World War II?

At the Brechley Manor, in addition to Knox, the deciphering community, there is also a mathematics wizard, Turing. He graduated from Cambridge University and relied on his research on cryptography after the war. He became one of the pioneers in the era of electronic computing. First of all, they started with the development of a […] Continue reading

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Why did the Allies succeed in cracking the Enigma?

While most people only credit Alan Turing for cracking of the Enigma, it is important to recognize the critical role that Marian Rejewski in paving the way for the Allies’ success. In the early days of the war, Rejewski along with the Polish Cipher Bureau were able to identify that each letter in the ciphertext […] Continue reading

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A New Age of Artifice

In the fall of 2011, Duke University’s undergraduate literary journal published a rather unassuming poem entitled “For the Bristlecone Snag” (“The Archive”). To the journal’s poetry editors, the poem appeared to be a typical undergraduate work, comprised of several unfulfilled metaphors and awkward turns of phrase. What the editors did not know at the time of publication, however, was that this poem was not written by a human… Continue reading

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Human Error and Forced Flaws

Photo Credit: “Chiffriermaschine ‘Enigma’ ” by Walther licensed by Wikimedia Commons under Creative Commons The Enigma Machine was practically impregnable if all of its information was kept secret and all its operators worked without human error. With billions and billions … Continue reading Continue reading

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Understanding the Enigma

Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson is an interesting and informative novel tying together different generations of cryptography.   A passage I found most interesting was in the chapter ‘Cycles’.  In this chapter, Stephenson expands on the fundamental mathematics behind the Enigma machine: … Continue reading Continue reading

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