Distributed computing cracks Enigma code: This is very cool.
More than 60 years after the end of World War II, a distributed computing project has managed to crack a previously uncracked message that was encrypted using the Enigma machine.
[…] In breaking the first message, the project organizers used so-called brute force to test the encrypted message against all possible set-up configurations of the four-rotor Enigma. However, this configuration did not include the machine’s plugboard, which allowed the operator to swap two letters around before they were processed by the machine’s rotors.
The message turned out to be:
Radio signal 1851/19/252: “F T 1132/19 contents: Forced to submerge during attack. Depth charges. Last enemy position 0830h AJ 9863, (course]) 220 degrees, (speed) 8 knots. (I am) following (the enemy). (Barometer) falls 14 mb, (wind) nor-nor-east, (force) 4, visibility 10 (nautical miles).”
The best description of the Enigma machine I’ve ever read was in Simon Singh’s “The Code Book”. The entire book is a page-turner, and his description of how Enigma works is as clear and concise as I’ve ever read.