Summary of Findings - History Essay

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The enigma machine used during the Second World War was a superior electromechanical cipher. This machine was made in German, following the First World War. The enigma machine was employed by every branch of military in German as a major device to help in safe unguided communication. This went on until the end of the Second World War. The sophistication of the enigma machine made the procedures used to operate it more difficult. This is because the military in German was after making communications by means of this machine harder to break in terms of the codes used. Information from reliable sources shows that the conclusion made by the German intelligence was that the enigma machine was completely safe from code breaking by their allies, only to find later on that they were not right (Lloyd, 2013, Lum et al., 2016)

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Other code devices include Colossus, Purple machine, Bombe, the American Indian code talkers among others. All these devices could be used to encrypt messages during the Second World War. Colossus was developed by the British groundbreakers as the first electronic digital computer that was programmable. Colossus was employed in breaking Lorenz cipher. The Purple which was used by Japanese as a coding device while the American Indian Code talkers was employed by the United states to prevent their enemy from breaking the codes of intercepted radio communication through cryptanalysis. The Bomb was employed in determining the everyday settings of the rotor for Nazis. It was also used as a code breaker machine for the encrypted message (Duson, 2012, Glantz, 2012, Lloyd,2013).

Another machine device is the SIGABA made in America. It was a more superior machine as compare to those used by Germans and Japanese. It was extra advanced in that it was the safest machine for cryptography. This machine was thus used by the majority of nations during the Second World War. This machined ensured that American codes were not broken by their allies, indicating a more robust and secure machine. SIGABA was developed by both the army and navy of the United States of America. The machine could be connected with other British machines for safe communication and therefore was considered amore protected machine. The use of SIGABA continued up to the year 1959 when the pace of contemporary communication called for the use of fresh equipment. Most of them were later demolished as a way of safeguarding the design used. Both the SIGABA and the enigma machine were rotor based and functioned by sending electrical currents via wheels that rotates as a way of scrambling messages that are typed in. They employed electric power for the letter substitution within the alphabet by means of shifting wired mechanical components in a very difficult style (Das, Lanjewar and Sharma, 2013, Robison, 2012, Rezabek, 2012)

The German enigma machine

The enigma machine used keyboard which made the essential process of operating the machine easy. This device could help the sender to type the encrypted text free message. At the destination, the operator could also decipher the encrypted massage by typing it on the enigma keyboard device using similar mixture of settings to decipher the message. The sending process, however, required that the operator of the machine to set the electric settings. In addition, the mechanical settings which comprised rotor wheels and plug wirings were also to be set to a predefined original combinations only known to the sending and receiving operators (Smart, 2016).

The enigma machine seemed secure and robust from the beginning as thought by the Germans. Nevertheless, their allies later maneuvered and were able to break the codes. At this point, the practical features of codebreaking were extremely highly developed. The very first total break in to this machine was done in the year 1932 by Polland. The approach employed by Polland together with the insights applied was then conveyed to the French as a well as the British allies prior to the year of 1939 in which the war began. The British considerably made a number of improvements on the on the approach. The decryption of the cipher for the enigma machine permits the allies to be able to read the significant sections of German radio communication on crucial networks. This was a priceless resource of military brainpower all through the war (Lloyd, 2013, McGrayne, 2011,Joyner,2012)

The coding of messages in enigma machine followed a certain sequence of procedure. First, the person wishing to send the message will use the typical keyboard to type every character of the message. Secondly, the characters are switched around when the electrical signal passes. Thirdly, the physical rotors which are connected from within changes the output characters prior to relay of the signal back through the entire machine by the reflector. The fourth stage involves adding complexity to the codes whereby the first rotor rotates one step following every key press. Next is that the signal reflected makes a second pass via plugboard and the signal eventually lights up a letter on the light board. The lit characters are then copied by the sender who sends the encrypted message by means of morse code. The machine thus depends on the sender plus the receiver being established within similar pattern. The receiver then records down the obvious gibberish. However, when the receiver keys in lets say, A he ends up finding letter F lighting up. Soon the encryption appears clear in the form of message (Lloyd, 2013, McGrayne, 2011, Joyner, 2012)

Breaking the code for ciphered messages fashioned by enigma machine was nearly not possible before computers and digital electronics came in to existence. It was almost nearly impractical even when the person wanting to break the codes could have a functioning copy of the machine. This difficulty was with the condition that the breaker did not know the exact combinations of the original mechanical and electrical settings that were altered too periodically. The double encryption, the employment of codes in the initial free message in addition to other security methods made it even harder to break the codes in the enigma machine (Grey, 2012, McGrayne, 2011).

The German allies, however made continued efforts to code break this machine. The efforts required mixed talents which comprised of bright mathematicians, bright officers, code breakers in addition to experts in communication who are totally understands German language and radio operator state of mind in addition to relevant procedures. It also needed competent warfare operations, majorly at sea of which others cautiously intended while others exploiting exceptional chances. The breakers also made use of the rising number of machines called Bombe which offered power for electromechanical computing. This trick helped them shorten the process of deciphering messages in the enigma machine. The Polish code breakers also realized that they had to build an enigma like machine which they used to decipher and code breaks the machine. They achieved this successfully (Grey, 2012, McGrayne, 2011, Komninos, 2011)

Symmetric and asymmetric cipher system

Symmetric cipher system is a system that uses one type of key, which is either public or private key for encryption and decryption of messages. Asymmetric cipher system uses two pairs of key that is both public and private keys for encryption and decryption of messages. This means that both the sender and the receiver use similar key for the encryption and decryption of the message. The Symmetric key can be easy to break when the key is known. This is because it is easier to know and use one key than to know and use two pairs of key in breaking the system. When the key is known, it can be used at either end of communication terminal to break the encryption. The same is difficult with asymmetric cipher because one key used to decrypt the message at one end is different from the key to be used at the opposite end which may be challenge to system hackers (Thakur and Kumar, 2011, Kumar, Munjal and Sharma, 2011). However, the Symmetric cipher system is extra secure and efficient than the asymmetric one (Jeeva, Palanisamy, and Kanagaram, 2012).


Das, D., Lanjewar, U.A. and Sharma, S.J., 2013. The Art of Cryptology: From Ancient Number System to Strange Number System. International Journal of Application or Innovation in Engineering & Management (IJAIEM), 2(4).Dyson, G., 2012. Turing centenary: the dawn of computing. Nature, 482(7386), pp.459-460.Glantz, D.M., 2012. Soviet military deception in the Second World War. Routledge.Grey, C., 2012. Decoding organization: Bletchley Park, codebreaking and organization studies. Cambridge University Press.Jeeva, A.L., Palanisamy, D.V. and Kanagaram, K., 2012. Comparative analysis of performance efficiency and security measures of some encryption algorithms. International Journal of Engineering Research and Applications (IJERA), 2(3), pp.3033-3037.Joyner, D. ed., 2012. Coding theory and cryptography: from Enigma and Geheimschreiber to quantum theory. Springer Science & Business Media.Komninos, N., 2011. Intelligent cities: Variable geometries of spatial intelligence. Intelligent Buildings International, 3(3), pp.172-188.Kumar, Y., Munjal, R. and Sharma, H., 2011. Comparison of symmetric and asymmetric cryptography with existing vulnerabilities and countermeasures. International Journal of Computer Science and Management Studies, 11(03).Lloyd, S., 2013. Quantum enigma machines. arXiv preprint arXiv:1307.0380.

Lum, D.J., Howell, J.C., Allman, M.S., Gerrits, T., Verma, V.B., Nam, S.W., Lupo, C. and Lloyd, S., 2016. Quantum enigma machine: Experimentally demonstrating quantum data locking. Physical Review A, 94(2), p.022315.

McGrayne, S.B., 2011. The theory that would not die: how Bayes' rule cracked the enigma code, hunted down Russian submarines, & emerged triumphant from two centuries of controversy. Yale University Press.Rezabek, R., 2012. TICOM: The last great secret of World War II. Intelligence and National Security, 27(4), pp.513-530.Robison, S., 2012. The History of Codes and Ciphers. ACADEMIC CREATIVITY AND EXCELLENCE (ACE) DAY, p.84.

Smart, N.P., 2016. The enigma machine. In Cryptography Made Simple (pp. 133-161). Springer International Publishing.Thakur, J. and Kumar, N., 2011. DES, AES and Blowfish: Symmetric key cryptography algorithms simulation based performance analysis. International journal of emerging technology and advanced engineering, 1(2), pp.6-12.

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