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(C|Net)   DIY spy: Make your own WWII Enigma Machine   (news.cnet.com) divider line 19
    More: Cool, Enigma machines, WWII Enigma, WWII, source codes, Alan Turing, Bletchley Park, Instructables, rotors  
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2068 clicks; posted to Geek » on 27 Jan 2014 at 11:14 AM (11 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



19 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2014-01-27 11:20:58 AM
I'll only build one if I am assured that Kate Winslet will try to break my code.

i164.photobucket.com
 
2014-01-27 11:22:28 AM

Wellon Dowd: I'll only build one if I am assured that Kate Winslet will try to break my code.

[i164.photobucket.com image 650x362]


I'd settle for a sniff of the Kestrel settings.
 
2014-01-27 11:37:04 AM
Actually, you can make an enigma analog out of paper.  That particular one doesn't have a changeable reflector, and it only uses the first three rotors and no plugboard, but there is no reason why you couldn't make a strip for the reflector, extra rotor strips for rotors VI, V, VI, VII, and VIII, and set up a simple plug-board analog or just do it manually, because the plugboard is essentially just a monoalphabetic cipher.

Or you could just download Dirk Rijmenants excellent Enigma cipher simulator.

VDO SJQ
ERVIS QQNJZ VMXMN OHVJQ ZWNOT
ONUJJ PUBOV MLWTO RLTXB KNLSL
GSTFX EIWSR SOTMA LXJEQ JDEXL
LZLVS HDYVM JYACI
 
2014-01-27 11:39:16 AM
Hmmm.  Googled around out of curosity.  Actual Enigma machines seem to go in the $125,000-200,000 range when they come up for auction, depending on the condition/model.
 
2014-01-27 11:44:49 AM
Make one mechanical and then I'll be impressed.
 
2014-01-27 11:58:44 AM
Bobby Shaftoe almost lost morphine for this shiat?
 
2014-01-27 12:16:53 PM

wambu: Make one mechanical and then I'll be impressed.


yep
 
2014-01-27 12:33:31 PM

dittybopper: Or you could just download Dirk Rijmenants excellent Enigma cipher simulator.


I had something like that on the Amiga. At least that's what I think it was. It was called The Enigma Machine and it made no sense at all to me at the time. I'm sure I must have picked it while modem trading but it came with no information or documentation.
 
2014-01-27 12:36:22 PM

KidneyStone: wambu: Make one mechanical and then I'll be impressed.

yep


It's been done:

www.craftsmanshipmuseum.com

That machine uses the exact same principles as the Enigma machine (and is superior in some ways), and it was built by this woman:

www.craftsmanshipmuseum.com

Making a simple electro-mechanical rotor machine like the Enigma isn't necessarily hard, or even very complicated.   The complexity comes from the rotor wiring.

And yes, there is a guy building an *EXACT* duplicate of the original German Enigma machine.  However, since he has to replicate every single thing, it takes longer to do something like that.
 
2014-01-27 12:49:21 PM
Blech-ley.
 
2014-01-27 12:50:37 PM
In fact, thinking upon it, if you didn't have a requirement for each key press to turn the rotors, and instead used a manual crank, it could be quite mechanically simple.
 
2014-01-27 12:57:25 PM
I could brute force that on my cellphone and still have enough battery left to crush some candy.

/people died for us
 
2014-01-27 12:57:25 PM

dittybopper: In fact, thinking upon it, if you didn't have a requirement for each key press to turn the rotors, and instead used a manual crank, it could be quite mechanically simple.


To expand upon this:  You could have a knob on the right hand side that would have 26 detents.  Every time you turned the knob, the fast rotor turns with it on the same shaft.  The other rotors only turn when a notch on the rotor to the left engages a pin, which turns the rotor on the right one position, and so forth.

If you do something like that, everything else is merely wiring.
 
2014-01-27 12:58:46 PM

Tr0mBoNe: I could brute force that on my cellphone and still have enough battery left to crush some candy.

/people died for us


I could re-wire it, and then you'd be stuck.
 
2014-01-27 01:26:52 PM
BTW, if you want a simple manual cipher with as much power as an enigma, you can make a strip cipher.

img.fark.net

That one happens to be a strip cipher copy of the US Army M-94 wheel cipher:

www.jproc.ca

It's fully compatible with the M-94, which, however, isn't as secure as the German Enigma machine.  You would need more strips/wheels than the 25 used by the M-94.

I haven't run the math, but if you made say, 50 or 75 strips, and only used between 25 and 30 of them at any one time, it would probably be as secure as an Enigma.

The way a strip/wheel cipher works is that you line up your plaintext by moving the strips/wheels to spell it out, and then you just pick any other line as your ciphertext.  So in my strip version above, you can see the plaintext at the bottom:

SENDLAWYERSGUNSANDMONEYXX

We can just choose any other line at random as our ciphertext.  We might chose this line:

GRSVOTMRSMHJSOISEJLQVCQNO

For convenience sake, we'd break it into 5 letter groups:

GRSVO TMRSM HJSOI SEJLQ VCQNO

Then, our correspondent takes that ciphertext and lines it up on his strip/wheel cipher device, and as long as his strips/wheels are in the same order as ours, the plaintext will "pop" out at him because it will be the only intelligible line.

You can make the strips random by pulling Scrabble tiles out of a bag:  Put only A through Z into the bag such that each letter is in there just once, shake them up, and pull them out one by one, noting the letters in order.  For a strip cipher, you need to repeat the random alphabet you generated so you have enough overlap, but you don't need to to that for a wheel version because those "wrap around".
 
2014-01-27 02:47:00 PM
BTW, a spy would more likely use something smaller and more secure like one time pads, or a secure manual system similar to the VIC cipher.
 
2014-01-27 07:03:07 PM
So with the four LEDs this simulates the naval four rotor, not the army three rotor, right?
 
2014-01-27 08:11:33 PM

Gleeman: So with the four LEDs this simulates the naval four rotor, not the army three rotor, right?


The 4 Rotor Kriegsmarine Enigma was backwards compatible with the Wehrmacht/Luftwaffe 3 rotor machine.  The 4th rotor (which was non-stepping, btw:  It didn't rotate as a other 3 did) could be put in a 'neutral' position so that it was compatible with the 3 rotor machines.

If, indeed, this one is fully compatible, then you could use it like a Wehrmacht/Luftwaffe machine by simply doing the same thing.
 
2014-01-27 09:30:15 PM

dittybopper: BTW, a spy would more likely use something smaller and more secure like one time pads, or a secure manual system similar to the VIC cipher.


What a one time pad might look like:
meninmenstruation.files.wordpress.com
 
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