Enigma Machine on eBay

Hurry up! go and buy one on eBay, the future of this country depends on you... The Enigma [wiki] cipher machine can encode and decode messages using rotors.

Link - via The Retro Thing

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I took a (bad) photo of one at the WWII Museum in New Orleans earlier this year. I guess if you win the ebay auction you could send messages to the museum.

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Well, yeah, I guess it isn't much use to have just one -- if that is really why you are buying it! But people will be buying this because it is a rare surviving bit of WWII history. If all you want to do is pass coded messages, you can do that much more securely now with free 128-bit (or more) encryption software and now hardware. Alternatively, if you really wish to do it the Enigma way, there are software "Enigma emulator" programs out there.

The Enigma machines were a wonderful idea, but the Germans were a bit too complacent with the "unbreakability" of it, especially when machines fell into Allied hands and British & Polish cryptanalysts were able to figure them out.

The machine shown is one of the simpler (less difficult to decipher) ones, as it has only 3 rotors (wheels above the keyboard). This is typical of ones used by the German Army. The Kriegsmarine (Navy) and Abwehr (intelligence service) typically used 4 rotor variants. Later 5 and even 6 rotor versions were made. None were bulletproof when you knew how they were wired and if knew (or could deduce) the wheel setups. Without knowing those, though, they were pretty well impossible to brute-force with the computing technology of the day.
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