Cryptographic history hit-and-run.

19 July 2007

Someone in Italy has a real German Enigma machine from World War II up for auction on eBay. The Enigma machines were the mechanism used to implement the famous cryptosystem that protected German radio communications up until Allied cryptographers were able to figure out how it worked. With today's technology (in particular, programming languages) it isn't too difficult to implement one yourself once you know the principle, but if this is legit, it's a real piece of World War II and crypto history. Not many Enigma machines survived after the war was over; the few that are left are in museums around the world. However, when last I checked, the bidding was up to $13.5kus after 11 bids, with eight days and four hours remaining in the auction.

I wish that I had the kind of petty cash laying around to buy such a thing, this is a real find. Alack and alas, I'll have to make do with this hardcopy implementation of the Enigma cypher once I print it out.

For those of you Out There who are good with your hands and fans of codes and cyphers, there is also a kit you can buy that implements the Enigma machine.

Hmmm.... I might just get one of those kits and build it myself. It'd look good on my desk at work.