The Enigma Machine: The Turing Bombe

1034 Words5 Pages
The so called Enigma machine, a electro-mechanical encryption machine developed by Arthur Sherbius at the end of the previous world war, made use of a substitution cypher. What made it almost impossible to crack was the fact that a mechanism inside the machine changed the substitution alphabet after every single letter. Its use on the other hand was very easy: the plaintext had to be typed on the keyboard of the machine to produce the ciphertext. If the recipient of the message entered the ciphertext on their own Enigma machine – which need to be configurated the same way as the one with which the text was created – they produced the plaintext. In 1928, Maximillian Jiaski. Head of the Polish General Staff's Cipher Bureau and his colleague Antoni…show more content…
This is not to say they simply adopted a mechanism, the English cryptoanalyst based on Bletchley Park contributed nothing but the money to realize the methods invented by the Polish secret service. The added rotors posed a a difficulty, as they multiplied the number of possible configurations by a great number. This is where the Turing Bombe became useful; the machine could systematically test configuration of the Enigma much faster than any human computer could. It is interesting to not that even the advanced decryption built by Turing and his colleagues utilizes the observations concerning the frequency of certain letters in a language made by Al-Kind centuries before. Nowadays experts consider the Bombe an important step towards the development of artificial intelligence, a subject Alan Turing was fascinated…show more content…
Binary code was known in different cultures throughout history, but Leibnitz introduced it to European scholars of the seventeenths century. In 1847 George Boole developed a an algebraic system of logic based on binary code, employing three basic operations: AND, OR and NOT. His theory then was rediscovered by Claude E. Shannon in his paper in his master's thesis at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Shannon is known as the “father of information theory” for taking a known principle to revolutionize information technology. Ciphers are not only useful to hide messages or their meaning, but also to 'communicate' with someone – or something – which only understands two pieces of information: Yes/No, True/False, 1/0, etc.. Not unlike Babbage's inventions, Shannon realized information can be broken down to smaller pieces of information until eventually they became simple either-or-questions. This application of the binary code is known as machine language or machine code and constitutes the basis of computer programming. Nowadays it is more common to use a different programming language which are more accessible to humans (i.e. closer to a human language) and which are 'translated' into machine language by a compiler, a 'translation program' which was first conceived by

More about The Enigma Machine: The Turing Bombe

Open Document