German divers searching the Baltic Sea for discarded fishing nets have stumbled upon a rare Enigma cipher machine used by the Nazi military during World War Two which they believe was thrown overboard from a scuttled submarine.
Thinking they had discovered a typewriter entangled in a net on the seabed of Gelting Bay, underwater archaeologist Florian Huber quickly realised the historical significance of the find.
EDITED TO ADD: Slashdot thread.
Posted on December 4, 2020 at 9:18 AM •
Sotheby’s is auctioning off a (working, I think) three-rotor Enigma machine today. They’re expecting it to sell for about $200K.
I have an Enigma, but it’s missing the rotors.
Posted on November 30, 2018 at 8:07 AM •
Really good article about the women who worked at Bletchley Park during World War II, breaking German Enigma-encrypted messages.
EDITED TO ADD (7/13): There’s also a book: The Debs of Blechley Park and Other Stories, by Michael Smith.
Posted on June 29, 2017 at 12:40 PM •
A fully functional four-rotor Enigma machine sold for $463,500.
Posted on December 9, 2016 at 11:55 AM •
Before Edward Snowden told us so much about NSA surveillance, before Mark Klein told us a little, even before 9/11, Duncan Campbell broke the story of ECHELON. This is his story of that story. It’s a fascinating read.
(Yes, it turns out that NSA mass surveillance didn’t start after 9/11.)
Posted on August 7, 2015 at 7:00 AM •
Expensive, but it’s in complete working order. They’re also auctioning off a complete set of rotors; those are even rarer than the machines — which are often missing their rotors.
Posted on November 6, 2012 at 12:17 PM •
This is a neat story:
A pair of rare Enigma machines used in the Spanish Civil War have been given to the head of GCHQ, Britain’s communications intelligence agency. The machines – only recently discovered in Spain – fill in a missing chapter in the history of British code-breaking, paving the way for crucial successes in World War II.
A non-commissioned officer found the machines almost by chance, only a few years ago, in a secret room at the Spanish Ministry of Defence in Madrid.
“Nobody entered there because it was very secret,” says Felix Sanz, the director of Spain’s intelligence service.
“And one day somebody said ‘Well if it is so secret, perhaps there is something secret inside.’ They entered and saw a small office where all the encryption was produced during not only the civil war but in the years right afterwards.”
EDITED TO ADD (4/13): Blog comments from someone actually involved in the process.
Posted on March 26, 2012 at 6:38 AM •
Sidebar photo of Bruce Schneier by Joe MacInnis.