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The Effect Of Cryptanalysis In World War Ii And Beyond

876 words - 4 pages

James Sanborn once made the statement, “What affected me most profoundly was the realization that the sciences of cryptography and mathematics are very elegant, pure sciences. I found that the ends for which these pure sciences are used are less elegant.” Sanborn’s comment couldn’t be more true; during World War II cryptography was used by both the Allies and the Germans for sending secret messages back and forth. This is when the elegant science created not very elegant machines, such as: Enigma, Lorenz Cipher, and Japanese “Purple”. This drastic advancement in cryptanalysis changed the way that mathematicians and scientists viewed cryptosystems.
During World War II, the German Nazis set off a boom in cryptanalysis by creating a revolutionary invention, known as, Enigma. The Enigma machine operated by having someone enter a message and then (using permutations) scramble it around with the use of three to five rotors. To encrypt a message for an Enigma with three-rotors, they used the following equation: ; with P being the plugboard transformation, U being the reflector, and L,M, and R being the left, middle, and right rotors. This scrambled message was then sent to a receiver who had to decipher the message by recreating the exact setting of the rotors from the sender's machine. However, the code, which has 158 quintillion different settings, was eventually broken by the Allies and used against the German Nazis as an advantage. And to show how confident the Germans were with this machine, until recently they still had no idea that the Allies had even cracked their code.
Another encryption machine that was popular during WWII was the the Japanese 97 - shiki O-bun In-ji-ki known by the United States as “Purple.” The machine operated similarly to the German Enigma, however it had two typewriters and an electrical rotor. It required a typewriter to enter a message in plaintext, entries of five-digit groups. “Purple” had up to 45,000 entries in a numerical and alphabetical encoding dictionary. After the code was entered, the second electric typewriter would enter the ciphertext onto a piece of paper. This machine was far more superior than the Enigma Machine and required one person to operate the device as opposed to the two needed on the Enigma Machine, thus reducing the risk of human error. The code itself was also more complicated as the numerical encoding scrambled up the alphabetic coding. There were also five-digit arbitrary numbers that were chosen from a separate book and then added to the message. The codes...

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