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The Enigma Machine: Part 2

A cache by mrdovenb Send Message to Owner Message this owner
Hidden : 2/17/2017
2 out of 5
1.5 out of 5

Size: Size: micro (micro)

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Geocache Description:

*** Not at the posted Coordinates ***

This is a four part series (three plus a final).  Please make a note of the word(s) written in the last line of the log.  This will be used in the final, unless you decide to do this the “hard way”.

Breaking the Enigma:

One of the single greatest cryptographic accomplishments of all time was the breaking of the enigma.  This was considered by western Supreme Allied Commander Dwight D. Eisenhower to have been "decisive" to the Allied victory.  It was no small feat, considering that the standard army version had nearly 159 quintillion settings (when used with three rotors being selected from five, and 10 pairs of letters connected via the plug board).  Even more amazing was that it was broken without the use of modern computers. 

The breaking of Enigma is often credited to Alan Turing, and indeed his contribution was substantial.  However, the earliest breakthroughs were made by Marian Rejewski from the Polish Cipher Bureau.  The story of how he did it is fascinating and more than can be relayed here.  However, one of his more important realizations was that the plugboard (called the steckerbrett) and the rotor systems operated quasi independently.  In other words, it was possible to determine the initial rotor configuration without knowing the plugboard configuration.   

While the cryptanalysts of the 1930s and 1940s couldn’t directly exploit this weakness, they were able to indirectly exploit this using mechanical enigma simulators called “bombes.”  While not technically computers, these machines greatly simplified the process of testing various rotor configurations.  The resulting message would still be partly gibberish, but occasionally, fragments of plaintext would emerge which allowed the analyst to guess at the plugboard configuration.

The following message was encrypted using the standard Army Enigma using the following configuration: Rotor Numbers:  I, II, III; Starting Configuration: A,A,A (for simplicity);  Plugboard (Stecker): used, five pairs swapped.  Please use the related webpage and information contained herein to solve.



You can validate your puzzle solution with certitude.

Additional Hints (Decrypt)

Gur Cyhtobneq vzcnpgf gur vachg NAQ gur bhgchg. Ybbx ng gur qvntenz pnershyyl. Vs lbh qb n cyhtobneq fjnc naq vg svkrf bar yrggre ohg znxrf gur erfg bs gur chmmyr jbefr, lbh zvtug gel qbvat n fjnc jvgu gur vachg yrggre vafgrnq.

Decryption Key


(letter above equals below, and vice versa)



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