[Cryptography] Imitation Game: Can Enigma/Tunney be Fixed?

Phillip Hallam-Baker phill at hallambaker.com
Wed Jan 7 22:42:10 EST 2015

On Wed, Jan 7, 2015 at 3:23 PM, Ray Dillinger <bear at sonic.net> wrote:

> On 01/07/2015 10:11 AM, Phillip Hallam-Baker wrote:
> > In addition to what Jon raised, one of the biggest operational defects
> was
> > the habit of sending out 'test' messages of a single letter repeated.
> that
> > combined with the reflector no letter maps to itself defect made it
> really
> > easy to spot cribs.
> In reviewing the Third Reich's operational record with Enigma,
> it's hard to tell whether they lost the war because of sheer
> stupid arrogance (with the failures of training, overconfidence
> in equipment and procedures, and systematic underestimation of
> opponents that implies), or whether it just seems that way now
> because we have the record of the cryptanalytical progress against
> Enigma which depended so much on those mistakes.

I think people fail to take account of the advantage Enigma gave the NAZIs
early on. The Blitzkrieg strategy would have failed without efficient and
secure battlefield comms.

I think that is also what made them so confident in the Enigma. It was the
Fuhrer's prized secret weapon, suggesting it was breakable was to question
the Fuhrer himself.

Later on, what really destroyed the NAZI war machine was the paranoia that
the ULTRA decrypts introduced. Hitler believed everyone was stabbing him in
the back. Rupert Murdoch's wiretapping victims had the same experience,
they trusted their phones and the only explanation they could see for the
stories was that one of their friends had betrayed them.

This is why I didn't want folk going off looking for the NSA moles in the
IETF in the wake of BULLRUN. The damage done by the witch hunts would be
far worse than the continuing damage the moles could perpetrate.
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