[Cryptography] Hypothetical WWII cipher machine.

Tom Mitchell mitch at niftyegg.com
Sun Jul 19 19:35:36 EDT 2015

On Fri, Jul 17, 2015 at 10:56 PM, Ray Dillinger <bear at sonic.net> wrote:

> Someone on wattpad (where I do some recreational writing) noticed
> that I've done some cryptography, and read my 'fixing Enigma'
> articles, and asked me to design a Plot Device.

While invented in 1974 the Rubik's cube could be turned into
a key system, crypto system  and sure in 1974 a puzzle.  Each face
can be assigned to a character and labeled with a grease pencil. Then
a pattern of rotation translations gives a confused substitution alphabet.
Assembly and dis-assembly is fair game.

For short messages passed via paper or sent by short wave a lot
of methods would have been very difficult in the day.

Solving the puzzle can be taught so open a one time assembly pad page.
Solve the puzzle and inspect the key... mumble secret details...
Rubic's puzzle is hard enough to be a head scratch-er in fiction.

Fixing Enigma seems wrong for a lot of reasons but the solutions are
and were known: stuff like more active wheels, a big box of wheels,
assembling the machine differently from time to time.
Enigma could have been a lot harder to crack if the same hardware was
used just slightly different.  An N wheel Enigma machine in software with
a setup file from a small one time pad would challenge most modern
decryption tools.

Passing muster with critical crypto folk in fiction is nearly impossible.
Compare and contrast with Japanese Purple.

  T o m    M i t c h e l l
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