[Cryptography] highlights of crypto history
jsd at av8n.com
Sun Nov 13 20:28:20 EST 2016
On 11/13/2016 05:39 PM, ianG asked:
> What is the most important message ever protected or not protected? What day was it sent?
Here are some candidates that spring to mind:
Zimmermann Telegram : 11 January 1917 -- encrypted, but not quite well enough.
From a US/UK point of view, this one is hard to beat.
First Battle of the Masurian Lakes : 8-11 September 1914 -- the Russians had
a bunch of these newfangled "radios" but they didn't have their cryptologic
act together, so they transmitted in the clear. The Germans picked up on
this. This could be considered the start of a years-long series of very
unpleasant events for the Russians. (David Kahn likes to cite this example.)
The Bolsheviks learned from this, and have ever since devoted tremendous
efforts to crypto, comsec, and opsec.
Battle of the Bulge : 16 December 1944 -- Germans achieved essentially complete
tactical surprise, effective comsec (not so much crypto, just low-tech comsec),
Operation Overlord : 6 June 1944 -- Allies achieved essentially complete tactical
surprise, highly effective deception.
Washington Naval Treaty : signed 6 February 1922
US codebreakers ate the Japanese diplomats' lunch.
Nontrivial consequences for WWII.
Consequences would have been greater if Yardley hadn't spilled the beans.
So many aspects of WWII that one hardly knows where to begin:
Battle of the Atlantic
Battle of the Coral Sea
Battle of Midway
Assassination of Yamamoto
US anti-shipping operations in the eastern Pacific, unheralded but very consequential,
dependent on breakage of Japanese Maru code and non-breakage of US Navy codes.
More information about the cryptography