Feeds

GCHQ to encrypt your tweets with Enigma - for science

Now you can make even less sense on Twitter

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

The Enigma code, once used by the Nazis to send secret military commands, will be used by visitors to the Cheltenham Science Fair next week to send tweets.

In a celebratory code-cracking session to mark 100 years since Alan Turing's birth, GCHQ has lent out one of its Enigma coding machines to the Science Fair from 12 to 17 June and is inviting members of the public to encrypt their social networking messages.

The coded messages will be sent to Bletchley Park and then decoded with the Bombe machine, which Turing invented to crack the code.

The Enigma code was developed by the Germans just after the WWI and was initially cracked by the Polish before the German military added extra layers of complexity.

Enigma machines scramble plain-text messages entered through the keyboard with a series of rotating 'wheels' or ‘rotors’, turning them into incoherent ciphertext. The machine's variable elements can be set in many billions of combinations - each one will generate a completely different ciphertext message.

If the recipient knows how the machine has been set up, they can type the ciphertext back in and it will unscramble the message. Without the Enigma setting, the message remains indecipherable.

Working out that no letter could ever be represented as itself, allowing for mistakes in operator messages as well as the eventual invention by Turing of the Bombe code cracker all contributed to the British finally breaking the encryption in 1940.

The messages sent from Cheltenham and decoded in Bletchley Park will be tweeted back to the Science Fair. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Criticism of Uber's journo-Data Analytics plan is an Attack on DIGITAL FREEDOM
First they came for Emil – and I'm damn well SPEAKING OUT
'It is comforting to know where your data centres are.' UK.GOV does NOT
Plus: Anons are 'wannabes', KKK says, before being pwned
Google's whois results say it's a lousy smut searcher
Run whois google.com or whois microsoft.com. We dare you, you PIG◙◙◙◙ER
Holy vintage vehicles! Earliest known official Batmobile goes on sale
Riddle me this: are you prepared to pay US$180k?
'Open source just means big companies can steal your code.' O RLY?
Plus: Flame of the Week returns, for one night only!
NEWSFLASH: It's time to ditch dullard Facebook chums
Everything hot in tech, courtesy of avian anchor Regina Eggbert
Hey, you, PHONE-FACE! Kickstarter in-car mobe mount will EMBED your phone into your MUG
Stick it on the steering wheel and wait for the airbag to fire
prev story

Whitepapers

Go beyond APM with real-time IT operations analytics
How IT operations teams can harness the wealth of wire data already flowing through their environment for real-time operational intelligence.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Simplify SSL certificate management across the enterprise
Simple steps to take control of SSL across the enterprise, and recommendations for a management platform for full visibility and single-point of control for these Certificates.