Feeds

Pristine WWII German Enigma machine could be yours

A lot cheaper than capturing a Nazi submarine, too

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

A World War II German Enigma cipher machine is on the block at Bonhams, the London auction house, this month.

The 1941 oak model, described as an "extremely rare example", is expected to go under the hammer on 14 November for an estimated £40,000-£60,000.

In 2010, a 1939 Enigma fetched £67,250 at auction - that model was furnished with a modern power supply and had some restoration. The Bonhams machine is in working order, completely untouched and unrestored, Bonham's Laurence Fisher, says.

"Many machines were picked up by the allies as souvenirs during the final stages of the second World War and as such, in later years, tended to be 'mixed and matched', where rotors, outer cases and head blocks were replaced with another machines' parts. This one has all elements bearing the same serial number, making this totally complete and original throughout."

Built by Heimsoeth and Rinke in 1941, this Enigma is the 3 rotor version, used by Germany between 1938 and 1944.

Turing Bombe

Some 100,000 Enigma machines were made in all, but only a few bore the Enigma name and logo. By 1939, most Enigmas were in use by the German military.

Military Enigma machines have three rotors, each with 26 positions, to create 17,576 possible combinations for each letter. They were thought to be unbreakable, but in 1940, British code breakers at Bletchley Park designed the Turing Bombe, an electromagnetic machine which automated the process of cracking Enigma code.

The website Dirk Rijmenants' Cipher Machines and Cryptology has a very good account of Enigma, complete with technical details, here. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
TEEN RAMPAGE: Kids in iPhone 6 'Will it bend' YouTube 'prank'
iPhones bent in Norwich? As if the place wasn't weird enough
George Clooney, WikiLeaks' lawyer wife hand out burner phones to wedding guests
Day 4: 'News'-papers STILL rammed with Clooney nuptials
iPAD-FONDLING fanboi sparks SECURITY ALERT at Sydney airport
Breaches screening rules cos Apple SCREEN ROOLZ, ok?
Crouching tiger, FAST ASLEEP dragon: Smugglers can't shift iPhone 6s
China's grey market reports 'sluggish' sales of Apple mobe
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
The British Museum plonks digital bricks on world of Minecraft
Institution confirms it's cool with joining the blocky universe
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.