Feeds

Pristine WWII German Enigma machine could be yours

A lot cheaper than capturing a Nazi submarine, too

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

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. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Nexus 7 fandroids tell of salty taste after sucking on Google's Lollipop
Web giant looking into why version 5.0 of Android is crippling older slabs
Heyyy! NICE e-bracelet you've got there ... SHAME if someone were to SUBPOENA it
Court pops open cans of worms and whup-ass in Fitbit case
SLURP! Flick your TONGUE around our LOLLIPOP – Google
Android 5 is coming – IF you're lucky enough to have the right gadget
Official: European members prefer to fondle Apple iPads
Only 7 of 50 parliamentarians plump for Samsung Galaxy S
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Space Commanders rebel as Elite:Dangerous kills offline mode
Frontier cops an epic kicking in its own forums ahead of December revival
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
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.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
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.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.