[SIGCIS-Members] Fwd: News - Virtual Lorenz - Experience wartime crypto communications on the web

Brian Randell brian.randell at newcastle.ac.uk
Sun May 21 09:26:45 PDT 2017


This press release leads to recently-released working online  implementations of the Colossus and of the Lorenz cipher machine that the Colossus was used against.


Brian Randell

Begin forwarded message:

From: Stephen Fleming <stephen.fleming at palam.co.uk<mailto:stephen.fleming at palam.co.uk>>
Subject: News - Virtual Lorenz - Experience wartime crypto communications on the web
Date: 15 May 2017 at 10:07:42 BST
To: <brian.randell at ncl.ac.uk<mailto:brian.randell at ncl.ac.uk>>
Reply-To: <stephen.fleming at palam.co.uk<mailto:stephen.fleming at palam.co.uk>>


Experience wartime crypto communications on the web

Virtual Lorenz revealed in tribute to Bill Tutte and wartime codebreakers

15 May 2017

A Virtual Lorenz that can be used by anyone wanting to experience sending and receiving top secret Second World War communications was unveiled at The National Museum of Computing in celebration of the centenary of Bill Tutte, the man who unravelled the secrets of Hitler’s most secret encryption device.

Thought to be unbreakable, Lorenz encryption was used in the top-secret teletype communications of the German High Command during the Second World War. But the ingenious work of Bill Tutte at Bletchley Park unravelled the mysteries of the highly complex twelve-rotor Lorenz SZ42 machine even though he never saw the device until after the war. Tutte’s work, often regarded as the greatest intellectual feat of the war, shortened the conflict by enabling the decryption of the enemy’s strategic messages on a regular basis - and very rapidly with the help of Colossus computers.

At the Bill Tutte centenary event, Martin Gillow unveiled his creation of a Virtual Lorenz that runs on the web and can be used by anyone with internet access. Looking, operating and even sounding uncannily like a real Lorenz SZ42, virtual start wheels appear in 3D and whirr and as they are set, teletype chattering noises are heard as communications are exchanged and the encrypted and unencrypted text appears on screen as messages are sent and received. Even the Ablesetafel used to establish the start wheel settings is represented. In practice, the Virtual Lorenz is easier to use than its wartime real-time equivalent.

For full story and pictures, please see: http://www.tnmoc.org/news/news-releases/virtual-lorenz


School of Computing Science, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 7RU
EMAIL = Brian.Randell at ncl.ac.uk<mailto:Brian.Randell at ncl.ac.uk>   PHONE = +44 191 208 7923
URL = http://www.ncl.ac.uk/computing/people/profile/brianrandell.html

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