Friday, 31 March 2017

Encryption and Enigma: a postscript

Arthur Scherbius
Our post yesterday on patents for cryptography ("Encryption, cryptography and the current state of patents", here) attracted a good deal of interest, not least on account of its Cipher-driven data presentation. This interest has sparked off the following tailpiece to the topic, for those who are fascinated by the history of cryptography technologies:
The infamous cryptography machine used by the Germans during the Second World War -- eventually cracked by allied cryptologists led by the great mathematician Alan Turing (played by Benedict Cumberbatch in the Academy-awarded biopic “The Imitation Game”) -- was called “The Enigma”.  It was originally patented as long ago as 1918 by German inventor Arthur Scherbius

Scherbius never lived to see the uses to which his machine was put, or to discover how the allied cryptologists got the better of it: he was killed in a horse carriage accident in 1929.

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