Unbreakable British Cipher Cracked in 46 Seconds

By Baselinemag  |  Posted 2007-11-19 Print this article Print

A German amateur radio operator defeated one of United Kingdom's greatest weapons against the Nazi's and trumped an instrument that help win World War II. Joachim Schueth of Bonn used a self-written application to crack the Churchill-era code in less than two hours. He broke the hardest part of the code, Lorenz SZ42 encryptor which has approximately 16 million-million permutations, in just 46 seconds. The British Colossus, a refurbished computer that was originally built in the 1940s to crack Nazi encryptions generated by the famed Enigma devices, was still working on the computations when Schueth announced his victory. Schueth was participating in a challenge sponsored by the British National Museum of Computing.


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