Came across the M4 project a couple of days ago while doing some much needed digging. Its simply a distributed effort to crack 3 enigma messages encoded in (what is believed to be) “Shark”, the formidable naval cipher which uses four rotors as opposed to “Dolphin” that uses just three. You can find a good study of Enigma here, here and and a not so good one right here.
You can download a neat multiplatform client that utilizes your idle cycles to crack Shark. Very much in the spirit of seti@home, with the only difference being that this time around, the effort seems worthwhile. <smirk>
I was hooked on Enigma ever since I first read Singh’s Code Book. Then I just HAD to read Robert Harris’ thriller and of course, watch the movie that came out of it. Loved them all. I don’t know what it is about Enigma, whether its the stories surrounding it, the effort it took to crack it, the genius behind it, but I find it all extremely and excruciatingly fascinating.
Hey there Echelon. Readers, say Hi to Echelon.