Selling out

A supposedly authentic Enigma is up for grabs on eBay. The current bid stands at $13.5k, which is strange ‘cos I thought something of this rarity would go for much much more. Millions even. Its the three rotor variety and ships all the way from Germany.

Gah, my day is ruined.

Update: … going twice … SOLD! to the creepy looking fed in the corner for $67,480.29.

Hut 8, Bletchley Park

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.