Cracking Enigma in 2021 - Computerphile

  visningar 767,148


25 dagar sedan

Enigma is known as the WWII cipher, but how does it hold up in 2021? Dr Mike Pound implemented it and shows how it stacks up against his laptop.
Mikes Code:

Cryptool v2 is here:

The original paper that Mike's attack is based off


This video was filmed and edited by Sean Riley.

Computer Science at the University of Nottingham:

Computerphile is a sister project to Brady Haran's Numberphile. More at

Greg M.
Greg M. 18 timmar sedan
It might interest you to know that every published work from tv, movies, commercials, and youtube, and even the Bible/religions have been encrypted for only the most intelligent to decipher. All the rules are hidden in plain sight. I know cause I am the first person to decipher it. They call me Lucifer (Loose "if" er) and that's just one of many names they use for me.
omzig18 22 timmar sedan
I want one of the alan Turing notes wouldn't mind one of the Sherlock Holmes quarters too
philip dias
philip dias 3 dagar sedan
An 8086 could probably break it
Hard Cas
Hard Cas 3 dagar sedan
I was writing a report about Enigma, and while researching I found this interesting finding. John Herivel was a worker at Bletchley Park, and he claimed that Enigma operators being under wartime stress wouldn't fully change the settings of the previous day to the new one, and we can use this carelessness to help us find the settings for the day. This became known as the Herivel Tip, and it apparently accelerated the decryption of Enigma. The reason why I find this interesting is because this Tip would practically be useless. The Enigma machine itself wouldn't transmit and required 2 machines to operate and communicate messages through radio (that's how we picked up their encrypted messages). So why would an operator, who didn't fully change the settings to the setting of today, send messages to the other operator in the first place? I'm not doubting Herivels genius, but I just find this tip to be completely pointless because unless the Germans were really incompetent, they wouldn't waste time sending a message that the other operator can't understand unless they somehow randomly put it in the same setting as them. Please help me in understanding why the Herivel tip is considered a big help in deciphering enigma, the more I think about it, the more pointless and unhelpful it seems.
Rey Blais
Rey Blais 4 dagar sedan
Anytime I hear about Turing, it always makes me sad to think how he was treated after all his accomplishments.
Craig Monty
Craig Monty 4 dagar sedan
But you didn't even crack it after all that waffle? Just got "slightly closer".....
Bruce Rosner
Bruce Rosner 5 dagar sedan
While the war time Enigma messages were limited in length they also had very limited military vocabularies. There are not many different words used in weather forecasts or a troop movement orders or naval communications for example. The specific circumstance of an intercepted encrypted message can give useful information of its purpose and hence its vocabulary.
Nixel 5 dagar sedan
So if you were to write a script that shows the current configuration and gradually gets more of them correct, it would _actually_ look like those Hollywood password cracking scenes, where the letters "lock into place" when they're correct?
Walter bishop
Walter bishop 5 dagar sedan
So the basic understanding is mathematicians in the 1940s could work out better than people today, with no computers.
James Ward
James Ward 7 dagar sedan
You're approach is based on a knowledge of how an enigma machine works though, did Alan Turing have a captured enigma machine?
Hard Cas
Hard Cas 3 dagar sedan
Most likely, on May 9, 1941 the Royal navy forced a Uboat to surface. While the Germans were bailing, they were able to capture an intact Enigma machine, with a codebook. From there they took apart the Enigma machine to discover how it works, specifically the internal wiring of all the rotors, and were able to use the machine to decrypt messages.
VendiGlobe 7 dagar sedan
So what about giving Polish people some credit. Marian Rejewski, Jerzy Różycki and Henryk Zygalski
Michael Dodd
Michael Dodd 8 dagar sedan
Cracking Enigma is easier than looking in to the camera it seems :)
Peder Sloth Züricho
Peder Sloth Züricho 8 dagar sedan
Question: Mirroring camera or lefthanded?
Peder Sloth Züricho
Peder Sloth Züricho 8 dagar sedan
Forget what i said i answered my own question, the letters are the right way around ;)
Rk Dl
Rk Dl 8 dagar sedan
Talking about Enigma also seems to itch the privates after @17:51 minutes
R 8 dagar sedan
it was dubbed ' the unbreakable code ', if I remember right...
Decibell one
Decibell one 8 dagar sedan
So hard to follow.
chan dick
chan dick 8 dagar sedan
watching him moves around in his chair irritates me
JP V 9 dagar sedan
can you crack sugma?
Armin Lutz
Armin Lutz 9 dagar sedan
Call it a hunch but i think if you get some of it right, it will be slightly better.
adrian coelho
adrian coelho 9 dagar sedan
Very interesting.
gamanyme 9 dagar sedan
if you did your homework you would know that in fact the messages send via enigma DID have in fact a particular string text everytime and everytime in the same location of the message and turing also had to used it to crack the new combination everyday fast eneough
DJ DarkMatter
DJ DarkMatter 9 dagar sedan
this dude is rambling. said the same thing like 5 times. no hate, but annoying. this vid could have been 10 mins long
Geert van Kollenburg
Geert van Kollenburg 9 dagar sedan
19:56 kid skipping through the garden in the background :). Wonders of working from home
Blackened Sprite
Blackened Sprite 9 dagar sedan
7:37 if I recall correctly, the enigma machines were changed daily, so you literally had that day to do it, then had to start again the next day, and nothing you did before was of any real use (except, obviously, those pesky weather reports...)
Lost Alone
Lost Alone 9 dagar sedan
Enigma is the perfect example of why people who don't know about cryptography shouldn't decide which crypto system to use.
Bill Davies
Bill Davies 9 dagar sedan
Mike still has some fanfold paper... amazing!
aps ind
aps ind 9 dagar sedan
That's a lot of ifs before you say it's easy to crack
Kuit the Geek
Kuit the Geek 10 dagar sedan
I'm definitely going to start using the phrase, "How English is this?" when correcting grammar. I love the concept of how close is something to a language and just referring to it as "How language is this?". This was a great video. Very informative.
Zoltán Pósfai
Zoltán Pósfai 10 dagar sedan
"Modern ciphers don't have this issue." Microsoft pptp 3DES anyone? :)
Armagan Aktan
Armagan Aktan 10 dagar sedan
How I get jealous when I see much smarter people...
Mr. UwU
Mr. UwU 9 dagar sedan
Something I've learn of that feeling is to don't compare yourself to others, and instead focus on just learning stuff
Nick Crosby
Nick Crosby 10 dagar sedan
And your next vid on cracking Lorenz? Love this stuff
Zormac 10 dagar sedan
He keeps saying that if you get one rotor right it's better than if you don't get any. How exactly does that work? If each rotor's input is the output of the previous one, wouldn't it always be complete nonsense unless you get everything right? How can a single rotor setting return some of the correct keys?
Perry Rhodan
Perry Rhodan 10 dagar sedan
Think about.. your way of solution, will it work if the original message was written backwards? ( 2 possibilities. First words versus sdrow and second complete sentence backwards.. )
david bullock
david bullock 10 dagar sedan
After the War the British gave the enigma system to the Australian Government as a "Uncrackable" encryption device, knowing full well they could look at all our secret communications.... Can't wait for us Aussies to become a republic.
Mesut Baysan
Mesut Baysan 10 dagar sedan
In the ww they ended all messages with the same greet. How did this phrase improve the decryption?
James Smith
James Smith 10 dagar sedan
"During the Woarr"
Chris Coffee
Chris Coffee 10 dagar sedan
I've not seen printer paper like that since I coded S3 for ICL in the late 1980s - every morning a bloke came round the office with a massive trolley and dropped off a stack of it with a printout of my journals and source listings from yesterday !
Shicho Sekura
Shicho Sekura 10 dagar sedan
Liked it just for the "random" ZUSE 6:06
Paul Morrey
Paul Morrey 11 dagar sedan
Mścisław Chrząszczewicz
Mścisław Chrząszczewicz 11 dagar sedan
Thanks to Marian Rejewski, Jerzy Różycki and Henryk Zygalski it was cracked first on december 1932. Great video!
C20H42 11 dagar sedan
Very interesting and nice video!
SenorQuichotte 11 dagar sedan
This dude needs his own channel. Throw an AI with a neural net at it with some cloud computing power, solved in 10 sec. Tensorflow could probably do it in 3 minutes.
Simos Katsiaris
Simos Katsiaris 11 dagar sedan
will not go into deepL, uses the basis of deepL...
Matthias Schorer
Matthias Schorer 11 dagar sedan
The enigma is a very clever piece of gear. I programmed one for the iPad and for that had to dive deep into the mechanics of that maschine. The weak point was the switch board which the Germans put in to make it more secure. The contrary was the case.
John Barradale
John Barradale 11 dagar sedan
How would you decrypt this code if you had no notion of using rotors or wheels in the first place?
John P
John P 11 dagar sedan
Would have helped more if the video showed how to write code in a laptop to crack enigma or which program is used, or how to access that program especially if the instructions depend almost entirely on the computer to do the legwork that would be the most critical information to detail.
Dan Bowkley
Dan Bowkley 11 dagar sedan
Going at it totally backwards, how difficult would it have been, during WWII, to have implemented AES on the hardware of the day? Would it have been possible at all?
Tulip1811 12 dagar sedan
great video except for the seasickness
CmdrCommando 12 dagar sedan
Consider this, Arne Beurling did it with a pen and paper during the war before the Turing machine.. And laptops. Love the show!!!
Mateusz SP8EBC
Mateusz SP8EBC 12 dagar sedan
By the way. Will it be possible to crack the Enigma settings if it was used not for encrypting an text in any human language, but rather for encrypting a binary data saved in something 'Base64 like'. I think that this might be way, way, way harder if the input set wouldn't have any strict structure or anything to use for analysis like that presented in the video.
David Gough
David Gough 12 dagar sedan
At 1.07 he says," let's look briefly at what the Enigma machine is. The subtitles, on the other hand, prefer to say, "Let's look at what the knitting machine is". Time to get the sub-title program improved.
Jeroen Doppenberg
Jeroen Doppenberg 12 dagar sedan
I see Thinkpad, I upvote
Brandon Hoffman
Brandon Hoffman 12 dagar sedan
I was thinking about enigma during this episode, which i then corelated to the United States using the Navajo. Which then led me to wonder whether or not the united states drafted people of a different nation to fight for them. Yep we drafted peoples from a different nation. Which to me feels like subjugation and the continuation of mistreatment towards the Native American's. It also makes that poster of uncle Sam pointing with the caption that reads "we want you" have some real negative vibes.
Sven Höhne
Sven Höhne 12 dagar sedan
Did I get you right, you set yourself on the situation that you know the internal configuration of each rotor, or did your software bruteforce those aswell?
Alespic 12 dagar sedan
Nice, I brought Turing as my exam’s thesis
Ales Z
Ales Z 12 dagar sedan
you should have been born 80 years ago man!
james grist
james grist 12 dagar sedan
cheating by knowing about the cogs and the switch board. how did bletchley figure this part out?
VK's ASDgaming
VK's ASDgaming 12 dagar sedan
@plasmaastronaut It certainly is more efficient than "unbreakable" codes in movies which are being decrypted before they are implemented.
plasmaastronaut 12 dagar sedan
@VK's ASDgaming what a cheap piece of junk, no wonder it got cracked
VK's ASDgaming
VK's ASDgaming 12 dagar sedan
@plasmaastronaut Commercial Enigma had three rotors. Army Enigma added plugboard. Later more wheels were added and those were not commercially available.
plasmaastronaut 12 dagar sedan
@VK's ASDgaming bah. its pretty lame if in war time the military is using internationally / commercially available 'off the shelf' machine variants.
VK's ASDgaming
VK's ASDgaming 12 dagar sedan
Poles had already broken and reverse-engineered 3-rotor Enigma with plugboard and gave Brits this info and machinery just before the war begun. Brits also had procured commercial variant with simplest way possible: buying one.
CityStarrzz 12 dagar sedan
Watching with headphones and wincing when he draws with that felt tip marker.
oppamaclare 12 dagar sedan
17:52 ... this is when he rearranges the rotors.
John Pesich
John Pesich 12 dagar sedan
I couldn't finish. I wish a word on SHA-2 would have been made.
John Pesich
John Pesich 12 dagar sedan
One is more English than another... Clearly you haven't been on Twitter.
DIREWOLFx75 12 dagar sedan
"this isn't something one does by hand right, not quickly" I'll give you one name: Arne Beurling. On his own, without any computation assist, without access to any hardware ( unlike Bletchley park, which had a copy of the early Enigma that was brought out from Poland ), he cracked the Geheimschreiber, which was roughly the Enigma for teleprinters, in 2 weeks.
Christian Borss
Christian Borss 12 dagar sedan
Great video! When you explained your algorithm, I was wondering how you can avoid that you run into a local maximum. But apperently it happens. Any suggestions how to improve it besides starting again with a different seed and see if you end up with a better fitness?
Adam Young
Adam Young 12 dagar sedan
Get this geek into mi5
Aaron Cook
Aaron Cook 12 dagar sedan
You never told us the weakness of enigma
Michael Brady
Michael Brady 12 dagar sedan
Brits only "broke the code" because they captured the "Day Codes" from the Germans.
Thorstein Klingenberg
Thorstein Klingenberg 12 dagar sedan
References his laptop a lot, has a ThinkPad X-series. I love it 👍😊
Jarod Baker
Jarod Baker 12 dagar sedan
mans just explained the weakness of enigma 180 times before getting to the point.
Katy Gets Rekt TV
Katy Gets Rekt TV 12 dagar sedan
Any chance you could spend £10 on a tripod so I don't feel like I'm in Drake Passage for the entire video? Thanks!
Fled From Nowhere
Fled From Nowhere 12 dagar sedan
Does he have some sort of bug crawling under his skin? Why does he move like that?
Grimshaw Grummage
Grimshaw Grummage 12 dagar sedan
this video just ended abruptly
Rixtronix LAB
Rixtronix LAB 13 dagar sedan
Cool info, thanks :)
233kosta 13 dagar sedan
My instinctive answer to "Is the Enigma secure today" is a flat out no, for the simple reason that it got cracked in the '40s. Bruteforce-wise it may still be nigh-on impossible, but if there were enough vulnerabilities to make it crackable back then, there's no reason those same vulnerabilities wouldn't be used to crack it today and given nearly a century of development in computing - much more quickly and efficiently. No cipher is safe from attack by intelligent and resourceful individuals, now more than ever before.
Wiizl 13 dagar sedan
But did Turing know how Enigma worked? I mean is it even possible to crack if you don't know that there are plugs and rotors an how many of them might be?
SheyD78 13 dagar sedan
Very surprising, I really did assume the brute force of a modern pc would break it without difficulty given the difference between what was available then and now. With people mining crypto-currency with graphics cards it seemed likely. Guess some things can't really be forced with just a bigger hammer (so to speak).
Mr. UwU
Mr. UwU 9 dagar sedan
I guess a top-level super computer would be able to brute-force it. After all, the best one is able to do 450petaflops
Rodrigo de Piérola
Rodrigo de Piérola 13 dagar sedan
(cough) Polish decoders and their bombas(cough)
Peter Rimshnick
Peter Rimshnick 13 dagar sedan
Why not use simulated annealing or genetic algorithms etc?
Karel van der Velden
Karel van der Velden 13 dagar sedan
After having worked later generation machines (KL-7) in the seventies as a navy radio-operator I marvel at the simplicity of this explanation. Thanks.
rayan69pl 13 dagar sedan
Another Briton who repeats the lies that Alan Turing has broken the Enigma code. The Enigma code was broken by three Polish mathematicians, ie Jerzy Różycki, Marian Rejewski and Henryk Zygalski !
VK's ASDgaming
VK's ASDgaming 12 dagar sedan
@rayan69pl You imply that I lied by saying that Poles made the groundwork of breaking Engima by cracking and reverse-engineering its army variant with three rotors and plugboard. They also gave all their knowledge to Brits just before the war. Sad truth is that Poles just got forgotten because their part remained quite well hidden after the war.
rayan69pl 12 dagar sedan
@VK's ASDgaming I know it's hard in the West to admit your lies, but before you write anything, read about it. The Enigma code was cracked and read for the first time in 1932 by Marian Rejewski. Of course, Turing contributed to the work, but to give him all the credit is a plain, hideous lie!
VK's ASDgaming
VK's ASDgaming 12 dagar sedan
They set the foundation by breaking army-Enigma with three rotors and plugboard. Enigma had to be continuously broken.
Stefan Zett
Stefan Zett 13 dagar sedan
With a modern computer it should be done in some minutes to break the positions of a three wheeled enigma. If you like you could read former secret texts from the war.
Korgo 13 dagar sedan
Very interessting! Thanks :)
Donald Burkhard
Donald Burkhard 13 dagar sedan
Thought it was made to decrypt not encrypt?
Donald Burkhard
Donald Burkhard 13 dagar sedan
But one “p” not always same letter out?
Dan Kelly
Dan Kelly 13 dagar sedan
I actually haven't seen indications that he truly understands this subject matter. I get the feeling he got help online and/or from friends and can barely see the forest for the trees.
Gislo A
Gislo A 13 dagar sedan
Something about this guy I just like, he starts talking - i listen... passion perhaps? He seems likeable. Wonder how he is in his personal life hm...
Toni Ruottu
Toni Ruottu 13 dagar sedan
At 4:00 he says we don't have any idea what the plaintext is. He then proceeds to assume that the plaintext is human readable. Does this mean that the Enigma can securely be used to encrypt random sequences that are not human readable?
george d
george d 13 dagar sedan
@10:45 you said that there are 26 * 3 different starting positions. It should have been 26 ^ 3 instead.
Antonio Duverge
Antonio Duverge 13 dagar sedan
Turin did a much better job than this guy, he talks and talks at the end, he cheated anyway.
LA3CLA on the road and more
LA3CLA on the road and more 13 dagar sedan
Germans scientists in WW2 had some brilliant minds... they overengineered lots of things for quality too.
pogonator1 13 dagar sedan
Question, you and Turing know how the Enigma machine works, and because of this you see the where the weaknesses are. But if you just had the output, a lot of coded messages, how much work would it be to break it today?
Somting Wong Wai
Somting Wong Wai 13 dagar sedan
So the best place to keep my passwords is a physical written sticky note in my draw.
DowskiVision MagicalOracle
DowskiVision MagicalOracle 13 dagar sedan
Videos like this are why I love the computerphile channel!
Austin Levreault
Austin Levreault 13 dagar sedan
lol Regarding the index of coincidences.... but if you have everybody using the same enigma settings on a given day and the allies intercept all of them, it doesn't matter that each message is only 200 letters long because the allies have hundreds of messages.
Jeffery's Mom!!!
Jeffery's Mom!!! 13 dagar sedan
ok I got 7 min in and I gave up
Wanderer 14 dagar sedan
In my mind the only weakness of the enigma was that the letter punched in, would never be repeated through out the process. So not 1/26 be 1/25. and like you said, could be put against some traffic in the clear. If none of the letters corresponded but had similar composition, was likely a key.
George Chu
George Chu 14 dagar sedan
This is also knowing the mechanical arrangement...
Rulovsky Pharaoh
Rulovsky Pharaoh 14 dagar sedan
stop wasting paper, buy a whiteboard please
Robin Phillips
Robin Phillips 14 dagar sedan
Dont forget that it was in military German, Navel or Luftwaffe!
SteeVee Dee
SteeVee Dee 14 dagar sedan
My wife's sister knows a 100 year old lady who worked in the office next to Turing at Bletchley during the war. She must have some stories but to my knowlege she's never discussed them with anyone.
Antonis Kouros
Antonis Kouros 14 dagar sedan
Stop moving the camera... my head... can't watch it!
Turing's Enigma Problem (Part 1) - Computerphile
The Art of Code - Dylan Beattie
NDC Conferences
visningar 2,7mn
Jocke & Jonna
visningar 219tn
Gordon Dewoon
visningar 172tn
Bjarne Stroustrup - The Essence of C++
The University of Edinburgh
visningar 898tn
NEWS: What's up with Muons? - Sixty Symbols
Running an SQL Injection Attack - Computerphile
Naval Engines - Rotate that shaft!
visningar 190tn
Jocke & Jonna
visningar 219tn
Gordon Dewoon
visningar 172tn
Betnér: Slaktkyrkan 2019 Bootleg NY SPECIAL!
Hampus ser färger för första gången
visningar 168tn
Inside India's COVID Hell
visningar 2,5mn
Yasak Elma 109. Bölüm
Yasak Elma
visningar 1,2mn
Binging with Babish: Tortilla Chip Sombrero from Despicable Me 2