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Think of an alphabet with 256 instead of 26 letters


>>> def f(x): ... if x==1: return 1 ... return x*f(x-1) ... >>> f(4) 24 >>> f(26) 403291461126605635584000000L >>> f(256) 857817775342842654119082271681232625157781520279485619859655650377269452553147589377440291360451408450375885342336584306157196834693696475322289288497426025679637332563368786442675207626794560187968867971521143307702077526646451464709187326100832876325702818980773671781454170250523018608495319068138257481070252817559459476987034665712738139286205234756808218860701203611083152093501947437109101726968262861606263662435022840944191408424615936000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000L >

Tesla patent


Someone recently added the following:

A method and apparatus anticipating these disclosurses, Nikola Tesla's 1898 patent US613,809 which refers to the "Art of Individualization", would have not even allowed a signal above the average noise floor for a code breaker to decipher. The method encrypted the content of the message, but also encrypted the order, duration, frequency and amplitude of the carrier signal. Tesla's system was designed to be non-interfering and non-interfere-able and was publicly demonstrated before the turn of the century and widely reported in his lectures, patents, and many articles in New York's popular press. A simple embodiment of the transmitter with ten elements grants a "spy" one chance in roughly three million of even registering a signal on their receiver, let alone deciphering an intelligent message.

Was this method a rotor machine? — Matt Crypto 07:45, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)

A copy of this patent can be found here. (The 613,808 at the top of the page is a typo; you can double-check at http://www.uspto.gov if you like, but it's much harder to give USPTO links). This patent is about remote control; it not only does not concern ciphers, it is totally unrelated to whatever the anonymous editor was talking about above. That stuff seems possibly to be a reference to patent 725,605, "System of Signaling", which Teslaphiles interpret (in their usual manner) as being about spectrum spreading. Having read it I would say that is a very long bow to draw, but in any case it also certainly has nothing whatever to do with ciphers. Securiger 16:55, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Thanks for looking into this one. It's amazing what tenuous connections people will dream up, and then dump into Wikipedia articles :( — Matt Crypto 17:32, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Stretch your Education-Sorry, not a Wikicop- -Tesla's devices are deceptively simple. There is lot of literature on this part of Tesla's work with private communications, but you will have to dig it up on your own. I included that post so that someone looking into cryptography may see that there are other electronic methods aside from letter wheels and alphabet games which can be practicaly employed to -encrypt-, or a provide a "cipher" for a signal containing an intelligent message.

I suggest you stretch your own education. This is an article on rotor machines — a very specific class of cryptographic equipment. Your addition was off-topic. — Matt Crypto 00:41, 30 Apr 2005 (UTC)

The patent is about remote control and you should realize the revolutionary aspect of that patent, as John Hammond realized and commercialized a few years later,(there is extensive correspondence btwn those two gentlemen if you care to look it up) was remote control for several seperate individual functions, making use of what is now called multiplexing, spread spectrum. Concerning our interest here, it also discloses a method to ensure that the system is non-interfere-able--- 6 tuned circuits = 6(5-1)(4-1)(3-1)(2-1) = number of chances to find and interrupt the signal in realtime. Without much imagination one can also see that in conjunction with a magnetic switch, the patent is the first anticipation for the digital "and" logic gate.

Goody. What's this got to do with rotor machines? — Matt Crypto 00:41, 30 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Matt Crypto made a point on "Teslaphiles". New age mumbo jumbo surrounding Tesla is immense, and tons of people are decieved. That does not preculude the fact that there are important concepts to be gained from studying his papers. Somehow, I feel if someone had falsely put the name Einstien instead of Tesla, that post would have stayed without much further nitpicking and haggling. Einstien has tons of tangential references on wikipedia articles and media in general, few are as half as relevant as this article on cryptography is to the work Tesla was conducting on the subject many years precident to most of the sources cited. Cryptography tends to be a mensa wannbe playground for degenerate hackers and math geeks. Tesla had many practical results and so I cited him, it would be nice to see a practical result from a proffesor pinkhands once in a while... -anon-

I would quite happily have removed results attributed to any of Einstein, Einstien, Tesla or even William-bleeding-Friedman if they weren't on the topic of rotor machines. — Matt Crypto 00:41, 30 Apr 2005 (UTC)

How strong is the rotor method?


The article lacks a section on cryptanalysis discussion, which would be important for the rotor machine topic. If I understand correctly, there is an ongoing distributed computing project to solve a big heap of WWII-vintage uncracked enigma messages. (talk) 08:42, 2 October 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Rotor machines use symmetric crypto and so require exchange of keys (or of a key generation method) and so suffer from all the problems of such cyphers aside from their rotorish nature. Purchase key and rubber hose attacks are often useful against such cyphers, completely aside from other attacks of which there are many. User dumbth is a fruitful approach as well, as Bletchley Park discovered.
What rotor machines do is implement a particular sort of polyalphabetic substitution cypher (a kind of symmetric cypher). Such cyphers can be attacked by methods pioneered by Charles Babbage, but a properly implemented rotor machine cypher will be too difficult to use these methods -- too long a period and insufficient depth of messages for a given key setting.
Brute force attack is always possible, but will be very difficult as well. In practice, a properly implemented rotor machine cypher will be very resistant to such attacks as well.
Welchman's comment, to the effect if they'd done their cyphers correctly and not left so many readily exploitable attack points, we'd have never broken Enigma, is still pretty much accurate. Even in a computer dominated era. ww (talk) 14:35, 2 October 2008 (UTC)[reply]

pin-and-lug vs rotor machines


Some references (such as, for example, "Crypto Museum: Schlüsselgerät 41" ) draw a distinction between "SG-41 is ... based on ... the pin-and-lug principle of the C-machines, developed by Boris Hagelin" which are purely mechanical, vs. "rotor machine [such as] the Enigma" which require electrical contacts on the mechanical wheels.

However, currently some Wikipedia articles (including this rotor machine article and the Schlüsselgerät 41 article) seem to be saying that those pin-and-lug machines are a kind of rotor machine.

I feel like it would be reasonable for someone to use the term "rotor machine" for both kinds of machines, since both kinds of machines have rotating wheels, but what terms do our sources use?

Should Wikipedia (a) continue to use "rotor machine" for both kinds of machine? If so, what more-specific terms should Wikipedia use for the 2 main subsets, specifically electrical-contact cipher wheel machines vs. specifically purely mechanical pin-and-lug cipher machines? Or should Wikipedia (b) use "rotor machine" only for electrical-contact cipher wheel machines? If so, what more-specific term should Wikipedia use for the non-electrical (and therefore not rotor machine) purely mechanical pin-and-lug machines, and what more-general term should Wikipedia use to refer to both kinds of cipher machines? --DavidCary (talk) 06:16, 5 June 2021 (UTC)[reply]

I see that "Cipher Machines" also distinguishes "Electric Rotor Cipher" vs "Pin and Lug Cipher". --DavidCary (talk) 14:38, 5 June 2021 (UTC)[reply]