Recreating the Polish Bomba, Predecessor to the Turing-Welchman Bombe
||Thursday 16th May 2019
BCS, 5 Southampton St, London WC2E 7HA
About the seminar
In the mid-to-late 1930s, Polish mathematicians created a number of methodologies
to decrypt messages sent using the 3-rotor Enigma.
This talk will:
Explain the considerable variety of known Enigma machines.
Enigma is not just A Machine; it’s an entire family!
Provide an introduction to cryptography starting at the Caesar Cipher and
ending on focussing on the operation of one particular common
Enigma machine variant.
Discuss some of the Polish methodologies for cracking that machine,
and finally focus on the Bomba created by three Polish mathematicians
in the late 1930s, which was a device which took advantage of the
message protocols used at that time, and for which the speaker has
developed a working model using a mixture of ancient and modern techniques.
A basic prototype will be described, and the subsequent working model
will be demonstrated and explained in some detail.
Some extensions to its original functionality will also be discussed.
About the speaker
Jerry’s day job used to be to write software, in areas such
as retail systems, cryptography and internationalisation,
for a global computing company.
Since his retirement, he now volunteers at The National Museum of Computing (TNMOC),
which is situated within the Bletchley Park Campus.
There, he talks to visitors about, inter alia, Tunny, Colossus, and
the Museum’s slide rule collection.
He also volunteers at the Instytut Józefa Piłsudskiego, where he gives
the occasional talk on matters cryptological, such as Enigma and early
Polish systems for breaking it.
Jerry is not rich enough to be a full-time cryptocollector, but is interested
in crypto simulation techniques which allow virtual acquisition of
crypto hardware without needing to find the space to store it.
Jerry’s house is definitely not big enough for a Colossus!