Of Enigma Machines and Windtalkers
These original Kirt's Cogitations™ may be reproduced
(no more than 5, please) provided proper credit is given to me, Kirt Blattenberger.
here to return to the Table of Contents.
Cog·i·ta·tion [koj-i-tey'-shun] – noun: Concerted
reflection; meditation; contemplation.
Kirt [kert] – proper noun: RF Cafe webmaster.
with all the scares of successful hacking into presumably uncrackable,
coded wireless and wired network services, a page should be taken from
the World War II handbook. As any WWII history buff knows, major battles
turned on the ability of the Axis and Ally cryptographic teams' ability
to decipher each other's super-secret codes. Entire operations that
took months of planning were suddenly thwarted by a last-minute breakthrough.
Ingenious and sophisticated schemes were derived, most notable the German
"Enigma Machine," which defied cracking and allowed the Germans to dominate
and decimate the North Atlantic shipping lanes. Japanese spies captured
many critical keys in the South Pacific theater. All coding schemes
were eventually cracked with one exception - the natural tribal language
of the Navajo Indian. So unlike any other of the world's known languages
was theirs that the War Department enlisted the aid of those Americans
to become what would be referred to as the "Code Talkers." Patriotic
members volunteered for service in areas of some of the most intense
fighting to lend their on-the-spot secure communications capabilities
by simply speaking their native tongue at command centers and on the
front lines. So strange was the
that the enemy never figured out how to decipher
it all through the end of the war. Successes at Guadalcanal, Tarawa,
Peleliu, and Iwo Jima were attributed to the Wind Talkers unit. The
Wind Talkers took part in every assault the U.S. Marines conducted in
the Pacific from 1942 to 1945, serving in all six Marine divisions.
So, maybe the answer to preventing stolen credit card and bank account
numbers online lies in the development of an NES (Navajo Encryption
Standard) to replace NIST's current star, AES (Advanced Encryption Standard).
Even the up-and-coming quantum computers that are predicted to be able
to crack any existing code scheme in minutes could not touch NES in