T Nation

Cryptography Challenge: Code Break


There have been a few mentions of cryptography lately in various threads.

For those who enjoy the topic and would like to try their hands at "cracking some code", this site offers a code breaking game: http://www.pc-facile.com/security/codebreak.php

There are 10 levels, going from easy to extremely difficult. It probably helps if you know how to program, although a large portion (maybe all) of the puzzles can be done with various tools you can find on the net.

And yes, the "pookie" sitting at the top of the Hall of Fame (english version) is yours truly. IIRC, it took me about 3 weeks to do them all in August 2004.

It gave me a new respect for Alan Turing and the guys of Bletchley Park who cracked the German Enigma machine during WWII without the benefit of computers. They built mechanical "bombes" who were basically single-purpose mechanical computers who would do brute searches to find the Enigma key codes.


And give some credit to the Polish mathematicians who first created the "bomba" in the 30s.


Good point. Had their system been used correctly, there's a good chance it never would have been cracked during the war. The Enigma machine is a very clever device and still produces very strong encryption even today.

EDIT: Oops, just noticed you weren't talking about the inventors of the Enigma (who were Dutch anyway), but about Marian Rejewski who did the pioneering cryptanalysis work that made the eventual "bombe" possible.

Major kudos to the man indeed.


What's with your avatar? I still chuckle whenever I see it.


I know. For some reason, it never gets old.