The start of July saw the discovery of new, uncracked German submarine messages - now added to the pool of Enigma encoded communications that remain successfully obscured by the Nazi WWII Enigma machine. As a result, the distributed compute project Enigma@Home has officially fired back up in early August to attempt to crack these messages. I would like to invite all of you to join in and help decipher these - if you have a computer, you can help!
Anyone is able to contribute to the decyphering of these messages, by installing the software BOINC. This open source platform allows you to add your computer's computational power to a global network of volunteers. As a collective, this network has incredible compute at its disposal, and works on everything from mapping the Milky Way to identifying child cancer markers. Deciphering Enigma messages is just a small part of what the BOINC network of projects hopes to achieve.
As a Dutch immigrant living in New Zealand, there is a certain degree of patriotism that has driven me to help Enigma@Home by providing computing resources. So much so, that I moved my compute power from mapping the Milky Way and in favour of cracking these massages. Actually, that is only a partial truth - I intended to move my compute power to Enigma for only a week or two as that would be enough time to crack the messages based on previous cracking time and the compute at my disposal. Turns out things are more complex this time around!
Unlike the previous three messages cracked by Enigma@Home in 2006, the current set of messages are late-war naval messages, which adds a forth wheel to the Enigma machine. Add to this that, also unlike the previous sets, there is no indication of any of the wheel settings during encryption, and you have an even bigger problem on your hands. Finally, a pass of the original decoding dictionary yielded no results, so the current decryption dictionary used is far more advanced which eats even more compute power.
As it stands, Engima@Home has completed all Windows work unit test batches. Over 80% of these I ran through my machines, to try and get this work out of the way as fast as possible. All work units for Windows are now validated and are running the actual decryption work! Note the zero test units left to be sent on this screenshot of the Ravager server 2 days ago:
As of today, we have another batch of test units generated which should be finished very soon. These test batches add Linux and MAC OS support to the decryption effort:
Unfortunately, as I have limited Linux machines and no MAC OS machines at all, I cannot help with these tasks as much as I would like. If you have these machines available, please join the search and help test the work units for these platforms.
To give you some indication of the difficulty in decyphering the current message, I have managed to complete 245523 work units, each containing 2 to the 32nd power Enigma settings. There are about 26 million work units left to be completed!
If your computer decyphers the message, you will receive substantial recognition for your efforts. Please, sign up for BOINC and come help bring this project to a close. If you need additional motivation - there is still a Nazi train full of gold hidden somewhere under the Austrian mountains. Who knows what the remaining messages might tell us?
As a final note, you are able to be paid for your help in decyphering this message in cryptocurrency by joining Team Gridcoin. If you would like to get started, here is a guide on getting set up from scratch. If you are already involved with BOINC and Gridcoin, I would like to invite you to contribute to Enigma@Home. As the biggest Gridcoin miner, I guarantee you that this is currently the best project on which to earn GRC for GPU work. Proof - I am top contributor of all time and top current contributor to Enigma@Home worldwide:
Come and help me bring this project to a close, and stick it to the Nazis one more time!