Message Decryption Using Mathematics: Decoding Secret Messages Through Maths?Find Out How!

Trick To Decode Messages Through Mathematics

During the Second world war Germans used the Enigma codes for sending messages. An enigma machine allows the user to encode 158 quintillions of possible combinations to generate a secret message. These codes were so hard to crack that even the modern computer which does 30 crore calculations a second would have taken 16,000 years to crack one code. And it could take 1.6 years for Chinese supercomputers to crack one code.

The English mathematician Alan Turing and his fellow researchers invented the decryption machine called ?The bomb machine? to crack these enigma codes. They were successful in decoding some codes. Even though the machine was a great invention it had a flaw in it. In this machine, the letters were not decoded as letters. It was deciphered as a code.

So recently the new version of this machine called ?Enigma Machine? was developed. This machine was made by removing the flaws that the previous machine had. So now this machine can make a letter decode into the letters making it easier for anyone to decrypt the messages. The machine basically works on Mathematical permutations and combinations to decode a particular code. The machine runs different combinations until the perfect code is found. This new machine makes it easy to decode the enigma message in lesser time.


Enigma machine is a combination of mechanical and electrical subsystems. The mechanical subsystem consists of a keyboard; a set of rotors; stepping components to turn at least one rotor with each keypress, and lamps, one for each letter.

A German Enigma operator would be given a plaintext message to encrypt. After setting up his machine, he would type the message on the Enigma keyboard. For each letter that would be pressed, the enigma would churn out one lamp lit indicating a different letter according to a substitution determined by the electrical pathways inside the machine that is based on the mathematical calculation of permutations and combinations.

Advantages of this machine:

  • Due to the use of mathematical combinations, the results are trustworthy
  • It takes a shorter time to decode enigma code than any computer
  • The decoding happens in a readable or understandable format
  • This machine completes the entire cycle of interpretation of the encrypted message by making it comprehensible, unlike the bomb machine, that only focused on interpretation.

Research Papers on the topic:

Research Seminar in Cryptography The Enigma Cipher Machine

Rotor Machines and Enigma

Paper Enigma Machine


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