More on the Russian (alleged) hacking case from Eli the Computer Guy
Saturday, January 14, 2017
Tuesday, January 10, 2017
Tuesday, January 3, 2017
Although I’ve written essays about the most interesting cases of cryptologic history, there are a few cases that I have not been able to cover in detail.
Unfortunately in order to write about them I need access to material from the NSA’s FOIA office or from the US and German archives.
If all goes well and I receive this material then I will be able to write about the following cases:
The Air Ministry’s Research Department - Reichsluftfahrtministerium Forschungsamt was one of the major intelligence organizations of Nazi Germany.
It was created by Hermann Goering as his personal intelligence agency in 1933 and during the period 1933-45 the Forschungsamt monitored telegram, mail and telephone traffic in Germany and also intercepted and decoded foreign radio traffic.
Unfortunately we do not know many details about their wartime work. ‘European Axis signals intelligence vol 1 - Synopsis’, p21-2 says that no evidence of their cryptanalytic successes was found and that less than 1% of the FA’s personnel were interrogated.
Much later, in the early 1950’s, two TICOM reports on the Forschungsamt were written by former members drs Kröger, Huppertsberg and Kurtzbach.
TICOM reports DF-240 and DF-241 should have interesting information. If the NSA’s FOIA releases them I’ll be able to write a detailed report on the operations of the Forschungsamt.
2). Japanese diplomatic cipher TOKI
In order to protect its diplomatic communications Japan’s Foreign Ministry used several cryptologic systems during WWII. In 1939 the PURPLE cipher machine was introduced for the most important embassies, however not all stations had this equipment so hand systems continued to play an important role in the prewar period and during the war.
One of the main hand systems was the J-19 code, enciphered either with bigram substitution tables or with transposition using a stencil.
Both the Anglo-Americans and the Germans solved the J-19 FUJI code in the period 1941-43. In summer ’43 FUJI was replaced by three new systems. The transposed codes TOKI and GEAM and the enciphered code ‘Cypher Book No1’.
TOKI was used in the period 1943-45 and it was similar to J-19 in that it was a code transposed on a stencil. Just like its predecessor it was solved by the Anglo-Americans and the German codebreakers. The US designation was JBA and the designation in Pers Z files (decryption department of the German Foreign Ministry) was JB-64.
If all goes well and I receive the relevant material I will write an essay on TOKI.
3). M-209 update
The M-209 cipher machine was used in WWII by the US armed forces as a medium level cryptostystem. I’ve given a summary of the German solution of this device in The American M-209 cipher machine however I’m going to be adding information in some paragraphs.
I’m also waiting for some files from NARA. If I receive them then they should contain a lot of new information.
4). Croat Enigma
I’ve already written about this case in German codebreakers vs Enigma but this time I will write a more detailed essay using the information contained in the war diary of Inspectorate 7/VI.
5). Swiss Enigma
I’ve given a summary of German work on the Swiss diplomatic Enigma cipher machine in German codebreakers vs Enigma but this time I decided to investigate further so I’ve copied more material from the archives.
Unfortunately that wasn’t enough and in order to write about this case I will have to wait till the NSA’s FOIA office releases the relevant files (TICOM reports I-31, DF-240, DF-241).
6). M-138-A cipher
If the NSA’s FOIA office releases more TICOM reports and if they contain new information on the compromise of the State Department’s M-138-A cipher then it might be possible to write more about this very interesting case.
Sunday, January 1, 2017
In January 2016 I wrote a summary of the progress I had made in researching some very interesting cases of cryptologic history.
What is the state of these cases a year later? Let’s see.
1). US State Department M-138-A strip cipher
In 2016 I wrote:
This case has been (by far) the most difficult of those I’ve had to research. Despite this I was able to make real progress in 2015. I located the report ‘JAT write up - selections from JMA traffic' and used it to write an essay on the material transmitted from Germany and Finland to Japan, I received the report I-89 ‘Report by Prof Dr. H Rohrbach of Pers Z S on American strip cipher’ and wrote Compromise of the State Department’s M-138-A strip cipher and the traffic of other US agencies.
Also during the year I managed to find a lot of material on the Finnish codebreakers and their work on the M-138-A strip cipher. Regarding the Carlson-Goldsberry report the NSA’s FOIA office has managed to locate it but releasing it will take time.
In 2016 I was able to find more information on how the M-138-A cipher system was used by the State Department and I presented this information in New developments in the strip cipher case. I also added dr Huttenhain’s statements on the solution of the M-138-A cipher, from his unpublished manuscript ‘Einzeldarstellungen aus dem Gebiet der Kryptologie’.
Unfortunately the TICOM report DF-15 ‘Reports of group A’, that I expected would have details on the solution of the M-138-A cipher by the codebreakers of the German Foreign Ministry, simply says in page 5:
SV: In the summer of 1941 A-Group received through OKW a photographic copy of the Instructions for Use and 4 series of strips by means of which a number of messages could be deciphered.
SV means Streifenverfahren = strip cipher system.
Regarding the Carlson-Goldsberry report the NSA’s FOIA office still hasn’t declassified it.
2). NKVD 5th Department codebreakers
As far as I know no new information is available on the wartime operations and successes of the Soviet codebreakers.
3). Referat Vauck success
In 2016 I wrote:
After locating the reports of Referat 12 i was able to write the detailed essay Allied agents codes and Referat 12. I’ve also requested the postwar interrogation reports of Dr Wilhelm Vauck from the NSA. However locating and declassifying them will take some time.
The NSA’s FOIA office has stated this year that ‘a thorough search of our historical files was conducted but no records responsive to your request were located’.
Thus it seems that dr Vauck was not interrogated by the Anglo-Americans at the end of WWII.
4). Forschungsamt information
According to the NSA’s FOIA office my case concerning the release of reports DF-240 and DF-241 is in the final review queue.
5). German Enigma investigations
In 2016 I wrote:
The reports of the German Army’s codebreakers on the Enigma are available from government archives in the US and Germany. Unfortunately no one has read and commented on them.
The Inspectorate 7/VI reports are in the US National Archives and Records Administration, collection RG 457 - entry 9032 - boxes 1405-1409. I don’t have the means to check these boxes for the Enigma reports (plus they’re in German).
However I do have the Inspectorate 7/VI war diary and I’ve copied the passages dealing with research on the security of the Enigma cipher machine. As soon as I get some accurate translations I’ll post the text.
6). Japanese Purple and Coral cipher machines
I haven’t seen any new information on the possible solution of these cipher machines by the German codebreakers.
7). Soviet diplomatic code
I haven’t seen anything new on the possible solution of the Soviet diplomatic code by the Germans.
8). M-209 decoding device
My previous statement still stands:
‘I have to say I’m still surprised that this device has not received any attention from historians and/or the media!’
Sunday, December 18, 2016
During the year I continued to research several cases of cryptologic history. I got material from the US, British, German and Czech archives, I helped a lot of researchers by giving them information/files and I’ve also received some interesting material from my friends.
In January I had a look at some Unanswered questions of WWII cryptology and I presented information on the Compromise of a US cipher teleprinter in 1944.
In February I wrote about the German signals intelligence files in the Russian national archives and I added material on the compromise of OSS codes in WWII.
In March I presented more information on the possible exploitation of the Japanese PURPLE cipher by the German codebreakers. I also gave an overview of reports on the compromise of Allied communications in WWII.
In April I covered The ciphers of Czechoslovakia’s government in exile.
In May I added information in my essay on Case Wicher, I presented detailed information on the use of the M-138-A cipher by the US State Department and I posted Erich Hüttenhain’s statements on the solution of the M-138-A cipher from his unpublished manuscript ‘Einzeldarstellungen aus dem Gebiet der Kryptologie’.
In June I uploaded 3 missing pages from TICOM report I-22 and also the finding aid for the National Cryptologic Museum Library.
In July I looked back at all the information that I’ve uncovered these past few years in my essay July 2011 to July 2016 - 5 years of Christos military and intelligence corner and I wrote a review of ‘Code Warriors: NSA's Codebreakers and the Secret Intelligence War Against the Soviet Union’.
In August I added information on the US military attaché emergency double transposition cipher, I copied material from the British report FO 850/171 ‘Preparation of telegrams: use of code words: cypher machines and traffic: teleprinter services: en clair messages. Code 651 file 1 (to paper 4968)’ and added parts in my Typex essay and I uploaded Special Research History SRH-368 ‘Evaluation of the Role of Decryption Intelligence in the Operational Phase of the Battle of the Atlantic, U.S. Navy OEG Report #68’.
In September I gave an overview of the status of my recent FOIA cases, I added information on the Soviet analysis of the Enigma cipher machine and I located a NATO report critical of Hagelin C-type crypto machines.
In October I linked to two Australian reports detailing Japanese diplomatic and military codes of WWII. After receiving the book ‘KODY WOJNY. Niemiecki wywiad elektroniczny w latach 1907–1945’ I added some information from it in my essays on the German exploitation of Polish codes. Also during the month I uploaded the finding aid to the TICOM collection in the German Foreign Ministry’s Political Archive.
In November I added information on the history of US ciphers from the book ‘The history of codes and ciphers in the United States during the period between the world wars part ii. 1930-1939’ , I added information from the War Diary of Inspectorate 7/VI on the German analysis of Soviet cipher teleprinters of WWII and I uploaded several decoded Irish diplomatic telegrams from 1944.
In December I added information from the report ‘Dopady lúštenia šifrovacieho systému čs. londýnskeho MNO z rokov 1940-1945 na domáci odboj’ in my essay on The ciphers of Czechoslovakia’s government in exile.
Hopefully in 2017 I will be able to cover the few remaining cases of cryptologic history that interest me.
Thursday, December 1, 2016
In The ciphers of Czechoslovakia’s government in exile I’ve added the following in the paragraph ‘Report on the compromise of the communications of the government in exile’:
The report ‘Dopady lúštenia šifrovacieho systému čs. londýnskeho MNO z rokov 1940-1945 na domáci odboj’, can be found in the archive of the Museum of the Slovak National Uprising in Banská Bystrica and in the Central Military Archive at Prague.
In the report Cigan analyzed the Czechoslovak STP cipher and found it insecure. In addition he proved the compromise of Czechoslovak ciphers by examining reports from the office of the high ranking SS official Karl Hermann Frank.
A report from November 1944 had a summary of Funkwabwehr (Radio Defense) operations and it said that during the previous month 8 radio links, whose cipher procedures could be solved, were kept under observation. Of special interest was traffic between the Protectorate and London regarding the preparations for the uprising.
In the month of October a total of 488 messages were solved and 8 cipher keys derived for the STP cipher.
In pages 37-41 Cigan directly compared the Funkawbehr decodes with some of the Czechoslovak telegrams found in the country’s national archives.
For example messages exchanged between the Minister of National Defense General Ingr and Ján Golian and Jaroslav Krátký in the Protectorate and with Heliodor Píka in Moscow.
The author’s conclusion was that the use of insecure ciphers during wartime played an important role in undermining the operations of the Czechoslovak resistance movement and these events should be acknowledged by the country’s historians