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SILO Seminar – Dimitrije Kostic

Event Details

When: September 22, 2015, 3:00 PM

Location: 1240 Computer Sciences and Statistics

Contact: 608-316-4401, hstampfli@wisc.edu

An Introduction to the Enigma and the Cryptanalysis Against It

Dimitrije Kostic

Dimitrije Kostic, Staff Researcher Lab of Telecommunication Science, College Park, MD

The Enigma cipher machine was a series of encryption devices used before and during WWII. The Enigma had an enormous key space, one that the Nazis were sure the Allies would never be able to exhaust over, and because of this the Nazis were totally confident of the device’s security and used it to communicate their most sensitive messages. But the Allies–a team of Polish cryptanalysts before the war, and the British cryptanalysts at Bletchley Park during the war–were able to devise an efficient attack on Enigma, one that produced a gold mine of military intelligence that gave the Allies an enormous advantage and, by some estimates, shortened the war by two years. These events were dramatized in the recent film The Imitation Game, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley.

In this talk we will delve into the details of how Enigma worked and how cryptanalysis was able to overcome the seemingly insurmountable obstacles to attacking it.

SILO is a lecture series with speakers from the UW faculty, graduate students or invited researchers that discuss mathematical related topics. The seminars are organized by WID’s Optimization research group.

SILO’s purpose is to provide a forum that helps connect and recruit mathematically-minded graduate students. SILO is a lunch-and-listen format, where speakers present interesting math topics while the audience eats lunch.