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Cryptanalytic machines - under construction

The use of special purpose devices (machines) for analysis of encrypted messages and aiding in solving such messages, date back to shortly before the start of World War II (WWII). Before that time, ciphers were usually broken by hand, but the vast increase of machine-encrypted traffic – in particular by the German Army – prompted the development of automated codebreaking aids.

WWII cryptanalytic machines
Name Country Description Year
Cyclometer Poland Device for assisting in catalog attacks on Enigma 1935
Bomba Poland Exploits double use of message indicator in Enigma messages 1938
Bombe UK Exploits cribs in Enigma messages 1939
Bombe USA Improved version of the UK Bombe 1943
Heath Robinson UK TUNNY codebreaking device 1943
Colossus UK Codebreaking device for SZ-40/41 1944
Cryptanalytic machines used by NSA
Below is a non-exhaustive list of cryptanalytic machines and peripheral equipment, used by the US National Security Agency (NSA) and its predecessors, during WWII and during the Cold War, as listed in [1], [2], [3] and [4]. Click on any of items printed in blue for further information. The names shown in italics are suggested by us, and are not the official names used by the NSA.

Name Ref Description Year
ABML XFF Parallel relay computer 1949
ABNER AFSAF-32, AFSAF-D53 Electronic digital computer 1952
ADD AFSAF 45 Arabic Deciphering Device  
ALCATRAZ AFSAF-92, CXLQ Diagraph frequency counter 1950
ASAY-7 ANALOG - Analog of ASAY-7 ciphony device 1948
AMBER AFSAF D100, CXMP Photoelectric comparator  
ASP ? Japanese call sign deciphering  
ATLAS I AFSAF-70, CXMX Parallel electronic computer 1950
ATLAS II AFSAF-70A, AFSAF-70B Parallel electronic computer 1953
? ? B-211 Stecker Finder  
BABY OPHIS AFSAF-D57A Wired Wheel Analog 1953
BAKER AFSAF-D89 Low-speed parallel relay computer 1953
BRUTE FORCE DEVICE AXHB/1 Exhaustive coincidence finder 1942
BOMBE (US) ? Machine to solve Enigma 1943
CAMEL ? Locating cryptographic instructions in Japanese messages  
Chinese Typewriter ? Ideographic typewriter
Card-operated character typewriter
CONNIE I AFSAF-1 Polygraphic coincidence counter  
CONNIE II AFSAF-D/1A Polygraphic coincidence counter  
COPPERHEAD AFSAF-94, CXMN, CXPC Photoelectric comparator  
COUNTESS AFSAF D/13 Round robin coincidence searcher  
DELLA AFSAF D/51-1, -2 Round robin comparator  
DUTCHESS AFSAF-D68 Group repeat tester  
EXPANDED COMPARATOR AFSAF-27 Photoelectric comparator  
FREAK I AFSAF-24 Multiple frequency counter  
FROG AFSAF-33 B-221 Cribdragger 1950
GREEN ANALOG ? Analog of Japanese Green machine 1946
HMS AFSAF-38 Hagelin Message Setter 1949
HPSG AFSAF-46 Hagelin Parity Stream Generator 1950
HECATE AFSAF-91, CXDD Hagelin C-38 cribdragger 1948
HELCAT I, MATTHEW, ELKET, JR AFSAF-D/59, DEF 59 Electronic Key Tester 1953
HSTTR AFSAF-D/63 High-speed teletype reader
Chadless tape reader
ICKY I CXCL 35mm photoelectric comparator 1943
ISA AFSAF-1-X, CONNIE-1-X Isomorphic Depth Analysis 1951
INITRAM - Backwards stepping MARTINI 1948
JMA - Relay-operated deciphering device (replacement for MATTHEW) 1942
J-SQUARE UNITS - Code decipherment and recognition 1947
LDM - Longitudinal differencing machine 1944
Letterwriter AFSAF-96, CXCO Perforated Tape Equipment
Input/output device (terminal)
Limited Selector - Code recognition and deciphering device 1943
MAISIE AFSAF-D74 Magnetic card file look-up device  
MAMBA CXLT Message setting device 1944
MARTINI - Relay analog of Russian LONGFELLOW 1948
McSNOYD AFSAF-D75 Electronic cross products sum counter 1950
MERCURY - Relay-operated group-scoring device, Navy version of Army SLIDE-RUN 1945
MIKE NCR Diagraph Counter
Monograph and diagraph counter 1944
MISTRESS AFSAF-D73A Special purpose repeat search device  
M-8 AFSAF-108, XBL Modified ECM (SIGABA) 1943
NCRDC AFSAF-118 NCR Differencing Calculator
Additive Calculator
PINK ANALOG - Analog of PINK cipher machine 1946
PLUTO AFSAF-30, Cycle Analyser Special purpose generator 1951
Prepunch Verifier AFSAF-D67 Tape verifier 1952
PURPLE ALALOG - Analog of Japanese 'B' 1941
PURPLE DUDBUSTER - Electrical cribtester for PURPLE 1945
ROBIN I AFSAF-D/54, CXOR Photoelectric comparator 1950
ROBIN II AFSAF-D/54-1 Photoelectric comparator 1951
SATYR AFSAF-102, CXDA Electrical Hagelin C-38 analog 1944
SETTING GENERATOR AFSAF-35, CMSG Relay-operated testing device  
SLIDE-RUN AFSAF-29, AXAB/1 Deciphering and message setting device, Code recognition unit 1944
SUPERSCRITCHER AFSAF-18 Electronic cribtester 1951
TESSIE  ICKY I Army name for ICKY I  
TUNNY DRAGON - Geheimschreiber cribtester 1944
WARLOCK I AFSAFG-D79, CXNK Electronic message setter for Hagelin 1951
WARLOCK II AFSAFG-D80, CXPB Universal electronic message setter 1951
WWH - Testing device for rotor machines
Wired Wheel Handtester
5202 Comparator MkII AFSAF-41 High-speed IC comparator 1952
Alphabetic index
  1. US Navy Captain E.S.L. Goodwin, Utilisation of Analytical Machinery
    NSA, 13 June 1952. TOP SECRET SUEDE. 1

  2. LeRoy H. Wheatley, Cryptanalytic Machines in NSA
    NSA, 30 May 1953. TOP SECRET CANOE. 1
      Includes second installment (PDF page 137)

  3. LeRoy H. Wheatley, Brief Description of Analytic Machine, Forth Installment
    NSA, 20 September 1954. TOP SECRET FROTH. 1

  4. Colin B. Burke, It Wasn't All Magic: The early Struggle to Automate Cryptanalysis
    1930s - 1960s. NSA, Center for Cryptologic History, 2002. 1,2
  1. Partly declassified by NSA persuant to Executive Order 13526 (24 January 2014 — 16 June 2014).
  2. This document contains many scanning errors and distorted images.

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Crypto Museum. Created: Friday 12 March 2021. Last changed: Saturday, 15 May 2021 - 21:05 CET.
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