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Q: How good is the Enigma code system compared to today’s publicly available cryptography systems?
The Enigma machine used a “rolling substitution cypher” which means that it was essentially a (much more) complicated version of “A=1, B=2, C=3, …”. The problem with substitution cyphers is that if parts of several messages are the same then you can compare their similarities to break the code. Enigma was broken in part because of German formality (most messages started with the same formal greeting). Rolling substitution cyphers can use a set of several encoding schemes and cycle through which code is used or make the scheme dependent on the previous letter, but this merely makes the code breaking more difficult. Ultimately, all substitution cyphers suffer from the same difficulty: similar messages produce similar looking codes.
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