Sunday, June 26, 2016

Finding aid for the National Cryptologic Museum Library

A list of the books, reports and other files available at the National Cryptologic Museum Library has been uploaded at the NSA website.

I’ve added the file to my Google Drive and Scribd folders.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Missing paragraphs from TICOM report I-22 ‘Interrogation of German Cryptographers of Pers Z S Department of the Auswaertiges Amt’

I uploaded TICOM report I-22 back in 2012, however my copy from the British national archives had several paragraphs deleted in pages 16-18.

I don’t like loose ends, so i was able to copy the same pages from NARA and they don’t have any deletions:

I’ve re-uploaded TICOM I-22 with the new pages in my Google drive and Scribd accounts.


I recently presented new information on the use of the M-138-A strip cipher by the State Department in the period 1940-44.  

However there was a small problem! The entries for the second half of 1944 were not in the microfilm that contains the material for 1940-44.

This meant that I had to find the microfilm with the relevant entries and this was not an easy task. After examining the finding aid for the Department of State Decimal File it was clear that the 119.25/Strip cipher entries would be in film 611.

Thankfully this turned out to be the case and I finally have all the 1944 entries. It will take me a few days to read them and then I’ll add the information in New developments in the strip cipher case.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

22 June 1941 - Operation Barbarossa

On June 22 1941 the forces of Nazi Germany attacked the Soviet Union. This was the largest land campaign in history and casualties on both sides number in the tens of millions.

Some interesting aspects of the German invasion:

1). Was Stalin a fool who refused to believe that Hitler would attack him or was the situation more complex?

2). Were Soviet codes impregnable?

3). Were the German shocked by the performance of the new Soviet tanks like the T-34?

4). Some statistics on German and Soviet losses:

Monday, June 6, 2016

6 June 1944 – Allied plans, German intelligence and allocation of German units

On June 6 1944 the Western Allies invaded occupied France, in the area of Normandy, established a beachhead and eventually defeated the German forces opposing them.
Operation Overlord  started with a huge airborne assault as over a thousand transport planes carried the US 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions and the British 6th Airborne Division to Normandy. The main force was transported by ship and this was the largest seaborne invasion in history.

After all these years it is interesting to look at some aspects of this battle that have been overlooked by historians. Specifically:

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Compromise of US KG-13 cipher machine?

The KG-13 was a cipher device used by the United States during the Cold War period. The Crypto museum page says:

KG-13 was a universal digital fully-transistorised full-duplex key generator, developed in the USA around 1963. It was intended for the encryption and decryption of external generated data, such as digitised voice and facsimile data.’

In the same page there is information pointing to its possible exploitation by the Soviet Union:

Between October 1982 and January 1983, whilst working at the US Air Force, electronics engineer James Atkinson discovered a series of serious flaws in the KOKEN stages of the KG-13's internal pseudo random stream generator [4]. Atkinson had been memorizing all current and historical circuit diagrams of the KG-13, the KY-3 and all of their FLYBALL modules, as a mental exercise. When going over the circuit diagram in his mind, he began to doubt its mathematical strength.

More than 20 years after the introduction of the KG-13, he was able to prove that most of the KOKEN stages were mathematically flawed, rendering the system compromised, and possibly leaking highly classified information to the Russians.

KG-13 Encryption Sabotage Detection

October 1982 – January 1983

Complete memorization of all current and historical schematics and timing and logic charts of KG-13 and KY-3 encryption system.

Examining the schematics of the ciphers, key cards, as a mental memorization exercise, and then identified suspected flaws with the mathematic engines inside the equipment actually deployed.

Actually determined that most of the modules or "Koken stages" in the KG-13 were mathematically "flawed", and rendered compromised.

The cryptographic flaw enabled an eavesdropper to exploit all Top Secret data flowing thorough the "crown jewel systems" of U.S. Encryption called the KG-13.

An immediately and emergency modification to the circuits of the Koken stages resolved this matter, but not after it have been in place for over 20 years, and we had been leaking classified intelligence to the Russians.

The NSA was highly embarrassed at somebody finding this screw up merely by studying the schematics and logic tables, and finding what the NSA did not see for decades.

The end result was tens of million of dollars being spend to seal the breach.

I ended up being a rock-star of sorts within the technical counterintelligence circles.