M4 Project

In 2006 Stefan Krah´s "M4 Message Breaking Project" broke two Naval Enigma M4 messages, published by Mr Ralph Erskine in 1996. The first message was transmitted, 60 years ago, by Hartwig Looks, commander of the German submarine U-264. The M4 Project was an effort to break 3 original Enigma messages with the help of massive distributed computing via internet. This was necessary because of the enormous keyspace of the M4 Naval Enigma: Comparable to 86 Bit! (DES - A Modern Data Encryption Standard has only 56 Bit! - broken in 1997, replaced in 2001 by 256 Bit AES). The huge keyspace of the German Naval Enigma M4 is the result of a fourth rotor slot, 8 different rotors and the so called "Steckerbrett" (plugboard).

Hartwig Looks died 8 Oct 2005. Watch him here: Link

Update (14.01.2013): We broke the third message! Read it