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Cryptology 密码破译



  • TA的每日心情
    2019-1-25 14:59
  • 签到天数: 636 天


    发表于 2018-9-27 10:52 |显示全部楼层 | 阅读模式
    By Paul Millard 保罗.米勒德著

    Secret codes are not a new idea. They are almost as old as writing itself. We know that the Ancient Egyptians and Greeks used them, as did the Arabs of a thousand years ago. They were especially important in war. Commanders didn’t want the enemy to capture their messages and understand their plans, so they wrote them in code. Of course, the enemy did want to understand the messages, so they would try to find the code, or ‘break’ it.


    The Enigma code
    As a result, codes became more and more complicated. One of the most famous is the Enigma code, invented by the Germans and used in the Second World War. People believed that it was impossible to break, because it was so clever. The amazing thing about Enigma was that it was always changing. In one message, the letter ‘e’ could be ‘f’, but in another message it could be ‘z’. So, there were millions of possibilities in every coded message.


    The first people to attempt to break the code were the Polish, who were concerned about Hitler’s rise to power. A group of mathematicians worked on the Enigma problem. They found out a lot about how it worked, but they couldn’t understand it. When Hitler attacked in 1939, the Poles told the British everything that they knew about the code.

    Atlantic danger
    Most of the British code-breakers thought that Enigma was unbreakable. They were especially concerned about the Enigma variations used by the German navy. The submarines sent by Hitler to attack ships in the Atlantic were probably the greatest danger faced by the British and American allies in the war. Britain needed food and other essentials from outside, and the Americans needed to send soldiers and supplies safely across the ocean. Without breaking the code, there was little chance of defeating the submarines. Without control of the Atlantic, there was little chance of victory.


    Alan Turing, code-breaker
    Almost alone, one man began to work on the problem. He was a brilliant young mathematician called Alan Turing. He believed that he could break the code with advanced logic and statistics. However, he needed to make a machine that could do a very large number of calculations very quickly. By improving on the machines that the Poles had made, he built a machine called the ‘Bombe’.

    阿兰 图灵,密码破译者

    It worked. He broke the Enigma code. The British and Americans could read the messages that were sent to and from Hitler’s submarines. Slowly, the allies won the Battle of the Atlantic. They had freedom to move at sea and could send their armies to liberate Western Europe from Hitler and the Nazis. In 1943, they went to Italy and in 1944 they successfully landed in France. This was the landing shown in the film, ‘Saving Private Ryan’. Without Turing and his code-breaking, the history of Europe and the world could have been very different.


    From code-breaking to computer-building
    Turing continued working with machines and electronics and in 1944 he talked about ‘building a brain’. Turing had an idea for an electronic ‘universal machine’ that could do any logical task. Soon after the war, he went to work at Manchester University and in 1948 the ‘Manchester Baby’ was born. It was Turing’s second great invention and the world’s first digital computer. When he sent a message from his computer to a telex machine, Alan Turing wrote the first e-mail in history.

    图灵继续研究机器和电子,1944年,他谈及到“构建一个大脑”。 图灵有一个想法,是关于能做任何逻辑工作的电子“通用机器”。二战不久后,他去了曼彻斯特大学工作,1948年“曼彻斯特宝贝”诞生了。这是图灵的第二个伟大的发明,也是世界上第一个数码电脑。当他用他的电脑成功把一个信息发到一台电报机时候,阿兰图灵写了历史上的第一份电子邮件。

    So, what happened next in the life of this highly talented man? His great achievements in code-breaking and computing happened in his twenties and thirties. He was still a young man - in the same year that his computer worked for the first time, he nearly ran in the Olympic Games for Britain. We know that he had many ideas to develop in digital computing, quantum physics, biology and philosophy. Sadly, he wasn’t able to work fully on these ideas. Turing’s personal life became more and more problematic.

    A genius under attack
    Alan Turing was a homosexual. Nowadays, this is legal and widely accepted in Britain and most other Western countries. Fifty years ago, it was a very different story, and people were sent to prison for homosexual acts. Turing had to stop doing code-breaking work for the British government because his homosexuality was a ‘security risk’. This hurt and angered him, especially as it hadn’t been a problem in the war years. Increasingly, Turing refused to hide his homosexuality, believing that there was nothing wrong with him. Perhaps he felt that he deserved individual freedom, having done so much for freedom in the world.

    阿兰图灵是一个同性恋。现在,在英国和大多数的其他西方国家,同性恋是合法并且被广泛接受的。50年前,同性恋却是一个很不一样的事,人们会因为有同性恋行为而被送入监狱。图灵不得不停止为英国政府做密码破译工作,因为作为同性恋,他是一个“危险分子”。 这伤害并激怒了他,特别是因为在战时,同性恋并不是一个问题。渐渐地,图灵拒绝隐藏他的同性恋,并相信他自己并没有什么问题。也许他觉得为全球的自由付出了这么多,他自己也该获得个人的自由了。

    Finally, he was arrested by the police and in March 1952 he was found guilty at a criminal trial. He wasn’t sent to prison – instead he was injected with the female hormone, oestrogen, in an attempt to stop his homosexual behaviour.


    A tragic end
    Two years later, Alan Turing was dead. He killed himself by eating an apple containing the poison, cyanide. The apple - the symbol of the physics of Newton, of forbidden love, of knowledge itself - became the symbol of tragic death.


    For many years, Turing was a forgotten hero. Now, more than fifty years after his death, more and more people are learning of his work in war and in peace. The BBC made a television programme about him. Some years ago, a statue designed by Glyn Hughes was put up in a small park in Manchester. It is of Turing, sitting on a park bench, with an apple in his hand. The money for the statue mostly came from individual people who wanted to remember him. No money came from the British government or any major computer company, despite the great work that Turing had done for them.

    It is a wonderful memorial, but perhaps a greater memorial is that you are reading this now because of Turing’s computing work, and that I could write it in a democratic country in Western Europe.


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