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That's not the take-away at all.

They were able to crack certain messages because one-time pads were re-used by the Soviets (to improve productivity figures presumably!) That's an easy blunder to avoid.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Tue Aug 20th, 2013 at 05:53:10 AM EST
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The hint is in the name ...
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Aug 20th, 2013 at 05:55:03 AM EST
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Plenty of blunders are easy to avoid, but for some reason they just keep on happening over and over and over. Why is that???
by asdf on Tue Aug 20th, 2013 at 10:12:15 AM EST
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Is this case, I'm going to guess it's the difficulty of transmitting OTPs.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Aug 20th, 2013 at 10:34:17 AM EST
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The short answer is the average person is a nincompoop.

The super-duper Enigma 2 was cracked after an operator sent the exact same long message twice and in succession using the exact same key and the exact same rotor set-up.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Tue Aug 20th, 2013 at 10:59:34 AM EST
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Besides Many-Time Pads the Soviets continued to use microdots even after they knew they had been compromised.  They also used Enigma to encrypt some of their communications, in some cases the actual machines captured from the Wehrmacht.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Tue Aug 20th, 2013 at 11:06:11 AM EST
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I don't think they knew that Enigma had been cracked: the British kept it a secret for many years after the war.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Tue Aug 20th, 2013 at 11:09:17 AM EST
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Maybe, but remember that there is a huge practical problem with all of these systems. You have to get your Enigma machines and processes and papers and trained officers and technicians and informed generals and couriers and radio listeners and everything else all set up, and then if you find out that there is a security failure, there's a massive institutional inertia not wanting to change anything that you're going to have to overcome.

So the British listened to the Germans, the Germans listened to the Russians, the Russians listened to the Americans, the Americans listened to the Japanese, and the Japanese listened to the Native Americans. I think the super-duper-ness of the Enigma system is mostly propaganda. For a couple of years early in the war it was a pretty stupendous effort, and then the weirdo English mathematicians and chess players were replaced by massive brute force computers over in the U.S.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/brewbooks/3318667711/in/photostream/

by asdf on Tue Aug 20th, 2013 at 11:56:14 AM EST
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Partly that, partly I remember reading the British and Americans sold on these German uncrackable encryption machines to friends and allies after the war, so they would keep the advantage. And even after the Russians found out about it from the Cambridge spies after the war, they weren't going to grass them up, because then they could read those allied transmissions too.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Aug 20th, 2013 at 04:24:53 PM EST
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