OctaPi Enigma

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Every so often, there's a Milton Keynes Raspberry Jam at TNMOC where folk bring along their Raspberry Pi creations. The Sophos Classroom at the museum buzzes vocally and electronically. Recently the OctaPi turned up to make a brute-force attack on Enigma...

PJ Evans writes:

OctaPi is a group of eight Raspberry Pis that demonstrates clustering and parallel processing in computing. One of the tasks it can carry out is a brute-force attack on Enigma settings.

Communicating wirelessly, the Pis share out the work, each being allocated a range of settings to try. Therefore the speed of a break is reduced by a factor of eight. The lights are used to represent the work being undertaken.

I believe this is one of several units belonging to GCHQ, which loans them out to schools as part of an educational outreach programme. Several units can work together to reduce the time-to-break even further.

Anyone with the time (and money!) can build an OctaPi. More information on the OctaPi project can be found here: https://projects.raspberrypi.org/en/projects/octapi-brute-force-enigma

The next Raspberry Jam at TNMOC will be soon. Check http://mkraspberryjam.org.

See the reconstruction of the Bombe that broke wartime Enigma messages.

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