Forget PGP, Get Enigma

An apparently genuine enigma machine from World War II is being auctioned on eBay, ending today.

The one of a kind unit is currently priced at 40,000 euros, or about $48,000. The seller claims the unit was handed down from a grand-father, presuming serving in the German army.

The enigma units were used to encode messages in World War II. Fearing allied interception, the units used a cunning mechanism to turn text into a seemingly random series of letters. However, with time, and technology, allied forces managed to break the encryption using one of the first 'computers' ever built. The decryption, done at Bletchley park in the UK, was kept secret until a few years ago, when the story was told in a number of books and movies.

The auction finishes at 8pm this evening.

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