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Polish mathematicians & code breakers made the first breakthroughs against Nazi Germany's Enigma code.......

1881: Death of Friedrich Wilhelm Kasiski

Wednesday, May 22, 2019
1881: Death of Friedrich Wilhelm Kasiski

22 May 1881: Death of Friedrich Wilhelm Kasiski, a German infantry officer and cryptographer who developed a solution for polyalphabetic cipher. In 1863, Kasiski published a 95-page book on cryptography, Die Geheimschriften und die Dechiffrir-Kunst (German, "Secret writing and the Art of Deciphering"). This was the first published account of a procedure for attacking polyalphabetic substitution ciphers, especially the Vigenère cipher. In 2013, the NCMF was fortunate to obtain a copy of Kasiski's very rare 1863 German language book on cryptology from a private European seller. LEARN MORE.

The significance of Kasiski's cryptanalytic work was not widely realized at the time. Cryptologic historian Dr. David Kahn notes, "Kasiski died on May 22, 1881, almost certainly without realizing that he had wrought a revolution in cryptology." (The Codebreakers)

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  • Birthday of cryptologic machine designer Edward Hebern. Hebern's five-rotor cipher machine is cryptologically significant as part of the overall evolution in U.S. manufactured rotor devices. The National Cryptologic Museum has two very rare five-rotor Hebern cipher machines in its collection.

About Us

The NCMF directly supports the National Cryptologic Museum (NCM), the first public museum in the U.S. Intelligence Community. We think you will agree it is truly a "museum like no other."

Located adjacent to the National Security Agency (NSA) in Maryland, the NCM houses a priceless collection of artifacts that represent our Nation's history in code making and code breaking, as well as a world class library of cryptologic media. The NCMF acquires the best artifacts for the NCM and supports new educational and interactive exhibits.

The NCMF provides exceptional cryptologic programs throughout the year, encourages young minds to explore cryptology and innovation through valued awards, and hosts educational, cryptology-related exhibits at various community events.

As part of the Foundation's partnership with NSA to build the Cyber Center for Education and Innovation - Home of the National Cryptologic Museum (CCEI-NCM), the NCMF also serves as a leader in the field of cybersecurity - striving to provide the best in educational resources and programs.

The NCMF and NCM share a joint three-fold mission to Educate, Stimulate, and Commemorate. Learn more about our MISSION.