Welcome to the National Cryptologic Foundation. We strive to influence the cryptologic future by sharing our educational resources, stimulating new knowledge, and commemorating our heritage. The Foundation also provides needed support for the National Cryptologic Museum (NCM).

  • ...The nation’s brightest young minds to consider careers in STEM and cyber related fields

  • ...Robust dialog with the American public on cyber policy, technology, and privacy

  • ...Those who “served in silence” with valor and distinction, especially those who gave their lives in service

Did you know?

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

1944: Colossus activated by Bletchley Park.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

5 February 1944: Colossus activated by Bletchley Park.

Colossus, the world’s first electronic computer, was designed by Tommy Flowers to speed up the code-breaking of Lorenz-encrypted messages between Hitler and his generals. The Lorenz cipher was much more complex than Enigma and could take weeks to decipher by hand. By reducing code-breaking times to a matter of hours, Colossus enabled the Allies to learn of German war plans almost in real time. The knowledge obtained is widely recognised to have shortened the war and saved countless lives.

A rare piece of one of the original Colossus computers was acquired from the estate of former NSA Director LTG William Odom. LTG Odom had contacted Dave D’Auria, the Chairman of the NCMF Acquisition Committee (AC) to donate the artifact prior to his passing. The Colossus memento was presented to LTG Odom by GCHQ in 1986 to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the NSA-GCHQ partnership.

Colossus was one of the world’s first programmable digital computers. Two versions of Colossus were built during WW II to decipher German teleprinter messages encrypted using the German Lorenz cipher machine (codename Tunny). The prototype Colossus (Mark 1) became operational in February 1944. The Mark 2 Colossus, both faster and simpler to operate, became operational in June 1944. Eleven Colossus computers were built by the end of the war. Most of the Colossus computers were destroyed at the end of WW II. GCHQ continued to use a few for various computing tasks through the 1950s. A reconstructed Colossus Mark 2 is currently on display at Bletchley Park.

Click the link below to learn about the Royal Mail stamp to honor Tommy Flowers and the Colossus.

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About Us

T he NCF's Vision is to Influence the cryptologic future by sharing our educational resources, stimulating new knowledge, and commemorating our heritage.

The NCF also provides needed support to the National Cryptologic Museum (NCM), the first public museum in the U.S. Intelligence Community.

Located adjacent to the National Security Agency (NSA) in Maryland, the NCM houses a unique and 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 NCF acquires the best artifacts for the Museum and supports new educational and interactive exhibits.

The Foundation provides exceptional cryptologic programs throughout the year, encourages young minds to explore cryptology and cyber education and careers,  hosts educational, cryptology-related exhibits at various community events, and honors the people— past, present, and future—whose contributions to our national security protect and make possible our way of life.

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 NCF also serves as a leader in the field of cybersecurity - striving to provide the best in educational resources and programs.

The NCF has a three-part mission to Educate, Stimulate, and Commemorate. Learn more about our MISSION.