Cracking the Lorenz Code

Published in Ada Answers by Joachim Schüth

In November of 2007, the National Museum of Computing sponsored an historical code-breaking competition to celebrate the rebuild of Colossus Mark 2 at Bletchley Park. Colossus, the first programmable digital computer, was used in WWII to crack the codes created by the Lorenz cipher machines used by the German High Command. Programmers and code breakers were invited to try to beat the rebuilt Colossus in cracking the 1938 Lorenz SZ42 encrypted message.

Using Ada, IT security specialist, Joachim Schüth, was able to decipher the code and beat Colossus. In the following interview, Joachim explains why he started working with Ada, his impressions of the language, and why it was the perfect choice for the challenge.

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