GCHQ Crowdsourcing Decryption of WWII Pigeon Message

Here’s a story about a very interesting piece of history unfolding. It’s been over 60 years since the end of World War II, and even with all of our technological advances, a carrier pigeon message that was recently discovered from that era cannot be decoded.

The remains of the WWII pigeon, with a secret message attached, was found by David Martin in his chimney. The message contains 27 blocks of handwritten code, and codebreakers at Britain’s Intelligence Agency (GCHQ) can’t decipher it. In most cases, as was common with wartime codes, the sender and receiver only shared keys between themselves. If these parties used a strong key (e.g., a one-time pad), decryption would be almost impossible.

So what’s next? Crowdsourcing of course! The GCHQ hopes that there may be people out there who worked in communications from the war that could provide their expertise in trying to decode it. Here’s a snapshot of the encrypted message from the BBC for those interesting in testing their crypto skillz…

via TheRegister.uk

Brit spook central GCHQ can’t decipher a coded message found on a pigeon that died trying to deliver the missive during WWII, and may have to turn to the public for help.

The remains of the bird, found by David Martin in his chimney in Surrey, had a secret message attached – 27 handwritten blocks of code.

The pigeon is reckoned to have flown from Nazi-occupied France, possibly during the D-Day invasions, in June of 1944, and codebreakers at the intelligence agency have been trying to figure out what its message says.

But the problem is that the code could be a one-off encryption, which only the sender and the recipient would have had a key for.

Continued here.

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Do you think that the WWII coded message can be decoded? Post your comments below. Today’s post pic is from HomesforHeroes.com.

6 comments for “GCHQ Crowdsourcing Decryption of WWII Pigeon Message

  1. November 24, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    #NoVABloggers WWII Hero Pigeon Crypto Message Can’t Be Decoded http://t.co/9OHsdQeV

  2. November 24, 2012 at 5:14 pm

    BLOGGED: WWII Hero Pigeon Crypto Message Can’t Be Decoded http://t.co/SnVzf7J5

  3. November 24, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    #NOVABLOGGER: WWII Hero Pigeon Crypto Message Can’t Be Decoded http://t.co/khuXco0X http://t.co/IntXkFbO

  4. November 25, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    BLOGGED: GCHQ Crowdsourcing Decryption of WWII Pigeon Message http://t.co/VGX17Uks //This stuff always interests me..

  5. November 26, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    BLOGGED: GCHQ Crowdsourcing Decryption of WWII Pigeon Message http://t.co/A2He6Npm //This stuff always interests me..

  6. todka
    December 9, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    Please – Campbeltown, Operation Chariot, 1942 (Failed D-Day), Gough, Tirpitz, St Nazaire pigeons,Gulag – it is an enormous and well researched PLUG for ‘ Call of Duty ‘. PLEASE please tell me why not!

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