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Latest news
This page contains the latest news regarding Crypto Museum. Whenever something important has happened, or when we've made significant changes to the website, we will issue a news bulletin. If you are on Twitter, you will receive a notification as and when new information becomes available. Click the Twitter-button at the top of this page to read the latest tweets.

Older news can be read by using the yellow buttons on the left.
 
History of Mils Electronic uncovered
17 July 2014

More that a year ago we started researching the history of the Austrian crypto-manufacturer Mils Electronic. This company has been successfully implementing the unbreakable One-Time Pad cipher (OTP) for many years and has its roots in post-war Germany. Although the company is very successful on the international market, their history was only known to a few. Until now that is.
 
We visited Mils Electronic in July 2013 and were kindly granted access to their archives. Since then, we spoke with numerous people and uncovered many documents, which has enabled us to piece together a complete picture of the company's history. Did you know that shortly after WWII, Mils sold refurbished Siemens T-52 Geheimschreibers?

 History Mils Electronic
 Cipher machines made by Mils
  
The 6723 tape duplicator

 
Original Russian Fialka discovered
7 July 2014

Hot on the heels of our discovery a few days ago of a complete set of Fialka wheels from Hungary, we can now show the first pictures of an original Russian M-125-3 Fialka machine. It belongs to a former KGB officer who lives in Latvia.

Contrary to what we thought, this machine has rounded keys and yet it is the later M-125-3 model. Confused? We'll explain it all.

 Read all about the Russian Fialka
  
Frontal view of the M-125-3M

 
5K Fialka wheels discovered
5 July 2014

So far, only the cipher wheels of the Fialka machines used in Czechoslovakia (6K) and Poland (3K) have been discovered and for a long time we thought that we would never find the wheels of any other Warsaw Pact country.

All that changed when, on a recent trip through Europe, we found wheels with a 5K prefix that were used in Hungary during the Cold War.

 More about the 5K Fialka wheels
  
Close-up of a 5K wheel that has been removed from the spindle

 
HAM Radio 2014 great success
30 June 2014

This year's HAM Radio 2014 in Friedrichshafen (Germany) was a great success. The event was held from 27 to 29 June 2014 and attracted Radio Hams and cipher collectors from all over the world. As usual, Crypto Museum was present at the Enigma stand, which was even larger than the previous year. As usual, many historians, collectors and cipher enthusiasts met here and many rare items changed hands.

 Read the full review
  

 
Rare Russian M-105 (Agat) cipher machine rediscovered
12 May 2014 - wanted item

Last summer, during one of our foreign trips through the former Eastern Block countries, we rediscovered the rare Russian M-105 cipher machine. The machine, which is also known as AGAT, is actually a mixer machine that uses the unbreakable One-Time Tape principle.
 
Whilst visiting a collector for something else, the machine was unexpectedly placed in front of us with the question: ' do you know what this is? '. After raising our eyebrows a couple of times, we explained what it was and started investigating the machine.

Luckily we had our camera with us, and were able to make some hi-res images of the machine, which are now available for review.

 More about the M-105
  
M-105 AGAT with 11-level key tape and normal 5-level tape loaded

 
Rohde & Schwarz donates FSH-3 spectrum analyzer
15 April 2014

For years we've been demonstrating our Rohde & Schwars FSH-3 portable spectrum analyzer for finding radio bugs. Last summer however, the FSH-3 broke down and appeared to be beyond repair. It was an anonymous gift that we had received in 2005 on a HAM radio fair in Germany.
 
After investigation by Rohde & Schwarz (R&S), our unit appeared to be an engineering sample that contained neither the appropriate hardware nor the matching software. However, when the nice people as R&S learned that it was for the Crypto Museum, they decided to donate a brand new FSH-3 to us!

 About the FSH-3
 About the gift
  
FSH-3 showing a signal at 135.2 MHz

 
Colossus behind barriers
29 January 2014

Following the news earlier this week that the Bletchley Park management has forbidden its volunteer tour guides to speak about Colossus and show the Colossus Gallery to the visitors, they have now put up a gate and barriers between H-Block (where Colossus and the computer museum (TNMOC) are located) and the rest of the park. As far as we know, this gate was not present during World War II.

 Read the reaction on the TNMOC website
 Read Gareth Halfacree's informing blog
  
The new gate between H-Block and the rest of the park. In the background the refurbished Hut 6. Photograph  Copyright TNMOC.

 
Bletchley Park fires long-term volunteer
27 January 2014

In the ongoing battle between the Bletchley Park management and The National Museum Of Computing (TNMOC), also located at Bletchley Park, the conflict has reached the next level. The BP management has now forbidden its volunteers to show or talk about Colossus on their tours.
 
Although not everyone is aware of it, the Colossus Rebuild display is actually part of the computer museum (TNMOC), one of the park's attractions, which is not owned by the Bletchley Park Trust. In the past this never appeared to be a problem and on guided tours, people would be shown everthing that is connected to wartime BP, including the Colossus Rebuild project.

Tony Carroll was one of the BP tour guides who talks passionately about BP's wartime work.
  
Tony Carroll (right) being comforted by Marget Sale (left), the wife of the late Tony Sale. Click to see the entire newscast.

Bletchley Park is currently spending Lottery money to restore a number of the wartime huts to their former glory and work is well underway to give the park a modern professional update. But the BP management is not happy with the fact that not all high profile attractions that are on diplay at the park, are theirs. In a new directive, the mangement has now forbidden its volunteer tour guides to mention Colossus, the first electronic computer that was built at Bletchley Park during WWII in order to break the German Lorenz. They no longer want to show it to the public.

Last week, the conflict reached a new height when the BP management fired Tony Carroll, a long-term passionate volunteer tour guide who still included Colossus in his tours. The management's decision came as a complete surprise and even shocked the other tour guides who had left after previous conflicts. The image above was taken from a BBC newscast that shows Tony minutes after he was fired. He now works for the computer museum (TNMOC).

Sadly, this is not an isolated incident. In September 2013, the BP management closed down David White's spy-radio display in Hut 1 and before that the Churchill exhibition and the Milton Keynes Amateur Radio Society. The dismissal of Tony Carroll is the last in a series of conflicts that has caused a massive exodus of BP volunteers, many of which are now working for TNMOC. The BP board decisions are difficult to understand. Its seems that the current Bletchley Park management is not only alienating its contributors and volunteers, but now also the public.

 Watch the full BBC newscast
 

 News in 2013
 
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