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The National Cryptologic Museum acquired this cipher device from a West Virginian antique dealer, who found it in a home near Monticello. Thomas Jefferson described a similar device for the English language in his writings, and it is sometimes referred to as the "Jefferson Cipher Wheel. Jefferson's de was probably based upon an unnamed earlier device. The device uses scrambled alphabets on the edges of each wheel to cipher a message.
By aligning the plain text letters in one row, any other row can be selected as the cipher text. The wheels are individually ed and can be placed on the spindle in any prearranged order. This particular artifact is thought to be the oldest extant true cipher device in the world. It was apparently for use with the French language, the world's diplomatic language used through World War I.
This exhibit of the experience of African-Americans at NSA and its predecessor organization mirrors the African-American experience in the United States and the federal government in the latter half of the twentieth century.
The first African-American hired by the Army Security Agency, and who later made the transition to the Armed Forces Security Agency, worked first in a segregated office. Senior supervisors were white. They performed menial tasks not wanted by whites.
In the s, African-Americans began to move into the mainstream workforce. The segregated office was abolished and more African-Americans received supervisory positions.
This exhibit celebrates the important role that cryptology played during the American Civil War. During America's first century, secret writing — cryptography — figured in many instances in which lives and fortunes were at stake and confidentiality was desired. Until nearly the middle of the 19th century, large armies moved over an extensive battlefield unassisted by any special technology to aid long distance communications or even tactical communications. InSamuel F.
Morse successfully tested his improved electromagnetic telegraph between Washington and Baltimore.
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At the time of the American Civil War, both sides began encrypting high-level messages to be transmitted on the telegraph. Both sides established cipher bureaus in their respective capitals to work on enemy encrypted messages, one of the early examples of a centralized intelligence activity in the United States.
This star flag, displayed in the Museum, is a rare item. This flag is only one of two known to exist today in which all five points have been adorned with battle names.
This special flag was awarded only to al Corps officers who distinguished themselves in combat. In the late s, Albert J. Myer, an Army doctor, invented a method of communication using line-of-sight al flags. Using various positions of the flag to represent letters of the alphabet, soldiers would wave them to send messages to other units.
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Union and Confederate soldiers became proficient in the Myers' system, known as wigwag. Soldiers had to be in an elevated location to be seen. Since the system is visual, messages could be intercepted and this forced encryption. Although entitled Cipher for Telegraphic Correspondence, this book is actually a code book.
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It was used by Union General Joseph Hooker's code clerk and is one of the few books whose provenance is known. Important names, places, and military terms have two different code names. A code changes a word or phrase into a different word, phrase, or group; a cipher substitutes each individual letter for a different letter,or symbol.
This exhibit showcases how the Revolutionary Army leveraged cryptology during the war. America's independence was achieved with the help of codes, ciphers, invisible ink, visual communications, and hidden messages.
These techniques, practiced by the colonists and the British, protected communications vital to the commanders. They disguised information needed to plan strategy, report the enemy's capabilities, and provide warnings. Solving and reading the enemy's secret messages also proved critical.
Not only did it reveal the enemy's intentions, but a few even revealed American traitors. This exhibit recounts the history of the Soviets' shooting down an American reconnaissance aircraft on September 2, It was supposed to fly a "race track" pattern between the Turkish cities of Trabzon and Van essentially parallel to the Armenian border. Initially, the Soviets denied shooting down the aircraft, claiming the plane and its 17 crew members "fell" into their territory.
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It was not until the end of the Cold War that they released ly classified documents indicating that all 17 U. An Air Force C was refurbished and painted to match the markings of the down aircraft, The plane was one of many different types of aircraft used by the Army to conduct its reconnaissance missions.
Most of the missions were in support of tactical operations conducting short- and medium-range direction finding and als intelligence. The RU-8D ificantly advanced the electronic collection mission with its onboard system and improved antennas.
The GRAB satellites had a dual mission. The unclassified mission was to gather solar radiation data. The secret mission gathered radar pulses within a specific bandwidth from Soviet equipment. The data was then downloaded to ground stations, recorded on magnetic tape, and couriered to the NRL, whose engineers had deed and built GRAB.
Based on the information NSA received, analysts determined that the Soviets had radars that supported the capability to destroy ballistic missiles. Ambassador Averell Harriman.
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It hung in the ambassador's Moscow residential office until when the State Department discovered that it was 'bugged. They shot radio waves from a van parked outside into the ambassador's office and could then detect the changes of the microphone's diaphragm inside the resonant cavity. When Soviets turned off the radio waves it was virtually impossible to detect the hidden 'bug. The replica on display in the Museum was molded from the original after it came to NSA for testing.
The exhibit can be opened to reveal a copy of the microphone and the resonant cavity inside. It was given to the Museum by the Armed Forces Museum in Moscow where the plane's wreckage is exhibited. Although he parachuted to safety, Powers and his plane wreckage were captured. The international turmoil resulted in the cancellation of a summit meeting scheduled between President Eisenhower and the premier.
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The Museum displays the flag that flew at the time of the attack of the U. Liberty, a U. Cruising 25 miles off the Gaza coast, it was attacked by Israeli fighters and torpedo boats at 2 o'clock on a clear and sunny day. There was no apparent provocation, and the reason for the attack has never been fully resolved, although Israel described it as an identification error and sent restitution for the damage and loss of life.
The U. The loss of 34 men was the largest loss of life in a single event in American cryptologic history. It just some man woman time together nsa, ironically, during a war in which the United States was not a participant. The Museum displays the history of the attack of the U.
Following the war between the two Koreas in the s, the United States continued to support South Korea. In an effort to gather intelligence about North Korea's intentions, the U. Navy began operational cruises with AGER ships outfitted with reconnaissance equipment. On January 23,while in international waters off the Korean coast, the North Koreans attacked the Pueblo. One man was killed while destroying cryptologic materials and three men were wounded.
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The 82 crewmen were held for 11 months before being released. The ship remains in North Korea to this day and it represented the largest single loss of such sensitive material. It compromised a wide range of cryptologic and classified documents and equipment. All of the released documents are available for review at the Museum Library and some ificant messages are part of museum displays.
In Februarythe U. The Rosenbergs case was controversial, partly due to the accusation and conviction of Ethel Rosenberg. At least one message shows that Ethel may have known about her husband's activities. Ethel's brother, David Greenglass, was also involved, selling details about the atomic bomb project in Los Alamos where he worked.
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It was David's testimony against his sister and brother-in-law that led to the conviction of the Rosenbergs for conspiracy to commit espionage. On exhibit in the Museum are two Cray supercomputers.
NSA has been a leader in computer development throughout its history. Some of the earliest supercomputers were deed and built specifically for the National Security Agency. It was in operation from to and was arguably the most powerful computer in the world when it was delivered. The second generation Cray, the YMP, replaced the older version in In most personal computers held only 16 million bytes. The YMP used vector processing, a very powerful form of overlapping, parallel processing to conduct 2. The YMP was decommissioned and went on display at the Museum in