Article | Proceedings of the 1st International Conference on Historical Cryptology HistoCrypt 2018 | Invited Talk - Special Session on Arne Beurling: Arne Beurling: Mathematician and Code Breaker Linköping University Electronic Press Conference Proceedings
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Title:
Invited Talk - Special Session on Arne Beurling: Arne Beurling: Mathematician and Code Breaker
Author:
Kjell-Ove Widman: Professor Emeritus, Sweden
Download:
Full text (pdf)
Year:
2018
Conference:
Proceedings of the 1st International Conference on Historical Cryptology HistoCrypt 2018
Issue:
149
Article no.:
005
Pages:
xix
No. of pages:
1
Publication type:
Abstract and Fulltext
Published:
2018-06-13
ISBN:
978-91-7685-252-1
Series:
Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings
ISSN (print):
1650-3686
ISSN (online):
1650-3740
Publisher:
Linköping University Electronic Press, Linköpings universitet


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Arne Beurling was a 34-year old professor of mathematics at Uppsala University when the Second World War broke out in 1939. He reported immediately to the Swedish SIGINT service and was first entrusted with Soviet military codes which he helped solve, partly in cooperation with Finnish colleagues. After the occupation of Norway in 1940, a hitherto unknown type of encrypted traffic was picked up from telegraph cables running from Norway to Germany through Sweden. Given the task of analysing the traffic, Beurling took the collected material from two days in May and retreated to his office. Two weeks later he reappeared, having diagnosed the type of the transmission, deduced the ciphering algorithm, and found a way to attack it. Special machines were built, and over a three-year period, more than 250 000 messages sent between Berlin and the occupying forces in Norway were deciphered and forwarded to the relevant Swedish authorities. Beurling’s achievement is surely one of the more remarkable ones in the history of cryptography, in particular since he worked with ciphered messages only and had no á priori knowledge of the system. This talk will try to give a hint of his cryptanalytic work and the Swedish code breaking effort during the war, as well as touch on his personality and his career as a mathematician.

Proceedings of the 1st International Conference on Historical Cryptology HistoCrypt 2018

Author:
Kjell-Ove Widman
Title:
Invited Talk - Special Session on Arne Beurling: Arne Beurling: Mathematician and Code Breaker
References:
No references available

Proceedings of the 1st International Conference on Historical Cryptology HistoCrypt 2018

Author:
Kjell-Ove Widman
Title:
Invited Talk - Special Session on Arne Beurling: Arne Beurling: Mathematician and Code Breaker
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Last updated: 2019-11-06