Listed here are some common crypto terms which have been used in this web page. To keep the list down to a manageable size, many other crypto terms have not been included here. Below the terms section , I have listed the function of some cryptanalytic machines developed during WWII.

AFSAM  - Armed Forces Security Agency Machine. The predecessor of NSA, the Armed Forces Security Agency (AFSA), was established within the Department of Defense, under the command of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, on May 20, 1949.

AUTODIN -  (Automatic Digital Network). Formerly, a worldwide data communications network of the U.S. Defense Communications System, now replaced by the DMS (Digital Messaging System).

AUTOSEVOCOM - Automatic Secure Voice Communications. A former worldwide secure voice network used by the US Government.. The last SECORD/AUTOSEVOCOM Secure voice switch in the world was deactivated at the Pentagon in 1994.

AUTOVON -  (Automatic Voice Network). Formerly, the principal long-haul, unsecure voice communications network within the  U.S.  Defense Communications System, now replaced by the Defense Switched Network (DSN).

BI  -  BI is Bravo India.  When operators were instructed to"go BI" , they would bring up the next keyset for a specific crypto device.

Bit Rate A general term used to express the transmission rate of digital signals. It is expressed in bits per second (b/s).

BLACK/RED concept - Separation of electrical and electronic circuits, components, equipment and systems that handle classified plain text (RED) information in electrical form, from those which handle unclassified (BLACK) information in the same form.

CCM - Combined Cipher Machine  a.k.a. Combined Coding Machine. Both are listed in "Glossary of US Naval Abbreviations (OPNAV 29-P1000".

Combined Cipher Machine Mark I  was a SIGABA with CCM adapter (a replacement rotor basket).  This is cryptographically identical to CSP 1700  (an ECM with CCM adapter), and a British Type X with CCM adapter.

Cipher or Cipher Text - A cryptographic system in which units of plain text are substituted or transposed according to a predetermined key.

Ciphony - A process of enciphering audio information, resulting in encrypted speech.

Code  -  A system for replacing words, phrases, letters or numbers by other words or groups of letters or numbers for concealment or brevity.

COMINT - (Communications Intelligence). The National Security Agency program for information obtained for intelligence purposes from the intercept of foreign communications (by other than the intended recipient).

Common Fill Device - One of a family of devices developed to read in, transfer, or store key. KYK-l3 Electronic Transfer Device, KYX-l5 Net Control Device, and KOI-l8 General Purpose Tape Reader are examples of common fill devices.

Compromising Emanations - Unintentional signals that, if intercepted and analyzed, would disclose the information transmitted, received, handled, or otherwise processed by telecommunications or automated information systems equipment. TEMPEST is the process to prevent this.

COMPUSEC -  (Computer Security). The NSA's program for protecting U.S. government computers from exploitation and intrusion by foreign intelligence services and computer cracking and hacking groups.

COMSEC - COMmmunications SECurity . Measures and controls taken to deny unauthorized persons information derived from telecommunications and ensure the authenticity of such telecommunications. Communications security includes cryptosecurity, transmission security, emission security, and physical security of COMSEC material.

CONUS - Contiguous US.

Cryptanalysis - Operations performed in converting encrypted messages to plain text without initial knowledge of the crypto-algorithm and/or key employed in the encryption.

CRYPTO - Marking or designator identifying COMSEC keying material used to secure or authenticate telecommunication carrying classified or sensitive U.S. Government or U.S. Government derived information. When written in all upper case letters, CRYPTO has the meaning stated above. When written in lower case as a prefix, crypto and crypt are abbreviations for cryptographic

Crypto Equipment - Any equipment employing cryptotechniques or containing cryptographic circuitry or logic.

Crypto Ignition Key -  (CIK). The Crypto Ignition Key (CIK) is a physical key issued and controlled by the government. It provides access to other STU-III phone users at various security levels depending on the level of security the key has been  issued at.

Cryptography - The science and art of making codes and ciphers.

Cryptology - The science and art of making and breaking codes and ciphers.

CSS - (Central Security Service) The CSS comprises all U.S. military branches --Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines -- and works to ensure a full partnership between the NSA and the military.

Decipher - Convert enciphered text to the equivalent plain text by means of a cipher system.

Decode -  Convert encoded text to its equivalent plain text by means of a code.

Decrypt - Generic term encompassing decode and decipher.

DSN - (Defense Switched Network). A component of the Defense Communications System that handles Department of Defense voice, data, and video communicications.

ELINT - (Electronic Intelligence) The NSA acronym for information obtained for intelligence purposes from the intercept of foreign electromagnetic noncommunications transmissions (by other than the intended recipient). The
most common sources of this type of information are foreign radar signals.

EMSEC -  That component of communications security which results from all measures taken to protect any unintentional emissions of a telecommunications system from any form of exploitation other than cryptanalysis.

Emanation or Emission - Electromagnetic or acoustic energy propagated from a source by radiation or conduction.

Encipher - To convert plaintext into unintelligible form by means of a cipher system.

Encode -  Convert plain text to equivalent cipher text by means of a code.

Encrypt - Generic term encompassing encipher and encode.

Final Key - The symbol or signal which is combined with text to produce cipher or vice versa.

HJ or "Hotel Juliet" - A predetermined time or time frame when all communications centers in a network change their crypto key. Some personnel in Comm Centres colloquially referred to it as "going new day".

INFOSEC - (INFOormation Systems SECurity)  The protection of information systems against unauthorized access to or modification of information, whether in storage, processing or transit, and against the denial of service to authorized users or the provision of service to unauthorized users, including those measures necessary to detect, document, and counter such threats.

Initial Fill - The sequence of binary digits used to initialize the state of a shift register in a cryptographic equipment.

JOSS - Joint Overseas Switchboard

KAM's -  K[C]ryptographic Aids to Maintenance.  Most service manuals were called KAM's.

Key - Information (usually a sequence of random or pseudo-random binary digits) used initially to set up and periodically change the operations performed in crypto equipment for the purpose of encrypting or decrypting electronic signals, for determining electronic counter-countermeasures patterns (e.g., frequency hopping or spread spectrum), or for producing  other key. "Key" has replaced the terms "variable," "key(ing) variable," and "cryptovariable."

Key Card - Paper card, containing a pattern of punched holes, which establishes the key for a specific cryptonet at a specific time.

Key List - Printed series of key settings for a specific cryptonet. NOTE: Key lists may be produced in list, pad, or printed tape format.

Key Management -  Process by which key is generated, stored, protected, transferred, loaded, used, and destroyed.

Keying Material - Key, code, or authentication information in physical or magnetic form.

Keying Variable - A setting or initial state of a key generator, such as a key card, key tape, mechanical permuter, or initial fill, which, when varied. changes the generation of key in a predetermined manner.

Link Encryption  - Encryption of data in individual links of a telecommunications system.

Message Indicator - Sequence of bits transmitted over a telecommunications system for the purpose of crypto-equipment synchronization. Some off-line cryptosystems, such as the KL-5l and one-time pad systems, employ message indicators to establish decryption starting points.

NBST - Narrowband Subscriber Terminal

NSA - National Security Agency based in Fort George G. Meade, Maryland

Null - Dummy letter, letter symbol, or code group inserted in an encrypted message to delay or prevent its decryption or to complete encrypted groups for transmission or transmission security purposes.

OCONUS - Outside [the] contiguous United States.

Off-Line Cryptosystem - A cryptosystem in which encryption and decryption are performed independently of the transmission and reception functions.

One-Time Cryptosystem - Cryptosystem employing key which is used only once.

One-Time Pad - Manual, one-time, cryptosystem produced in pad form. If the individual sheets in the pad are never reused, this cryptosystem cannot be broken

On-Line Cryptosystem - A cryptosystem in which encryption and decryption are performed in association with the transmitting and receiving functions.

OPSEC (Operations Security) -  The process of denying potential adversaries any information about capabilities and/or intentions by identifying, controlling and protecting generally unclassified evidence of the planning and execution of sensitive activities.

Over-The-Air Key Transfer - Electronically distributing key without changing traffic encryption key used on the secured communications path over which the transfer is accomplished.

Over-The-Air Rekeying - Changing traffic encryption key or transmission security key in remote crypto-equipment by sending new key directly to the remote crypto-equipment over the communications path it secures. A special key is used to encrypt the keys that are transmitted over the air and those are considered to now be "black". Once they have been decrypted they become "red".

Permuter - A device used in a crypto-equipment to change the order in which the contents of a shift register are used in various nonlinear combining circuits.

Plain Text - Unencrypted information.

SECORD - Secure Cord (Switchboard)...pronounced "Sea Cord"

SIGINT - (Signals Intelligence) Information that contains (either individually or in combination) communications intelligence (COMINT), electronics intelligence (ELINT) and foreign instrumentation signals intelligence (FISINT),  however transmitted.

SIGNET -  Secure Integrated Global Network. Variants:

Signet-D: Designated or unclassified network permitting information storage/transmission up to Protected C level.
Signet-C: Classified network permitting information storage/transmission up to the SECRET level.

Supercomputer -  The fastest type of computer used for specialized applications that require a massive number of mathematical calculations. The NSA supercomputer center contains the largest accumulation of computer power in any one building on Earth. One Cray Triton supercomputer at the facility can handle 64 billion instructions per second, and there are many of them at the NSA.

System Indicator - Symbol or group of symbols in an off-line encrypted message that identifies the specific cryptosystem or key used in the encryption.

TEMPEST - An unclassified term referring to investigations and studies of compromising emanations, it is          sometimes used synonymously for the term "compromising emanation". Tongue-in-cheek meaning: Tiny ElectroMagnetic Particles Emanating Secret Things

Traffic Flow Security  - On crypto channels that ran 24hours/7days, the data stream was encrypted 24/7,
even if the data was blank.  Thus, anyone attempting to monitor and analyze data did not know if they were trying to break the code for dead air or live traffic.  This was only used in fixed installations.

TSEC - Transmission Security (also called TRANSEC) - The protection of the communications paths against attack. Defensive measures include anti-jam, low probability of detection, low probability of intercept, spread spectrum techniques such as frequency hopping and direct sequence spreading, and protected distribution.

Type 1 Product - Classified or controlled cryptographic item endorsed by the National Security Agency for securing classified and sensitive U.S. Government information, when appropriately keyed. The term refers only to products, and not to information, key, services, or controls. Type 1 products contain classified National Security Agency algorithms. They are available to U.S. Government users, their contractors, and federally sponsored non-U.S. Government activities subject to export restrictions in accordance with International Traffic in Arms Regulation

Type 2 Product - Unclassified cryptographic equipment, assembly, or component, endorsed by the National Security Agency, for use in telecommunications and automated information systems for the protection of national security information. The term refers only to products, and not to information, key, services, or controls. Type 2 products may not be used for classified information, but contain classified National Security Agency algorithms that distinguish them from products containing the unclassified data encryption standard algorithm. Type 2 products are available to U.S. Government departments and agencies and sponsored elements of state and local governments, sponsored U.S. Government contractors, and sponsored private sector entities. Type 2 products are subject to export restrictions in accordance with the International Traffic in Arms Regulation.

WBST -Wideband Subscriber Terminal

Zeroize - To remove or eliminate the key from a crypto-equipment or fill device.

References for this section:

2) NAVSP P-5239-02 June 1995
3) CNN Story about NSA -
4) Federal Standard 1037; Glossary of Terms


Complied by Bradley O'Neil
With Additions by Jerry Proc

Listed  below are various cryptanalytic machines developed before and during WWII. The following list is gleaned from a superb source, namely Information and Secrecy: Vannevar Bush, Ultra, and the Other Memex, by Colin Burke, Scarecrow Press, Metuchen N.J. 1994. LC#  HD9696.C772B87 1994.

BOMBE - Electro-mechanical machines built by Britain and the US to attack ENIGMA.

COLOSSUS - Britain's special purpose electronic computer to attack the German FISH system.

COMPARATOR - Bush's tape based-electronic cryptanalytic machines.

COPPERHEAD - OP-20-G [Naval cryptology division] WWII advanced versions of tape-based electronic cryptanalytic machines.

ECM - Electromechanical Cipher Machine. Developed during WWII anmd used until 1959.

ENIGMA - German encrypting device.

FISH - German teletype-like automatic encryption systems and devices.

FREAK - U.S. electromechanical cryptanalytic machine. (WWII)

FRUIT - Special electro-mechanical adding machine built for OP- 20-G by NCR during WWII.

GOLDBERG - OP-20-G advanced version of Bush's Comparator.

HYPO - Analog, optical, crypanalytic machine built by Eastman-Kodak, during WWII.

ICKY - OP-20-G special microfilm machine.

IC MACHINE - Film plate machines, MIT-Eastman made for OP-20-G, WWII.

LETTERWRITER - Special data entry machines IBM built for OP-20-G, WWII.

LOCATORS - OP-20-G and SIS [US Army Cryptanalytic Agency] machines built for identifying locations of code items, but not for counting or tallying. Built during WWII.

MADAME X - SIS relay-based machine to attack German ENIGMA.

MATHEW, MIKE - U.S. electro-mechanical cryptanalytic machines, WWII.

PURPLE - SIS/OP-20-G analog machine built for attack on Japanese diplomatic ciphers.

PYTHON - OP-20-G electrical analog of Japanese enciphering machine, during WWII.

RAPID ARITHMETICAL MACHINE - An unbuilt Vannevar Bush computer of the 1930s.

RAPID SELECTOR - Bush's ill-fated bibliographic micro-film device.

RATTLER - U.S. Navy electronic machine to attack Japanese automatic encryption systems.

ROBINSON - Britain's tape-based electronic machines, similar to the COMPARATOR.

ROCKEFELLER ANALYSER - Vannevar Bush/MIT updated version of Differential Analyser, financed by Rockefeller Foundation, completed in late 1930s.

SIGABA - The U.S. Army's reference to the ECM Mark II crypto machine.

SIGSALY - Secure voice encryption system for government officials. It  was launched in July 1943. Patents were kept secret until 1976.

SIGBUSE - A maintenance system for use with SIGSALY. That system had to be maintainred daily

SIGGRUV - A reference to the SIGSALY system when the encryption key was stored on vinyl records.

SIGJINGS - A reference to the SIGSALY system when the encryption key was stored on acetate records.

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Mar 14/14