GCHQ implements World War II cipher machines in encryption app CyberChef

Pierluigi Paganini March 18, 2019

UK intelligence agency GCHQ released emulators for World War II cipher machines (Enigma, Typex and The Bombe) that can be executed in the encryption app CyberChef

UK intelligence agency GCHQ, as part of the celebration of its centenary, has released emulators for World War II cipher machines that can be executed in the encryption app CyberChef released for educational purposes.

The GCHQ developed emulators for Enigma, Typex and the Bombe that could be executed in the CyberChef,

The Enigma machines were used by the German military to protect communications during the Second World War.

In 1939, just before Germany was invading Poland, the British government received an Enigma machine from Polish code breakers.

Alan Turing continued the work done by Polish code breakers developed the Bombe machine, a code-breaking device used to determine Enigma key settings.

The third machine, Typex, was designed by British experts for the Royal Air Force.

CyberChef is “a simple, intuitive web app for analyzing and decoding data without having to deal with complex tools or programming languages.”

CyberChef was published as open source on GitHub, it allows users to analyze encryption, compression and decompression, and data formats with simple drag and drop operations.

CyberChef is a powerful tool for data analysis that could be used by multiple categories of users, including mathematicians, data analysts, developers, and even casual puzzle solvers.

According to the GCHQ, CodeChef runs in Chrome and Firefox.


The tool could be used to manipulate different types of data, decode Base64 strings, convert data from a hexdump and perform many other operations.

The GCHQ released the source code of the tool on GitHub in November 2016, alongside with a demo. The GCHQ is inviting the community of developers to contribute to the improvement of the tool.

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Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs –GCHQ ,CyberChef )

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