As engine key (also: machine-key ) is in the cryptology a key method ( encryption or decryption method called), which in contrast to a manual device , is thus carried out, for example, with pencil and paper manually, but in which a key machine (umbrella term for encryption and decryption machine).
One of the most famous machine keys uses the Enigma machine . It was used by the German Wehrmacht to encrypt their secret communications during World War II . Other examples are the German Lorenz key machine , which was also used at the time, and the American M-209, which the Germans called "American Machine No. 1 (AM-1)" at the time .
The keys belonging to the machine , which were mostly changed daily and were often listed on key boards (picture) , also bear this name (see also the authentic key board with the title “Air Force Machine Key No. 619” under web links ).
- Friedrich L. Bauer : Deciphered secrets, methods and maxims of cryptography . Springer, Berlin 2000 (3rd edition), ISBN 3-540-67931-6 .
- Luftwaffe machine key No. 619 (PDF; 316 kB), authentic key board for the Enigma. Retrieved May 19, 2016.