Today, it's commonly known that computers are possible because of encrypted numbers. Encryption is used to protect personal or business data from hackers or competitors. The first computers were developed to encrypt — or code — secret messages that were sent during war time, so that they could not be read by the enemy if intercepted. Who would have guessed that numbers had such an exciting role in history?

 

Start your tour of cryptology on the Web at the National Cryptologic Museum. You'll find photos of and background information on early coding devices such as the Enigma and the Sigaba — and earn about the role they played in our nation's history. If you want to know more about Enigma and and the people that helped to crack the Nazi code, drop by Bletchley Park. Through beautiful photo links, you'll learn the history of the place, the code crackers who lived and worked there, and how the workings of the Enigma itself.