Celebrating Encryption – from 1943 to 2015

It’s not often that we talk about World War II history on our blog, but today’s a special day.

Seventy-two years ago today – July 15, 1943 – a revolutionary technology was deployed, enabling US President FDR and UK Prime Minister Winston Churchill to securely hold their top-secret World War II telephone conversations, without the German opposition listening in.

This technology – the first voice encryption system – was developed by AT&T (then Bell Telephone Laboratories) engineers and provided the Allied Forces with a much needed technology to communicate and strategize during the war. In fact, over 3,000 encrypted messages were sent and received using this technology.

To celebrate the anniversary of this historic encryption technology, we’re doing some encryption of our own, 2015 style.


Our security team will be sharing a series of encrypted messages on our @attsecurity Twitter channel and we’re looking to all of you to decode it. Watch out for a new encrypted message each day at noon ET – starting today until Friday, July 17th.

Tweet us your responses @attsecurity with hashtag #crackthecode. Winners will receive 3D printed security goodies and the first user that accurately decodes all three messages will also receive a featured interview on Computing Now, courtesy of our friends at IEEE Computer Society.

Lastly, tune into From the Labs – Encryption, Episode 1: Sigsaly for archival footage and interviews about the making of this encryption technology. As you’ll see, security sure has evolved from the 1940s to today.

We’re proud of our security heritage, honored to have played such a part in history and remain committed to continued innovation in security to help protect businesses from the latest threats and adversaries.


Gus de los Reyes Executive Director of Technology Security AT&T About Gus