A cipher system where a mechanical machine is used to encrypt plaintext into ciphertext. The machine mechanically implements the encryption algorithm. This was a major step in cryptography. More complex encryption algorithms could be used without the users needing to know the details of how the plaintext was scrambled or how it is unscrambled. It also sped up the process of encryption and decryption. These systems were a result of the Industrial Revolution. One example is the enigma machines used by Germany in World War II.

See also: pencil and paper cipher system/classical cipher system and computerized cipher system.

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