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Top Secret: From ciphers to cyber security

Top Secret: From ciphers to cyber security was the first exhibition to be held in the Science and Industry Museum's stunning Special Exhibitions Gallery.

The exhibition came to Manchester from 19 May – 31 August 2021 after a hugely successful premiere at the Science Museum in London in 2019. It then toured to the National Science and Media Museum in Bradford in 2022. 

Visitors to Top Secret could discover the fascinating world of codebreaking, ciphers and secret communications.  

From Alan Turing and his team of codebreakers at Bletchley Park, to one of the most successful Soviet spy rings in Cold War Britain, to modern-day cyber-crime, the exhibition explored over a century's worth of communications intelligence through hand-written documents, declassified files and incredible artefacts from GCHQ's and the Science Museum Group's historic collections. 

Super-sleuths of all ages put their skills to the test in our interactive puzzle zone and delved deeper into the exhibition with our family friendly activity trail.  

Visitors could also trace the evolution of the gadgets and devices used to conceal and decode crucial messages, hear from GCHQ staff doing top secret work to defend against terror attacks and find out more about the challenges of maintaining digital security in the 21st century. 

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