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New method to help decode rare fragile manuscripts

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London: Norwegian researchers are developing new high-tech tools to unlock the secrets hidden in fragile pieces of parchment that are difficult to study because of their age, rarity and susceptibility to contamination. Researchers from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology’s Gunnerus Library are using a novel technique called hyperspectral imaging to determine the chemical composition of the pigments used in ancient manuscripts.

“The technique is quite effective for examining old manuscripts and yields much better results than other methods,” said Emilio Catelli, PhD candidate at the department of chemistry, in a statement. “Whole pages can be scanned and analysed in a matter of minutes with this technology. Fragile documents are also protected from marks and rough handling,” Catelli added.

ancient Indus civilisation manuscript
ancient Indus civilisation manuscript

Ancient documents are very sensitive and fragile and should ideally not be touched or exposed to light. “Throughout history, many methods have been used that cause irreparable damage to manuscripts,” noted Victoria Juhlin, conservator at the library.

Hyperspectral imaging uses a hyperspectral camera to scan the document. Advanced cameras can differentiate between 160 colours and have 1,600 pixel sensors. These cameras are good for studying art at a macro level, where details and colour pigments that were previously impossible to see are now made visible because of the high spectral resolution.

“Hyperspectral imaging turns out to be very useful for studying art. The method is also used in medical diagnostics, food science, archaeology and environmental observation,” study co-author Lyngsnes Randeberg said.

(IANS)

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Passwords on Sensitive Account Are Still Easy To Guess

The most common name to be used in passwords was "Ashley", followed by "Michael", "Daniel", "Jessica" and "Charlie".

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"Nobody should protect sensitive data with something that can be guessed, like their first name, local football team or favourite band," Pixabay

Millions of people are using easy-to-guess passwords on sensitive accounts, with “123456” being the most widely-used on breached accounts, suggests a security study.

The study by the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) helped to uncover the gaps in cyber-knowledge that could leave people in danger of being exploited, the BBC reported on Sunday.

For its first cyber-survey, the NCSC analysed public databases of breached accounts to see which words, phrases and strings people used.

password
Security expert Troy Hunt, who maintains a database of hacked account data, said picking a good password was the “single biggest control” people had over their online security.
Pixabay

Top of the list was “123456”, appearing in more than 23 million passwords. The second-most popular string, “123456789”, was not much harder to crack, while others in the top five included “qwerty”, “password” and “1111111”.

The most common name to be used in passwords was “Ashley”, followed by “Michael”, “Daniel”, “Jessica” and “Charlie”.

When it comes to Premier League football teams in passwords, “Liverpool” came first and “Chelsea” second. “Blink-182” topped the charts of music acts.

hacking
For its first cyber-survey, the NCSC analysed public databases of breached accounts to see which words, phrases and strings people used. Pixabay

People who use well-known words or names for a password put themselves people at risk of being hacked, said Ian Levy, technical director of the NCSC.

“Nobody should protect sensitive data with something that can be guessed, like their first name, local football team or favourite band,” he said.

Also Read: Violent Relationships Can Increase The Risk Of Mental Disorder in Women

Security expert Troy Hunt, who maintains a database of hacked account data, said picking a good password was the “single biggest control” people had over their online security.

“We typically haven’t done a very good job of that either as individuals or as the organisations asking us to register with them.” (IANS)