Ars Technica: No, someone hasn’t cracked the code of the mysterious Voynich manuscript

Ars Technica: No, someone hasn’t cracked the code of the mysterious Voynich manuscript. “There are so many competing theories about what the Voynich manuscript is—most likely a compendium of herbal remedies and astrological readings, based on the bits reliably decoded thus far—and so many claims to have deciphered the text, that it’s practically its own subfield of medieval studies. Both professional and amateur cryptographers (including codebreakers in both World Wars) have pored over the text, hoping to crack the puzzle.”

Wired: A New Tool Protects Videos From Deepfakes and Tampering

Wired: A New Tool Protects Videos From Deepfakes and Tampering. “Video has become an increasingly crucial tool for law enforcement, whether it comes from security cameras, police-worn body cameras, a bystander’s smartphone, or another source. But a combination of ‘deepfake’ video manipulation technology and security issues that plague so many connected devices has made it difficult to confirm the integrity of that footage. A new project suggests the answer lies in cryptographic authentication.”

New Atlas: FontCode hides letters within letters

New Atlas: FontCode hides letters within letters. “While it’s already possible to relay information via barcodes or QR codes, those codes are entirely visible when included in a document. Using Columbia University’s FontCode system, however, users can hide messages within unrelated text via virtually-invisible changes to the displayed letters.”

University of Alberta: Using AI to uncover ancient mysteries

University of Alberta: Using AI to uncover ancient mysteries. “Computing scientists at the University of Alberta are using artificial intelligence to decipher ancient manuscripts. The mysterious text in the 15th century Voynich manuscript has plagued historians and cryptographers since its discovery in the 19th century. This ancient mystery made its way to the artificial intelligence community, where computing science professor Greg Kondrak was keen to lend his expertise in natural language processing to the search. Kondrak and his graduate student Bradley Hauer set out to use computers for decoding the ambiguities in human language using the Voynich manuscript as a case study. Their first step was to address the language of origin, which is exquisitely enciphered on hundreds of delicate vellum pages with accompanying illustrations.”

PC World: Google’s Collision Shakes Up Computer Cryptography

PC Magazine: Google’s Collision Shakes Up Computer Cryptography. “after years of trying, Google found a way to crack the SHA-1 cryptographic hash function, a security building block that enables digital signatures and HTTPS encryption. Cracking SHA-1 requires creating a cryptographic hash collision, which is essentially when a single hash, or ‘digest’ applies to two different files.”