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Encryption Science

Vikings' Secret Code Cracked 89

Posted by timothy
from the join-for-coffee-in-denmark-love-ingrid dept.
sciencehabit writes "What may look like mere scratches is much more. A 900-year-old Viking code known as jötunvillur has been cracked. The code-cracker, runologist Jonas Nordby from the University of Oslo, deciphered the system after realizing he needed to replace the original runic character with the last sound used to pronounce it. For instance, the runic character 'k' is pronounced 'kaun,' so k becomes n. Nordby believes secret messages were created by the Vikings for entertainment. One piece of wood reads: 'Kiss me.'"
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Vikings' Secret Code Cracked

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  • Re:The cypher (Score:4, Insightful)

    by H0p313ss (811249) on Thursday February 13, 2014 @02:49PM (#46239903)

    That's actually an interesting idea.

    Think of a series of 26 words, each starting with a different letter of the alphabet, and ending with a different letter of the alphabet. The NATO phonetic alphabet, for example, has alpha and delta, which both end with 'a', but you could modify that alphabet so every word ends with a different letter.

    That would be an interesting exercise for the cunning linguist...

    Interesting, but a very simple substitution cipher of which there are many.

    Most substitution ciphers can be cracked by simple frequency analysis [wikipedia.org].

    Note that the statistical frequency of particular letters is language specific, so you have to know the source language.

  • shut up (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 13, 2014 @02:58PM (#46240007)

    you know how everyone comes to slashdot for the comments? Well, you also know what's killing slashdot faster than dice? The fucking "fuck beta" crowd ruining every comment thread. You guys are making the comments section even worse because instead of it just being a crappier system, now the content is 50% about how bad beta is.

How many NASA managers does it take to screw in a lightbulb? "That's a known problem... don't worry about it."

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