Historical database password retrieved

Sunday, 9 June 2002, 2:51 AM EST

A Norwegian educational center for cultural preservation lost the password to a historical database cataloging 11,000 original books and manuscripts, but was able to recover it with help from the Web.

E-mail messages from more than 100 good Samaritans flooded the Ivar Aasen Center for Language and Culture starting Thursday afternoon after the organization called for aid in hacking into one of its own databases to which the password was lost, said a message posted to the center's Web site on Friday. Among the messages was the correct password to the locked database, which the center had posted online.

It's unknown whether the helpful hackers that provided the correct answer decrypted the database, guessed the correct password, or used a flaw in the database's security to obtain access to the data. In its online message, the center said it would post more details on Monday.

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