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Current Activitieslock Who is Who?lock People Programs Publications CSHW_2014 Systems Events Mechanisms

Whitfield Diffie

 

Whitfield Diffie, who has a B.S. in mathematics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and an honorary doctorate from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, is a pioneer in the concept of public-key cryptography, the underpinning of secure Internet, e-commerce, and other forms of secure electronic communication. Together with Whitfield Diffie and Ralph Merkle, Diffie created the Diffie-Hellman Key Exchange as outlined in the landmark 1976 paper "New Directions in Cryptography." Diffie also criticized the National Bureau of Standards' proposed Data Encryption Standard in 1975, citing its short 56-bit key length as vulnerable to brute force attack, a critique that proved accurate.(1)(2)(3) After working as Manager of Secure Systems at Northern Telecom, he joined Sun Microsystems as a Distinguished Engineer, where he worked on public aspects of cryptography. He has most recently joined ICANN as Vice President for Information Security and Cryptography.(4)

Additional Resources:

  • lock DiffieHellman.pdf: Diffie and Hellman's "New Directions in Cryptography" paper (Log-in required).

  • http://purl.umn.edu/107353: 2004 CBI Oral History with Martin Hellman, who discusses public key cryptography, and his work with Whitfield Diffie.

Notes

1 , 4 : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whitfield_Diffie

2 : http://www.computerhistory.org/fellowawards/hall/bios/Whitfield,Diffie/

3 : http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/2.11/diffie.html?pg=1&topic=


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