EE380 Computer Systems Colloquium

Cryptology and Security: the view from 2016
Wednesday, May 4, 2016 - 4:30pm to 5:30pm
Gates B03
Whitfield Diffie
Abstract / Description: 

On the face of it, the cryptographers have solved their piece of the puzzle but every other aspect of security, from crypto-implementations to operating systems to applications, stinks. We will explore both what lies ahead for the best cooked piece of cybersecurity and what is wrong with security outside cryptography.


Bailey Whitfield 'Whit' Diffie (born June 5, 1944) is an American cryptographer and one of the pioneers of public-key cryptography.

Diffie and Martin Hellman's paper "New Directions in Cryptography", published in 1976, introduced a radically new method of distributing cryptographic keys that went far toward solving one of the fundamental problems of cryptography, key distribution. It has become known as Diffie-Hellman key exchange. The article also seems to have stimulated the almost immediate public development of a new class of encryption algorithms, the asymmetric key algorithms, which enable public key encryption.

Whitfield Diffie and Martin Hellman were the recipients of the ACM 2015 Turing Award, sometimes called the Nobel Prize of Computer Science.

[Adapted from the Whitfield Diffie Wikipedia entry where substantially more biographical information can be found.