SAN FRANCISCO & ZURICH--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today we announced Internet entrepreneur Max Levchin’s annual prize, the Levchin Prize for Real-World Cryptography. The award honors significant contributions by entrepreneurs dedicated to solving global, real-world cryptography issues.
This year’s recipients are: Hugo Krawczyk of the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center, and The OpenSSL team, which provides a full-featured toolkit for the Transport Layer Security (TLS) and Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protocols. More details about this year’s recipients can be found below.
“The ongoing research and progress made in the world of cryptography is incredibly important to ensuring internet security always measures up to constant developments in technology,” said Levchin, CEO of fintech company Affirm, and co-founder and former CTO of PayPal. “I’m pleased to recognize the contributions of this year’s recipients to the global technology climate.”
This year’s recipients were recognized at the 2018 Real-World Crypto conference, which brings together cryptography researchers and developers who are implementing cryptography on the Internet, the cloud, and embedded devices from around the world. Organized by the International Association of Cryptologic Research (IACR), the goal of the conference is to strengthen and advance the conversation between these two communities.
The 2018 winners were selected by the Real-World Cryptography conference steering committee, which includes professors from Stanford University, University of Edinburgh, Microsoft Research, Royal Holloway University of London, Cornell Tech, University of Florida, and University of Bristol.
About the 2018 Levchin Prize for Real-World Cryptography Award Recipients
Hugo Krawczyk is an IBM Fellow and a Distinguished Research Staff Member with the Cryptography Group at the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center whose areas of interest span theoretical and applied aspects of cryptography. He has contributed to the cryptographic design of numerous Internet standards, particularly IPsec, IKE, and SSL/TLS, and is a co-inventor of the HMAC message authentication algorithm. His most recent work in this area includes designs for TLS 1.3, the next generation TLS, and HKDF, an emerging standard for key derivation adopted by TLS 1.3, Signal, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and more. Hugo has authored more than 100 publications with over 20,000 citations, including contributions to the theory and applications of pseudorandomness, zero-knowledge, key exchange, password authentication, threshold and proactive cryptosystems, and search on encrypted data. He is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Cryptology, a Fellow of the International Association of Cryptologic Research (IACR) and a member of the IBM Academy of Technology. He is the recipient of the 2015 RSA Conference Award for Excellence in the Field of Mathematics as well as of various IBM awards, including two corporate awards, for contributions to cryptography and the information security industry.
The OpenSSL Team includes the following individuals: Matt Caswell, Mark Cox, Paul Dale, Viktor Dukhovni, Bernd Edlinger, Steve Henson, Tim Hudson, Lutz Jänicke, Ben Kaduk, Emilia Käsper, Ben Laurie, Richard Levitte, Steve Marquess, Bodo Möller, Andy Polyakov, Kurt Roeckx, Rich Salz and Geoff Thorpe.
OpenSSL is an open-source, robust, commercial-grade, and full-featured toolkit for the Transport Layer Security (TLS) and Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protocols. It is also a general-purpose cryptography library. The project was founded in 1998 and was based on a fork of the earlier SSLeay project written by Eric Young and Tim Hudson. OpenSSL is used extensively to secure communications across the internet as well as private networks. OpenSSL source code is maintained by a team of committers. The overall project is run by the OpenSSL Management Committee (OMC). The committer and OMC teams are mostly made up of volunteers with only 3 people working full time on the project. Collectively the committers and OMC teams are responsible for all aspects of delivering the project including: fixing bugs, supporting users, writing documentation, developing new features, reviewing patches, handling security incidents and issuing new releases. To find out more about OpenSSL, see the website here: https://www.openssl.org
About the Levchin Prize for Real-World Cryptography
Established in 2015, the Levchin Prize for Real-World Cryptography recognizes up to two groups or individuals annually who have made significant advances in the practice of cryptography and its use in real-world systems. In addition to a trophy modeled after the Jefferson Disk wheel cypher and a Cryptex (coined from the fictional writings of author Dan Brown’s “The DaVinci Code”), award recipients receive a cash prize of $10,000 each.
Anyone is eligible to apply for the Levchin Prize. Winners of the Levchin Prize for Real-World Cryptography must attend the award ceremony at the RWC conference to receive the prize. To learn more or submit a nomination for the 2019 Levchin prize, please visit levchinprize.com.
About Max Levchin
Max Levchin is the CEO of Affirm, a next-generation consumer finance company providing shoppers with instant point-of-sale financing for online purchases. Levchin also serves as executive chairman of Glow, an ambitious enterprise that uniquely applies the power of data science to women’s health. Both companies were created and launched from Levchin’s San Francisco-based innovation and investment lab, HVF. Levchin was one of the co-founders of PayPal where he served as CTO until its acquisition by eBay in 2002. In 2004, he helped start Yelp, the ratings and review service where he was Chairman from 2004-2015. That same year he founded Slide, a personal media service for social networking sites, where he was CEO until the company was sold to Google in 2010. Levchin currently serves on the Consumer Advisory Board of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and previous board experience includes those of Yahoo! and Evernote. Max is an active investor in early stage startups and an avid cyclist.