World-Renowned Cryptographer Arjen Lenstra Joins Bell Labs
Adds Valuable Talent to Lucent Technologies' Network Security Research
MURRAY HILL, N.J., Feb. 1 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Lucent Technologies
(NYSE:LU) today announced that Arjen Lenstra, a world-renowned expert in
evaluating, designing and developing the cryptographic algorithms and
protocols that protect sensitive information as it is communicated
electronically, has joined Bell Labs' Computing Sciences Research
Prior to joining Bell Labs, Lenstra was vice president of Information
Security Services at Citigroup. Lenstra specializes in the security of
systems that are widely used in e-commerce applications, such as key size
selection, an important factor in how electronic transactions are secured,
and the evaluation of cryptosystems such as RSA and ElGamal, encryption
systems used in e-commerce protocols.
"Arjen is a significant addition to an already world-class group of
researchers at Bell Labs who are developing the algorithms, architectures
and systems necessary to ensure the security and reliability of
networks," said Jeff Jaffe, president, Bell Labs Research and Advanced
Technologies. "His expertise will have a profound impact not just on
Lucent's business, but on the business of our customers as well.
We're thrilled to have him on board."
Lenstra focuses on how academic cryptologic research and computational
number theory impact practical security applications and practices. This is
important because the vast majority of the crypto work happening today in
research labs and universities around the world, while important and
useful, is often too costly for practical implementation. Lenstra believes
that bridging the gap between what's theoretically possible and
what's practical is a major research challenge; it is the area he will
concentrate on at Bell Labs.
"I joined Bell Labs because I wanted to go back to designing
algorithms and tackling hard problems in computational number theory in a
way that will make a difference to people outside of academia," said
Lenstra. "What I found compelling about the Labs was that everyone I
spoke with here knew exactly how the research they were doing helped the
company or its customers in some meaningful way."
"Arjen's network security expertise will further enhance Bell
Labs' capability in this critical area and will enable Lucent to
continue improving the security of the solutions we offer to our
customers," said Linda Bramblett, director of Lucent Worldwide
Services' Security Practice. "We are pleased that Arjen
recognized the company's commitment to stay at the forefront of
developing the next generation of security solutions and services, and that
he will be part of the Bell Labs team helping us do just that."
One recent example of Lenstra's expertise came after a recent
cryptography conference where it was shown that some widely used hash
functions -- cryptographic "fingerprints" used in network
protocols in such industries as banking to create secure digital signatures
-- are weaker than expected, leaving online transactions potentially
vulnerable to attack. Lenstra assessed these theories and demonstrated that
their real-life impact was minimal. This kind of analysis helps
Lucent's customers avoid needless spending by evaluating the actual
risk of developments advertised as "cryptographic disasters" to
assess whether they have any significant real- life impact.
Lenstra's formal training is in computational number theory, a field
concerned with finding and implementing efficient computer algorithms for
solving various problems rooted in number theory. Lenstra was a key
contributor to the team that successfully factored RSA-155, a 512-bit
number, which at the time was the default key size used to secure
e-commerce transactions on the Internet. This was a significant
accomplishment because the RSA public-key cryptosystem relies on the
inability to factor such a number, and Lenstra's team was able to do
so in less than seven months, suggesting this approach was not as secure as
had been believed.
Lenstra invented a number of widely used algorithms, cryptographic systems
and software packages including FreeLIP, software used for efficient
development and implementation of cryptographic protocols. In addition,
Lenstra co-authored the influential paper "Selecting Cryptographic Key
Sizes," which offered guidelines for determining key sizes for
cryptosystems based on a set of explicitly formulated hypotheses and data
points about the cryptosystems.
Lenstra has a bachelor's degree in mathematics and physics, a
master's degree in mathematics, and a doctorate in mathematics and
computer science from the University of Amsterdam. He has spent his career
working, teaching or consulting at a number of well-known institutions
including Bell Communications Research, Digital Equipment Corporation, IBM,
Technical University in Eindhoven, Netherlands, and the University of
Chicago, Chicago, Ill.
Lenstra comes to Bell Labs after spending eight years at Citigroup, where
he advised the company on the practical application of cryptographic and
related security schemes including secure portable communication systems,
wireless application protocols, digital signature algorithms, escrow
schemes, electronic monetary systems and special purpose hardware devices.
Lenstra also developed an information security risk assessment methodology
for the company, and he was responsible for the cryptographic design of
Sprocket, a digital content delivery system that was patented by Citibank.
About Bell Labs
Bell Labs, the R&D division of Lucent Technologies, is the leading
source of new communications technologies. It has generated more than
30,000 patents since 1925 and has played a pivotal role in inventing or
perfecting key communications technologies, including transistors, digital
networking and signal processing, lasers and fiber-optic communications
systems, communications satellites, cellular telephony, electronic
switching of calls, touch-tone dialing, and modems. Bell Labs scientists
have received eleven Nobel Prizes in Physics, nine U.S. National Medals of
Science and eight U.S. National Medals of Technology(R). For more
information about Bell Labs, visit its Web site at www.bell-labs.com.
About Lucent Technologies
Lucent Technologies designs and delivers the systems, services and software
that drive next-generation communications networks. Backed by Bell Labs
research and development, Lucent uses its strengths in mobility, optical,
software, data and voice networking technologies, as well as services, to
create new revenue-generating opportunities for its customers, while
enabling them to quickly deploy and better manage their networks.
Lucent's customer base includes communications service providers,
governments and enterprises worldwide. For more information on Lucent
Technologies, which has headquarters in Murray Hill, N.J., USA, visit
Quelle: Lucent Technologies
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