My Last 24 Years in Crypto: A Few Good Judgments and Many Bad Ones


October 18, 2010


Neal Koblitz


Dept. of Mathematics


After describing some joint work with Menezes in which isogenies are used to show that conventional wisdom about parameter selection might sometimes be wrong, I’ll shift gears and make some comments on how easy it is to get things badly wrong in cryptography. I’ll illustrate by giving a brief survey of some of the many misjudgments I’ve made over the years.


Neal Koblitz

Neal Koblitz received his Ph.D. in mathematics at Princeton in 1974, and since 1979 he has been at the University of Washington. He has been working in cryptography since 1985, when he and Victor Miller independently proposed elliptic curve cryptography. He has written six books, of which two are on cryptography and one (whose title “Random Curves” has nothing to do with the topic of the above talk) consists of autobiographical memoirs. In recent years he has been more successful at making enemies than friends, especially after publication of “The Uneasy Relationship Between Mathematics and Cryptography” in the AMS Notices last year.