Clifford Cocks – Wikipedia

british cryptanalyst
For the australian rules football player, see Clifford Cocks ( football player )
Clifford Christopher Cocks CB FRS ( born 28 December 1950 ) is a british mathematician and cryptanalyst. In 1973, while working at the United Kingdom Government Communications Headquarters ( GCHQ ), he invented a public-key cryptanalysis algorithm equivalent to what would become ( in 1978 ) the RSA algorithm.

The idea was classified data and his insight remained hide for 24 years, although it was independently invented by Ronald Rivest, Adi Shamir, and Leonard Adleman in 1977. [ 4 ] [ 5 ] Public-key cryptography using prime factorization is now separate of about every Internet transaction. [ 6 ] [ 7 ]

education [edit ]

Cocks was educated at Manchester Grammar School and went on to study the Mathematical Tripos as an undergraduate at King ‘s College, Cambridge. He continued as a PhD scholar at the University of Oxford, where he specialised in number hypothesis under Bryan Birch, but left academia without finishing his doctor’s degree. [ 8 ]

career [edit ]

Non-secret encoding [edit ]

Cocks left Oxford to join Communications-Electronics Security Group ( CESG ), an sleeve of GCHQ, in September 1973. soon after, Cocks was told about James H. Ellis ‘ non-secret encryption by Nick Patterson, [ 8 ] [ 9 ] [ 10 ] an estimate which had been published in 1969 but never successfully implemented. several people had attempted creating the necessitate one-way functions, but Cocks, with his background in number theory, decided to use prime factorization, [ 11 ] and did not even write it down at the prison term. With this insight, he quickly developed what subsequently became known as the RSA encoding algorithm. [ 12 ] [ 13 ] GCHQ was not able to find a way to use the algorithm, and treated it as classified information. The scheme was besides passed to the NSA. [ 11 ] With a military focus, fiscal considerations, and low computing might, the might of public-key cryptanalysis was unrealised in both organisations : [ 8 ]

I judged it most crucial for military manipulation. In a fluid military situation you may meet unanticipated threats or opportunities. … if you can parcel your identify quickly and electronically, you have a major advantage over your opposition. entirely at the goal of the evolution from Berners-Lee [ in 1989 ] designing an open internet architecture for CERN, its adaptation and borrowing for the Arpanet … did public identify cryptanalysis realise its full electric potential. – Ralph Benjamin [ 11 ]

In 1977, the algorithm was independently invented and published by Rivest, Shamir and Adleman, who named it after their initials. There is no evidence of a hint or leak, conscious or unconscious, and Cocks has dismissed the estimate. [ 11 ] The british accomplishment remained unavowed until 1997. [ 14 ]

Public revelation [edit ]

In 1987, the GCHQ had plans to release the influence, but Peter Wright ‘s Spycatcher MI5 memoir caused them to delay revealing the research by ten-spot years. [ 15 ] 24 years after its discovery, on 18 December 1997, Cocks revealed the GCHQ history of public-key research in a public talk. James Ellis had died on 25 November 1997, a month before the public announcement was made.

Identity-based encoding [edit ]

In 2001, Cocks developed one of the first base fasten identity-based encoding ( IBE ) schemes, based on assumptions about quadratic residues in composite groups. The Cocks IBE scheme is not widely used in rehearse ascribable to its high degree of ciphertext expansion. however, it is presently one of the few IBE schemes which do not use bilinear pairings, and trust for security on more well-studied mathematical problems .

Awards and honours [edit ]

In 1968, Cocks won a eloquent decoration at the tenth International Mathematical Olympiad. [ 16 ] Cocks held the post of Chief Mathematician at GCHQ. He established the Heilbronn Institute for Mathematical Research at the University of Bristol. [ 17 ] Cocks was made a Companion of the Order of the Bath in 2008 ( the citation describes him as “ Counsellor, Foreign and Commonwealth Office ” ). [ 18 ] He was awarded an honorary degree from the University of Bristol in 2008, [ 19 ] and an honorary doctor of skill from the University of Birmingham in 2015. [ 20 ] He, James Ellis and Malcolm Williamson have been honoured for their contribution in the development of public-key cryptography by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers ( IEEE ) [ 21 ] in 2010 and by generalization into the Cryptologic Hall of Honor in 2021. Cocks was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society ( FRS ) in 2015. [ 22 ] His certificate of election reads :

Clifford Cocks is distinguished for his employment in cryptanalysis. He was the first to devise a feasible execution of public key cryptography, and more recently a feasible scheme for identity based public key encoding. such achievements have been cardinal in ensuring the security of the world ‘s electronic communications, security that we immediately take for granted. [ 2 ]

References [edit ]

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