Ian Goldberg

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For the television writer, see Ian B. Goldberg.
Ian Avrum Goldberg
Ian Goldberg.jpg
Born (1973-03-31) March 31, 1973 (age 44)
Fields Computer Science
Alma mater University of California, Berkeley
University of Waterloo
Doctoral advisor Eric Brewer
Known for Off-the-Record Messaging

Ian Avrum Goldberg (born March 31, 1973) is a cryptographer and cypherpunk. He is best known for breaking Netscape's implementation of SSL (with David Wagner),[1] and for his role as chief scientist of Radialpoint (formerly Zero Knowledge Systems), a Canadian software company. Goldberg is currently an associate professor at the School of Computer Science, University of Waterloo. He also serves as chairman of the board on the board of directors for The Tor Project. He is also one of the designers of off the record messaging.[2]


He attended high school at the University of Toronto Schools, graduating in 1991. In 1995, he received a B.Math from the University of Waterloo in pure mathematics and computer science. He obtained a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley in December 2000. His thesis was entitled A Pseudonymous Communications Infrastructure for the Internet.[3] His advisor was Eric Brewer.


As a high school student, Goldberg was a member of Canada's team to the International Math Olympiad from 1989 to 1991, where he received a bronze, silver, and gold medal respectively.[4] He was also a member of University of Waterloo team that won the ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest in 1994.[5] In 1998, Wired Magazine chose him as a member of the "Wired 25".[6] In 2011 he won the EFF Pioneer Award.[7]

Work in cryptography

In 1995, Goldberg with David Wagner discovered a flaw in the random number generator used for temporary key generation in the SSL implementation of Netscape Navigator.[1]

One of the first cryptanalyses on the WEP wireless encryption protocol was conducted by Goldberg with Nikita Borisov and David Wagner, revealing serious flaws in its design.[8]

Goldberg was a co-author of the Off-the-Record instant messaging encryption protocol. He is also the author of the Perl script included in the novel Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson.[9]

See also

Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 Ian Goldberg (1995-09-18). "Netscape SSL implementation cracked!". Newsgrouphks.lists.cypherpunks. Retrieved 2006-09-12. 
  2. "Tor Project Board of Directors". Tor Project. Retrieved January 26, 2015. 
  3. Ian Avrum Goldberg (2000-12-21). "A Pseudonymous Communications Infrastructure for the Internet" (PDF). 
  4. "International Mathematical Olympiad: Hall of fame". 
  5. "1993-94 18th Annual ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest Final Report". 2002-04-01. 
  6. "Ian Goldberg Can Make You Disappear". The Wired 25. 6 (11). November 1998. Retrieved 2006-10-30. 
  7. "EFF Celebrates the 2011 Pioneer Award Winners". Retrieved 10 December 2011. 
  8. Nikita Borisov, Ian Goldberg, David Wagner (2001). "Intercepting Mobile Communications: The Insecurity of 802.11" (PDF). Retrieved 2006-09-12. 
  9. Neal Stephenson (1999). Cryptonomicon. New York: Avon Books. p. Acknowledgements. ISBN 0-380-97346-4. 

External links