Computer Science Events

Apr 5

The Frank G. and Jean M. Chesley Lectureship

"Who am I? Adventures in Authentication", by Dr. Radia Perlman.

Wednesday, April 5th, 2017
7:30 – 8:30 pm / Weitz Cinema
The Frank G. and Jean M. Chesley Lectureship

Biography of Chesley Lecturer:

Radia Perlman's work has had a profound impact on how computer networks work today. It enables huge networks, like the Internet, to be robust, scalable, and largely self-managing. Her technology also transformed Ethernet from a technology that could support a few hundred nodes within a building, into a technology that could support networks of hundreds of thousands of nodes. She has also made important contributions in network security, including robustness despite malicious trusted participants, assured delete, key management for data at rest encryption, distributed denial of service defense, and user authentication. She is currently a Fellow at Dell EMC, and has taught as adjunct faculty at MIT, Harvard, and University of Washington. She wrote the textbook "Interconnections", and co-wrote the textbook "Network Security". She holds over 100 issued patents. She has received numerous awards including induction into the Inventor Hall of Fame, lifetime achievement awards from ACM's SIGCOMM and Usenix, election to National Academy of Engineering, induction into the Internet Hall of Fame, and an honorary doctorate from KTH. She has a PhD in Computer Science from MIT.


How does Bob know he's talking to Alice, when talking across a network? (Or, more concretely, how does your browser know that it's talking to the real Wells Fargo when doing your banking, or the real when you're paying for books with a credit card?) There are various deployed schemes, and we'll compare the security implications of schemes based on public keys, secret keys, and bearer tokens.  These schemes involve trusted third parties that will somehow vouch for Alice. Although simple in theory, we'll explore issues such as chains of trust. Who should the third party be?  How would it know enough about Alice to vouch for her to Bob?  Why should Bob trust the third party to vouch for Bob?

Sponsored by Computer Science. Contact: Sue Jandro, x4360