UCSD Co-inventor of New Govt Standard for Data Communications Security

By Doug Ramsey

Mihir_Bellare.jpgCalit2 participant and Computer Science and Engineering professor Mihir Bellare got some great news today. A dozen years ago Bellare was one of the inventors of the Keyed-Hash Message Authentication Code (HMAC), a crypotology algorithm for use when message authentication is required. After a long process and a series of new proofs published by Bellare in 2006, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) proposed last year to make HMAC a standard for data communications security, and today it became effective -- with the publication of a notice in the Federal Register.

The story was picked up today by William Jackson, writing in Government Computer News ("New version of FIPS hashing standard approved"). According to Jackson, "The Message Authentication Code uses a secret key that is shared with the intended recipient. The sender uses the key to produce a hash, or message digest, unique to the message being sent. The recipient uses the same key to produce a hash of the message being received. If the hashes match, the recipient can be sure that the message has not been altered and that it came from the other holder of the key." Bellare joint the UCSD Jacobs School of Engineering in 1995 from the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center. He got his Ph.D. in 1991 from MIT.

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