Cryptography guru Paul Kocher speaks out

Monday, 28 April 2003, 3:12 AM EST

As the wave of acquisitions in the security industry continues to mold innovation and original thought into a gray mass of sameness and me-too product offerings, successful, independent security companies are fast becoming a dying breed. One of the few holdouts in this arena is Cryptography Research Inc., a small San Francisco-based company that tackles difficult cryptographic issues for a variety of high-end clients.

The company is currently working on a new copy-protection scheme for digital content that enables content owners to control how the content is used. Paul Kocher, the company's president, is considered one of the rising stars in the world of cryptography, thanks to his design for the SSL v3.0 protocol and development of a timing attack on the RSA algorithm.

Senior Editor Dennis Fisher sat down with Kocher and Benjamin Jun, the company's vice president, at the RSA Conference last week to discuss the new technology and why the current argument over mandated copy protection is moot.

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