Adi Shamir

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Adi Shamir (Hebrew: עדי שמיר‎; born July 6, 1952) is an Israeli cryptographer. He is one of the inventors of the RSA algorithm (along with Ron Rivest and Len Adleman), one of the inventors of the Feige-Fiat-Shamir Identification Scheme (along with Uriel Feige and Amos Fiat), one of the inventors of differential cryptanalysis and has made numerous contributions to the fields of cryptography and computer science.



Born in Tel Aviv, Shamir received a BS degree in Mathematics from Tel Aviv University in 1973 and obtained his MSc and PhD degrees in Computer Science from the Weizmann Institute in 1975 and 1977 respectively. His thesis was titled, "Fixed Points of Recursive Programs and their Relation in Differential Agard Calculus". After a year postdoc at University of Warwick, he did research at MIT from 1977–1980 before returning to be a member of the faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science at the Weizmann Institute. Starting from 2006, he is also an invited professor at École Normale Supérieure in Paris.


In addition to RSA, Shamir's other numerous inventions and contributions to cryptography include the Shamir secret sharing scheme, the breaking of the Merkle-Hellman knapsack cryptosystem, visual cryptography, and the TWIRL and TWINKLE factoring devices. Together with Eli Biham, he discovered differential cryptanalysis, a general method for attacking block ciphers. (It later emerged that differential cryptanalysis was already known — and kept a secret — by both IBM[1] and the NSA[2].)

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