Ross Anderson – Schneier on Safety – Cyber Information

Ross Anderson

Ross Anderson unexpectedly handed away Thursday evening in, I imagine, his dwelling in Cambridge.

I can’t keep in mind after I first met Ross. After all it was earlier than 2008, after we created the Safety and Human Conduct workshop. It was effectively earlier than 2001, after we created the Workshop on Economics and Info Safety. (Okay, he created each—I helped.) It was earlier than 1998, after we wrote in regards to the issues with key escrow methods. I used to be one of many individuals he dropped at the Newton Institute, at Cambridge College, for the six-month cryptography residency program he ran (I mistakenly didn’t keep the entire time)—that was in 1996.

I do know I used to be on the first Quick Software program Encryption workshop in December 1993, one other convention he created. There I introduced the Blowfish encryption algorithm. Pulling an previous first-edition of Utilized Cryptography (the one with the blue cowl) down from the shelf, I see his title within the acknowledgments. Which signifies that someday in early 1993—in all probability at Eurocrypt in Lofthus, Norway—I, as an unpublished e book creator who had solely written a few crypto articles for Dr. Dobb’s Journal, requested him to learn and touch upon my e book manuscript. And he stated sure. Which implies I mailed him a paper copy. And he learn it. And mailed his handwritten feedback again to me. In an envelope with stamps. As a result of that’s how we did it again then.

I’ve recognized Ross for over thirty years, as each a colleague and a buddy. He was enthusiastic, sensible, opinionated, articulate, curmudgeonly, and type. Decide up any of his tutorial papers—there are a lot of—and odds are that you can see a least one sudden perception. He was a cryptographer and safety engineer, but in addition very a lot a generalist. He revealed on block cipher cryptanalysis within the Nineties, and the safety of large-language fashions final 12 months. He began conferences like no one’s enterprise. His masterwork e book, Safety Engineering—now in its third version—is as complete a tome on cybersecurity and associated matters as you could possibly think about. (Additionally observe his fifteen-lecture video collection on that very same web page. If in case you have by no means heard Ross lecture, you’re in for a deal with.) He was the primary particular person to grasp that safety issues are sometimes truly financial issues. He was the primary particular person to make quite a lot of these kinds of connections. He fought towards surveillance and backdoors, and for tutorial freedom. He didn’t undergo fools in both authorities or the company world.

He’s listed within the acknowledgments as a reader of each one in all my books from Past Worry on. Not too long ago, we’d see one another a few occasions a 12 months: at this or that workshop or occasion. The final time I noticed him was final June, at SHB 2023, in Pittsburgh. We had been having dinner on Alessandro Acquisti‘s rooftop patio, celebrating one other profitable workshop. He was going to attend my Workshop on Reimagining Democracy in December, however he needed to cancel on the final minute. (He despatched me the speak he was going to provide. I’ll see about posting it.) The day earlier than he died, we had been discussing the right way to accommodate everybody who registered for this 12 months’s SHB workshop. I discovered one thing from him each single time we talked. And I’m not the one one.

My coronary heart goes out to his spouse Shireen and his household. We misplaced him a lot too quickly.

Posted on March 31, 2024 at 8:21 PM •
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