The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Icann) has announced that pioneering cryptographer Whitfield Diffie will be joining its ranks to help the oversight body in its security efforts.
Diffie will take up the role of vice president of information security and cryptography, providing advice on general security matters relevant to Icann's mandate.
He will also help develop and implement security methods for Icann's networks, and oversee the ongoing improvement of best practice processes in information security and cryptography, said Icann.
In the late 1970s, Diffie was instrumental in solving one of the main problems of cryptography: key distribution.
He is known globally as a leader in network security, encryption and public key cryptography, and served as fellow and chief security officer at Sun Microsystems, now a part of Oracle, from 1991 to 2009.
Prior to his role at Sun, Diffie was manager of secure systems research at Northern Telecom, where he played a key role in the design of the firm's first packet security product, according to Icann.
"Diffie brings an extraordinary intellect and immense professional achievements to Icann, and his appointment reflects my strong commitment to improving Icann's technical security," said Icann president and chief executive Rod Beckstrom.
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