Dr. Burt Kaliski, Jr.

Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer.

As Verisign’s chief technology officer, Burt is responsible for the company’s long-term technology vision. He is the leader of Verisign Labs, which focuses on applied research, university collaboration, industry thought leadership, and intellectual property strategy. He also facilitates the technical community within Verisign and works closely with Verisign’s executive leadership team to turn the Company vision into near-term value for its business units and customers.

Prior to joining Verisign in 2011, Burt served as the founding director of the EMC Innovation Network, the global collaboration group among EMC’s research and advanced technology groups and its university partners. He joined EMC from RSA Security, where he served as vice president of research and chief scientist. Burt started his career at RSA in 1989, where as the founding scientist of RSA Laboratories, his contributions included the development of the Public-Key Cryptography Standards (PKCS), now widely deployed for internet security.

Burt is a guest professor at Wuhan University’s College of Computer Science, and was previously a guest professor and member of the international advisory board of Peking University’s School of Software and Microelectronics. He has also taught at Stanford University and Rochester Institute of Technology.

He is also a trustee emeritus of the Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council, and a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Computer Society and Tau Beta Pi.

Burt received his bachelor’s, master’s and Ph.D. degrees in computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where his research focused on cryptography.


Recent posts by Dr. Burt Kaliski, Jr.:

Jeff Schmidt to Present Name Collision Management Framework at Research Workshop

I’m delighted to announce that the name collisions workshop this weekend will include Jeff Schmidt, CEO of JAS Global Advisors, presenting the Name Collision Occurrence Management Framework that his firm just released for public review.

Jeff’s presentation is one of several on the program announced by the program committee for the Workshop and Prize on Root Causes and Mitigations of Name Collisions (WPNC).

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Uncontrolled Interruption? Dozens of “Blocked” Domains in New gTLDs Actually Delegated

The Mitigating the Risk of DNS Namespace Collisions report, just published by JAS Global Advisors, under contract to ICANN, centers on the technique of “controlled interruption,” initially described in a public preview shared by Jeff Schmidt last month.

With that technique, domain names that are currently on one of ICANN’s second-level domain (SLD) block lists can be registered and delegated for regular use, provided that they first go through a trial period where they’re mapped to a designated “test” address. The staged introduction of new SLDs is intended to provide operators of installed systems the opportunity to assess the potential impact of an impending name collision on their own, before any external operators have an opportunity to exploit it.

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Keynote Speaker for Name Collisions Workshop: Bruce Schneier

There may still be a few security practitioners working in the field who didn’t have a copy of Bruce Schneier’s Applied Cryptography on their bookshelf the day they started their careers. Bruce’s practical guide to cryptographic algorithms, key management techniques and security protocols, first published in 1993, was a landmark volume for the newly emerging field, and has been a reference to developers ever since.

Beyond just the popularity of the book, Bruce has also been widely recognized over the past two decades for his insightful commentary on the security issues of the day, featured on his monthly Crypto-Gram newsletter, his blog, “Schneier on Security,” 11 more books including the newly published Carry On, as well as numerous essays, op-eds and interviews.

It’s a genuine privilege therefore that Bruce will be keynoting the upcoming Name Collisions Workshop, to be held on March 8-10, in London.

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Colloquium on Collisions: Expert Panelists to Select Papers, Award $50K First Prize

According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, the verb collide is derived from the Latin verb collidere, which means, literally, “to strike together”:  com- “together” + lædere “to strike, injure by striking.”

Combined instead with loquium, or “speaking,” the com- prefix produces the Latin-derived noun colloquy: “a speaking together.”

Researchers and practitioners know well the benefits of the colloquium, the technical conference, a gathering of those speaking together on a topic.

So consider WPNC 14 – the upcoming namecollisions.net workshop – a colloquium on collisions: speaking together to keep name spaces from striking together.

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Insights on the Technology in the Real World

At each of our Verisign Labs’ Distinguished Speaker Series events I learn something new that stays with me and helps shape my thinking about technology and its impact on the world. The most recent brought the benefit of three insights, as the expanded event, Advancing Internet Technologies in the Developing World, featured a keynote speaker as well as two recipients of Verisign’s Infrastructure Grants.

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Collisions Ahead: Look Both Ways before Crossing

Many years ago on my first trip to London, I encountered for the first time signs that warned pedestrians that vehicles might be approaching in a different direction than they were accustomed to in their home countries, given the left-versus-right-side driving patterns around the world. (I wrote a while back about one notable change from left-to-right, the Swedish “H Day,” as a comment on the IPv6 transition.)

If you’re not sure on which side to expect the vehicles, it’s better to look both ways — and look again — if you want to reduce the risk of a collision.

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Rewarding Research: A Better Connected World, Name Collisions and Beyond

It’s a privilege for Verisign to welcome this week the recipients of our 2012 Internet Infrastructure Grant program, who will be presenting the results of research their teams have conducted over the past year and a half.  The results will be the focus of our fourth and final Verisign Labs Distinguished Speaker Series event for the year.

The event will open with a keynote talk by Prof. Ellen Zegura of Georgia Tech (United States), who will give an overview of the field these two projects explore, “Intermittent and Low-Resource Networks: Theory and Practice.” It’s an honor to have Prof. Zegura with us to describe both the academic and hands-on work she’s conducted in this important area.

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Pioneering Technologies for the Long Term

We recently hosted Dr. Ralph Merkle as a guest speaker for the Verisign Labs Distinguished Speaker Series. His talk, “Quantum Computers and Public-Key Cryptosystems,” was a great presentation on how molecular nanotechnology — the ability to economically manufacture most arrangements of atoms permitted by physical law — could fundamentally alter the world as we know it. Ralph’s and many others’ research on this topic has been groundbreaking and we are grateful he took the time to come and share his knowledge.

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Part 4 of 4 – Conclusion: SLD Blocking Is Too Risky without TLD Rollback

ICANN’s second-level domain (SLD) blocking proposal includes a provision that a party may demonstrate that an SLD not in the initial sample set could cause “severe harm,” and that SLD can potentially be blocked for a certain period of time. The extent to which that provision would need to be exercised remains to be determined. However, given the concerns outlined in Part 2 and Part 3 of this series, it seems likely that there could be many additions (and deletions!) from the blocked list given the lack of correlation between the DITL data and actual at-risk queries.

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vBSDcon: Builders and Archaeologists

Fascinating tour of C compiler evolution by David Chisnall http://vrsn.cc/1dUb5rY @Verisign‘s #vBSDcon. Compatible with DOS or VAX?

I began my journey into computer science as a high school freshman coding on a TI-59 calculator. Later in my high school years, I wrote computer chess games on a PDP-11/34 minicomputer in BASIC and, for speed, in assembly language. I might have contributed inadvertently to the Y2K problem with some FORTRAN and COBOL programs I wrote in the early 1980s. In college, I learned LISP and CLU on a MULTICS operating system, and had a part-time job where I programmed on a VAX-11/750. But eventually I did get around to coding in C on a Unix box.

So this is a little more information than 140 characters would allow, which may explain why I found David Chisnall’s opening talk at the recent vBSDcon so fascinating. DOS and VAX are to computer professionals what the classics are to the liberal arts: our Iliad and Odyssey. And C and Unix, in their various forms, are the living languages that preserve the connection to the early days – the contemporary variants of Koine Greek. The art of building C compilers as well as operating systems continues to advance skillfully.

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