SOURCE: VeriSign, Inc.

September 26, 2007 19:15 ET

Cryptography Pioneer Ronald L. Rivest Receives Marconi Award

VeriSign Co-Founder and MIT Professor Honored for Development of Technologies that Underpin Today's Digital Infrastructure

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA--(Marketwire - September 26, 2007) - VeriSign, Inc. (NASDAQ: VRSN), the leading provider of digital infrastructure for the networked world, today announced Dr. Ronald L. Rivest, professor of computer science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and a co-founder of VeriSign, will be honored Friday as the Marconi Fellow for 2007 at the Marconi Society's annual award dinner in Menlo Park, Calif. A cash award of $100,000 accompanies the honor.

Inspired by the pioneering work of Ralph Merkle, Whit Diffie and Martin Hellman at Stanford University in the 1970s, Rivest, along with co-inventors Adi Shamir and Len Adleman, researchers at MIT, invented the RSA public-key cryptosystem and founded RSA Data Security in 1982.

During the '80s and '90s, Rivest, along with Jim Bidzos, who was RSA president from 1986 until 1999, brought to market a variety of encryption technologies. RSA played a key role in building the public-key infrastructure, or PKI, which is widely deployed in the Internet protocol known as Secure Sockets Layer (SSL). SSL today protects millions of secure Internet interactions worldwide every day.

VeriSign® SSL digital certificates are prevalent worldwide, which allow browser users to establish trust and secure communications with Websites. The company has broadened its Internet infrastructure offerings to include, among other services, the operation of the domain name registry for .com and .net, and inter-carrier messaging services.

"We can't think of a more deserving person for the Marconi honor," said Bidzos, VeriSign's chairman of the board and founder. "Over the years, Professor Rivest's contributions to the field of cryptography have brought benefits to many millions worldwide. And we recognize not only his scientific achievements, but also his essential role in delivering his inventions to so many as a co-founder of RSA Data Security, RSA Laboratories, and VeriSign. E-commerce would not have flourished, nor would VeriSign be here, without his contributions. In fact, every time a consumer engages in Internet-based online banking, trades stocks, or just employs a credit card for an online purchase, he or she is benefiting from Professor Rivast's work. All of us at VeriSign are proud to have played an important role in delivering the benefits that embody his work."

"It's really nice to see Ron receive this well deserved recognition," said Hellman, Professor Emeritus of Electrical Engineering at Stanford University. "Shamir and Len Adleman, of the RSA algorithm, revolutionized communications that are now used many millions of times each day to secure transactions on the Internet. His numerous other contributions have also had a major impact."

Rivest is the Andrew and Erna Viterbi Professor in MIT's Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Sciences, and is a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery, the International Association for Cryptographic Research, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. The recipient of multiple awards, including the ACM Turing Award, as well as honorary degrees and fellowships, he has extensive experience in cryptographic design and cryptanalysis, and has published numerous papers in these areas. Rivest received a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Yale University in 1969, and a doctorate in computer science from Stanford University in 1974.

About the Marconi Society

The Marconi Society was established in 1975 by Gioia Marconi Braga. Each year the Society recognizes a living scientist who, like her father Guglielmo Marconi, the inventor of radio, shares the determination that advances in communications and information technology be directed to the social, economic and cultural improvement of all humanity.

About VeriSign

VeriSign, Inc. (NASDAQ: VRSN), operates digital infrastructure services that enable and protect billions of interactions every day across the world's voice, video and data networks. Additional news and information about the company is available at