Drama! Intrigue! Geekiness!

September 27, 2008

Credit where it’s due

srikanth @ 7:42 pm, GMT +0000 ( 1222544528 ) Play

Identify everyone and connect with fundae.

(Yes, I’m using this image yet again. I think Dev is planning on maintaining a stats page on this photo alone :-))

(Edit: Fixed images. *sigh*, looks like i mixed them up again.)

Cracked by akhi , joe , nihit , Dibyo , udupendra , Achilles , mandakhawke and Goyal.


  1. Cliff Cocks, came up with RSA before R-S and A themselves did
  2. Malcolm J Williamson, came up with the Diffie-Hellman key exchange technique before Diffie, Merkle and Hellman

Cocks and Williamson were both part of GCHQ, who kept their algorithms secret to give them an edge in the war (or some other such pointless reason). RSA and Diffie-Hellman came up with the same things independently, and made a packet.

Cocks and Williamson were also contemporaries in education. Check Goyal’s answer for that info.

11 Responses to “Credit where it’s due”

  1. akhi

    Malcom Williamson,RSA

    Cliff Cocks,
    Bailey Diffie,Martin Hellman,Ralph Merkle(the second trio)

    Connect->Public Key Cryptography and atleast few of them worked at GCHQ :D

  2. joe

    Malcolm Williamson who came up with the Diffe Hellman key exchange before they (along with merkle pictured in last pic) did. 1st pic in second set is Clifford Cocks who invented RSA before RSA did.

  3. nihit

    1. Malcolm Williamson and Rivest, Shamir, Adleman
    2. Clifford Cocks and Diffie, Hellman, Merkle

    I am going to assume the order is slightly mixed up…

    Clifford Cocks described a system equivalent to RSA, but it was not revealed until 1997 due to its top-secret classification.

    Malcolm Williamson separately invented a key exchange mechanism similar to Diffie-Hellman-Merkle key exchange, but did not get credit due to top-secret classification.

  4. Dibyo

    All the different people who invented cryptographic protocols which RSA and Diffie-Hellman eventually took credit for – Clifford Cocks and Martin Williamson.

    I have a feeling that you’ve mixed up the pictures of Cocks and Williamson.

  5. udupendra

    Cliffor Cocks – RSA
    Malcolm Williamson – Diffie-Hellman Key Exchange

    And you’ve got your photos messed up again :)

  6. Achilles

    1.Clifford Cocks,at GCHQ invented the RSA algorithm
    three years before it was independently developed by Adi Shamir,Ron Rivest and Leonard Adleman at MIT.But Cocks work didnt get the recognition as it was not published in public at that time.
    2.Similarly,Malcolm Williamson found the Diffie-Hellman key exchange at GCHQ but was kept classified before Whitfield Diffie and Martin Hellman and Ralph Merkle published the same in 1976.

  7. mandakhawke

    1) Clifford Cocks , RSA guys

    Even before Rivest, Shamir and Adleman came up with RSA Clifford Cocks discovered it at GCHQ , but was kept secret.

    2)Malcolm J. Williamson, Merkle, Hellman,Diffie

    Even before Merkle, Hellman,Diffie came up with RSA Malcolm J. Williamson formulated it at GCHQ , but was kept secret.

  8. Goyal

    1. Clifford Cocks and RSA
    2. Diffie-Hellman-Merkle and Malcolm J. Williamson

    Connect – GCHQ – Both C.Cocks and Williamson

  9. Goyal

    More emerges between Clifford & Williamson.

    In 1968, Cocks won Silver at the International Mathematical Olympiad while at Manchester Grammar School. Cocks went on to study mathematics as an undergraduate at King\’s College, Cambridge and then did graduate work at the University of Oxford.

    Williamson studied at Manchester Grammar School, winning a Gold prize at the 1968 International Mathematical Olympiad in Moscow. He read mathematics at the University of Cambridge, graduating in 1971.

  10. “Fixed images. *sigh*, looks like i mixed them up again”
    Some has a loss of concentration.. looks like :)

  11. nihit

    Too many distractions, perhaps :)

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