The Levchin Prize awards two entrepreneurs every year for significant contributions to solving global, real-world cryptography issues that make the internet safer at scale. This year, we’re proud to announce that our very own Firefox CTO, Eric Rescorla, was awarded one of these prizes for his involvement in spearheading the latest version of Transport Layer Security (TLS). TLS 1.3 incorporates significant improvements in both security and speed, and was completed in August and already secures 10% of sites.
Eric has contributed extensively to many of the core security protocols used in the internet, including TLS, DTLS, WebRTC, ACME, and the in development IETF QUIC protocol. Most recently, he was editor of TLS 1.3, which already secures 10% of websites despite having been finished for less than six months. He also co-founded Let’s Encrypt, a free and automated certificate authority that now issues more than a million certificates a day, in order to remove barriers to online encryption and helped HTTPS grow from around 30% of the web to around 75%. Previously, he served on the California Secretary of State’s Top To Bottom Review where he was part of a team that found severe vulnerabilities in multiple electronic voting devices.
The 2019 winners were selected by the Real-World Cryptography conference steering committee, which includes professors from Stanford University, University of Edinburgh, Microsoft Research, Royal Holloway University of London, Cornell Tech, University of Florida, University of Bristol, and NEC Research.
This prize was announced on January 9th at the 2019 Real-World Crypto Conference in San Jose, California. The conference brings together cryptography researchers and developers who are implementing cryptography on the internet, the cloud and embedded devices from around the world. The conference is organized by the International Association of Cryptologic Research (IACR) to strengthen and advance the conversation between these two communities.
For more information about the Levchin Prize visit www.levchinprize.com.