Innovator of Breakthrough Cryptography Technology Wins ACM Doctoral Dissertation Award
Sanjam Garg Developed Technique to Protect Against Cyberattacks
Sanjam Garg has won the 2013 Doctoral Dissertation Award presented by ACM (the Association for Computing Machinery) for developing tools that enable the first secure solution to the problem of making computer program code “unintelligible” while preserving its functionality. This problem, known as software obfuscation, conceals the program’s purpose or its logic in order to prevent tampering, deter reverse engineering, or as a challenge to readers of the source code. His approach makes it impossible to reverse-engineer the obfuscated software without solving mathematical problems that could take hundreds of years to work out on today’s computers.
Garg, a Josef Raviv Memorial Postdoctoral Fellow at IBM T.J. Watson Research Center, completed his dissertation at the University of California, Los Angeles, which nominated him. A graduate of the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, he will receive the Doctoral Dissertation Award and its $20,000 prize at the annual ACM Awards Banquet on June 21, in San Francisco. Financial sponsorship of the award is provided by Google Inc.
In his dissertation “Candidate Multilinear Maps,” Garg described new mathematical tools that serve as key ingredients for transforming a program into a “jigsaw puzzle” of encrypted pieces. Corresponding to each input is a unique set of puzzle pieces that, when assembled, reveal the output of the program. Security of the obfuscated program hinges on the fact that illegitimate combinations of the puzzle pieces do not reveal anything.
Honorable Mention for the 2013 ACM
Doctoral Dissertation Award went to Grey Ballard of Sandia National
Laboratories and Shayan Oveis Gharan of the University of California,
Berkeley. They will share a $10,000
prize, with financial sponsorship provided by Google Inc.