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ACM Group Honors Computer Privacy and Security Experts

Camenisch and Thuraisingham Cited for Advances in Privacy-Enhancing Cryptography and Leadership in Counterterrorism Data and Applications Security

The Association for Computing Machinery
Advancing Computing as a Science & Profession

Contact: Virginia Gold

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CHICAGO  –  October 6, 2010  –  ACM's Special Interest Group on Security, Audit and Control (SIGSAC) will present today its top honors to Jan Camenisch of IBM Research-Zurich and Bhavani Thuraisingham of the University of Texas at Dallas for their contributions to the computer and communications security community.  Camenisch receives the SIGSAC Outstanding Innovation Award for outstanding theoretical work on privacy-enhancing cryptographic protocols and his leadership in their practical realization.  Thuraisingham receives the SIGSAC Outstanding Contributions Award for her seminal research contributions and leadership in data and applications security over the past 25 years.  The awards will be presented at the ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security, which runs from October 4 - 8, 2010.

         Camenisch has conducted research into the problem of preserving privacy in an era of distributed systems, where users commonly reveal more personal data than is necessary to be granted access to online resources.  To achieve a balance between the protection of company resources and the privacy of their users, he pioneered cryptography tools that can help individuals regain control of their data and save their privacy.  Using innovative authorization language that allows for expressing access control requirements, and serves as a central piece in an open access control setting, Camenisch also investigated the extent to which these tools can be used in practice.

         Thuraisingham, an expert in intelligence and security informatics, has focused her research in data security and data mining for counterterrorism.  She has studied the actions of terrorists and hackers to develop more effective solutions to potential security threats.  She also initiated interdisciplinary programs that integrate social and information sciences.  In addition, she has transferred the technologies developed at the university to commercial development efforts.  To expand participation in these programs, she promotes math and science to high school students as well as to women and underrepresented minorities.  She is the founding president of Bhavani Security Consulting, providing services in consulting and training in cybersecurity and information technology.

         A graduate of ETH (the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) Zurich, Camenisch received a Diploma in Electrical Engineering Science and a Ph.D. degree in Computer Science.  In 1998, he was Research Assistant Professor in Computer Science at the University of Aarhus, Denmark, and in 1999, he joined IBM Research-Zurich as a Research Staff Member and project leader.  He is also the technical leader of the European Union-funded project PrimeLife, which aims to make privacy enhancing identities a reality.  Among his research interests are cryptographic protocols, particularly those supporting privacy and anonymity, and practical secure distributed computation.  He has published more than 70 refereed papers.

         The Louis A. Beecher, Jr. Distinguished Professor at UT Dallas, Thuraisingham received a BS degree in Mathematics and Physics at the University of Ceylon.  She earned a M.Sc. degree in Mathematical Logic at the University of Bristol, UK, and a Ph.D. degree in Theory of Computation at the University of Wales, UK.  Prior to joining UT Dallas, she was at MITRE Corp., where she worked at the National Science Foundation to establish the Data and Applications Security Program.

         The ACM SIGSAC Outstanding Innovation and Outstanding Contibutions Awards each carry a $1,000 prize. 


About ACM

ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery, is the world’s largest educational and scientific computing society, uniting computing educators, researchers and professionals to inspire dialogue, share resources and address the field’s challenges. ACM strengthens the computing profession’s collective voice through strong leadership, promotion of the highest standards, and recognition of technical excellence. ACM supports the professional growth of its members by providing opportunities for life-long learning, career development, and professional networking.  



SIGSAC, the ACM Special Interest Group on Security, Audit and Control sponsors research conferences and workshops on security technologies, systems, applications, and policies. Technology topics include access control, assurance, authentication, cryptography, intrusion detection, penetration techniques, risk analysis, and secure protocols. These technologies apply to operating systems, database systems, networks and distributed systems, and middleware. Applications for these systems are critical to the operation of information and workflow systems, electronic cash and commerce, copyright and intellectual property protection, telecommunications systems, and healthcare. These applications provide confidentiality, integrity, availability, privacy, and survivability policies that benefit science, business and society.



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