Who’s Wei Dai?

¿Quién es Wei Dai?
Who’s Wei Dai?

Wei Dai is a Chinese computer engineer and renowned cryptographer known as the creator of b-money in addition to being the developer of the library Crypto++.In 1998, Wei Dai became known for his valuable contributions in the field of cryptography, in fact he is remembered for being the first person to talk about cryptomonedas, a concept that did not exist at the time.

The world of cryptography has always had great geniuses in its ranks. One of them is Wei Dai, a computer scientist of Chinese origin. The private life of this engineer is a mystery and no detail is known about it.

The only thing that has transcended is that he graduated in Computer Science at the University of Washington. It is also known that he completed a master’s degree in mathematics. Two areas that have served as a springboard to develop his enormous talent in the world of cryptography.

Wei Dai’s professional career

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TerraSciences: Worked as a programmer in this Massachusetts company. Dai was a member of a team responsible for the development of security solutions and secure communication between control stations. In this first job he had the opportunity to learn fundamental aspects of cybersecurity, data encryption and communications.
Microsoft: During his stay at Microsoft he participated in the study, design and implementation of encryption systems for applications. At that time he registered patents 5724279 and 6081598, both aimed at optimizing encryption algorithms.

b-money: Wei Dai proposed the creation of an anonymous distributed electronic cash system in a well-known mailing list in November 1998. In this proposal, he explained two ways of carrying out his idea:

  1. First proposal: Proof of Work (PoW) as a means to create money. To create the money you must do a mining job, as you currently do with Bitcoin. The design of the protocol of this first proposal was impractical because it needed the existence of synchronous channels. That’s why it’s very difficult to do in real environments distributed anywhere in the world.
  2. Second proposal: The use of a subset of servers that maintain the accounts. These servers have to publish, manage and verify the transaction data. On the other hand, the participants who carry out transactions verify their balances through the network. Additionally, the system maintained the possibility of verifying that inflation was not abused. In order for a server to perform its functions, it had to have an amount of money as a guarantee. If the server were dishonest, such a guarantee would serve to compensate to a certain extent for the damages. At this point, the system proposed by Dai is very similar to the Proof of Participation (PoS) scheme.

Many experts consider the first cryptomone , even though it was never implemented. The theoretical bases of b-money are almost the same as those of current cryptomonedas.

crypto++: Wei Dai was the creator of crypto++, a library developed in C ++ very popular in the world of education and business. The best known projects that use this library are:

  1. Lastpass (Password Manager)
  2. Symantec Backup (Data Backup System)
  3. Tripwire (Computer security tool)
  4. Steam (Online gaming platform)

As it is an open source library, its source code is available to all those who want it at GitHub. Documentation on how it is used is also available.

VMac: Also known as message authentication system. It is an algorithm used for message authentication whose operation is based on an encryption using a universal hash proposed by Wei Dai and Ted Krovetz in 2007. This algorithm is designed to run on 64-bit systems, allowing very fast data verification.

SSH2: Wei Dai identified a set of critical vulnerabilities in the chaining of encryption blocks that affected the SSH2 protocol. Dai published these vulnerabilities in an article and explained the following: The vulnerability affects all SSH implementations using CBC. So even the world’s most secure operating system was not secure.

The attack that compromised the security of the SSL/TLS protocol was that a person tricks the browser into sending a piece of plain text over the SSL connection. With this unformatted fragment, part of the encrypted message circulating on the network can be decoded, compromising its security.

As you can see, Wei Dei is a true genius. A person who has worked to make the Internet a safer place.

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