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Diffie Optimistic About Secure Computing Future

WASHINGTON -- Even as the MyDoom worm continued its spread around the Internet, noted cryptographer Whitfield Diffie was waxing optimistic about the future of secure computing, saying that technological advancements and better networking infrastructures would solve many security problems in the near future.

Diffie, whose biography describes him as the discoverer of the concept of public key cryptography, used his keynote speech at the Comnet trade show here Tuesday to outline several advancements in computing that he said would make the future more secure in the near future, a list that included cheaper and better hardware, and software and hardware verification techniques that would allow for greater trust between connected systems.

"I'm optimistic that we are going to solve a lot of the secure computing problems in the next few years," said Diffie, who is chief security officer at Sun Microsystems.

Widely available cryptography products, combined with cheaper, faster computing hardware will greatly reduce security problems, Diffie said. "Users will have more powerful tools to work with," he added.

Software and hardware verification methods, Diffie said, will also mature rapidly, allowing users to perform the networking equivalent of credit checks on the systems and software they interconnect with.

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