Ian Goldberg

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Ian Avrum Goldberg (born March 31, 1973) is a cryptographer and cypherpunk. He is best known for breaking Netscape's implementation of SSL (with David Wagner), and for his role as chief scientist of Radialpoint (formerly Zero Knowledge Systems), a Canadian software company. Goldberg is currently a professor at the School of Computer Science, University of Waterloo. He was formerly the chairman of the board on the board of directors of the Tor Project, and is one of the designers of off the record messaging.


He attended high school at the University of Toronto Schools, graduating in 1991. In 1995, he received a B.Math from the University of Waterloo in pure mathematics and computer science. He obtained a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley in December 2000. His thesis was entitled A Pseudonymous Communications Infrastructure for the Internet. His advisor was Eric Brewer.


As a high school student, Goldberg was a member of Canada's team to the International Math Olympiad from 1989 to 1991, where he received a bronze, silver, and gold medal respectively. He was also a member of University of Waterloo team that won the ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest in 1994. In 1998, Wired Magazine chose him as a member of the "Wired 25". In 2011 he won the EFF Pioneer Award.

Work in cryptography[edit]

In 1995, Goldberg with David Wagner discovered a flaw in the random number generator used for temporary key generation in the SSL implementation of Netscape Navigator.

Goldberg was a co-author of the Off-the-Record instant messaging encryption protocol. He is also the author of the Perl script included in the novel Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson.

In 2009 Goldberg was co-author of the Sphinx Mix Format [1] which is nowadays implemented with the extension of a per hop payload to increase the privacy of payer and payee while routing Bitcoin payments through the Lightning Network.[2]

See Also on BitcoinWiki[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. Sphinx: A Compact and Provably Secure Mix Format
  2. Basics Of Lightning Technology #4: Onion Routing Protocol