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Dr Nicolas T. Courtois

Nicolas T. Courtois is a cryptologist and a Senior Lecturer at University College London, UK.

Nicolas T. Courtois is a cryptologist and a Senior Lecturer at University College London. He was born in Poland, studied pure mathematics and computer science at Ecole Normale Supérieure rue d'Ulm, Paris, France and received his PhD from the Paris 6 University. Then he worked as a cryptographic engineer for the French smart card firm Gemalto. He is a highly influential code-breaker with some 50 regular publications and 4000 citations. He has pioneered and achieved significant results in all of the following areas of cryptography: design and analysis of new public key cryptosystems (Sflash, Quartz, HFE), bi-linear cryptanalysis of block ciphers (Crypto 2004), cryptanalysis of all LFSR-based stream ciphers with and without additional memory (Eurocrypt 2003,Crypto 2004, ICISC 2004), efficient algorithms for solving systems of multivariate equations (Eurocrypt 2000), innovative attacks on block ciphers (Asiacrypt 2001,AES'4), alternatives to Gröbner bases algorithms (Asiacrypt 2001,FSE 2012), low-data complexity cryptanalysis of block ciphers with SAT Solvers (IMA 2007), self-similarity attacks on block ciphers with black-box reductions (FSE 2008,Cryptologia 2012), differential attacks with multiple simultaneously holding differentials (SECRYPT 2009), truncated differential attacks gaining not 2 but 20 more rounds for Russian GOST (2012). In June 2003 New Scientist put a title 'Cipher Crisis' on the first page and dedicated a 4-pages paper to his research about the security of the U.S. encryption standard AES. He is responsible for the cryptanalysis of many real-life ciphers used by hundreds of hundreds of millions of people every day, such as the Bluetooth cipher E0, the automobile cipher KeeLoq and for the "Courtois Dark Side Attack" on MiFare Classic Crypto-1 system which is widely used worldwide in public transportation and building access control.