Michael D. Schroeder, a pioneer researcher in computer security, will be presented with the 2008 National Computer Systems Security Award by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the National Security Agency (NSA) on April 8 during the RSA Conference 2008 in San Francisco, Calif.
Established in 1988, the award recognizes individuals for scientific or technological breakthroughs, outstanding leadership, highly distinguished authorship or significant long-term contributions in the computer security field.
Schroeder has been the Assistant Director of Microsoft Research Silicon Valley since it opened in August 2001. He was the co-inventor of the Needham-Schroeder authentication protocol, a method for allowing two parties to mutually verify each other's identity over an insecure computer network. The protocol has become the basis for industry standards, and is widely used today in commercial security products. In addition, Schroeder implemented a hardware version of the "ring of protection" mechanism, which allows different degrees of access to a CPU based on the level of "privilege" or trust to a user. His hardware implementation of the mechanism was used in the highly widespread Intel X86 series of microprocessors. As a professor at MIT starting in the 1960s, Schroeder was involved in the design of an influential early operating system known as Multics, the Multiplexed Information and Computing Service, which ran on a mainframe and operated on a time-shared basis among computer researchers. He later conducted research at the Xerox PARC Computer Science Lab and the Digital/Compaq Systems Research Center.
For more about Schroeder, please visit his Web site. More information about RSA Conference 2008 is available at the conference Web site.