ACM Paris Kanellakis Theory and Practice Award
USA - 2009
For their development of the field of Practice-Oriented Provable-Security and its widespread impact on the theory and practice of cryptography and security.
Historically, cryptographic schemes used in practice were designed in ad hoc ways and subject to failure. Practice-Oriented, Provable-Security (POPS), developed by Bellare and Rogaway in a series of papers in the 1990s, changed this, giving us the means to create high-assurance practical cryptography, meaning schemes that were backed by the theoretical guarantee of provable security while meeting practical needs and expectations.
Today, POPS-based schemes are cornerstones of Internet security, implemented in most communication security protocols and software - these schemes are used every time someone makes a credit card-based Internet purchase. Meanwhile, the models, techniques and approaches that Bellare and Rogaway introduced, including the random oracle model, have become the foundation of a new subfield of cryptography, inspiring a great amount of follow-on work. Their papers are amongst the most cited in cryptography and their work is discussed in dozens of textbooks.
Bellare and Rogaway changed the perception of theory in practice. Prior to their work, practitioners ignored theory or were even antagonistic to it. Today, they not only choose to implement and standardize proven-secure schemes, but make provable security a requirement in some of their calls for algorithms. That this requirement can be met owes much to Bellare and Rogaway's work.