National SecurityDavid Wagner
Assistant professor of computer science
Internet and computer security, wireless networks, cryptography
Wagner cut his reputation in cybersecurity at the young age of 21 when, in 1995, he cracked Netscape’s software security code that was designed to encrypt credit card numbers. He has since has drawn attention to other security flaws, warning of privacy and fraud risks in encrypted cell phone conversations and of security vulnerabilities in wireless computer networks.
Most recently, he co-authored a report disclosing serious flaws in a federally funded Internet voting system. The project, due to be used in the 2004 primary and general elections, was eventually scrapped by the Pentagon, largely because of the security flaws highlighted by Wagner and his co-authors.
In 2003, he was awarded a Sloan Research Fellowship to "recognize and support young scientists and scholars" in various fields. He was also named one of Popular Science's "Brilliant 10" researchers for his work in cryptography the same year.
Wagner remains active in the areas of computer security, Internet security, privacy, cryptography, and e-voting security.