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avatar for Markku-Juhani O. Saarinen

Markku-Juhani O. Saarinen

PQShield Ltd.
Staff Cryptography Architect
Oxford, UK
I started as a cryptographer and a security engineer in 1997 as one of the early employees of SSH Communications Security in Helsinki. There I helped to design the now-ubiquitous SSH2 protocol. In my late 20s, I drifted into the world of exploits and security consulting (mainly in the Middle East.) Still, I returned to cryptography and codebreaking to do my Ph.D. degree (2009) at ISG, Royal Holloway, University of London. As a wandering PostDoc researcher, I eventually got into building Post-Quantum Cryptography (PQC) systems just as it was becoming a "thing." This, in turn, led me to become the first engineering employee at PQShield Ltd, just as the company was spun from the University of Oxford in 2018. At PQShield, I've architected and helped to build side-channel secure PQC co-processors. I've also contributed to the RISC-V Cryptography Extensions Task Group (CETG), especially the symmetric crypto, entropy source, and data-independent latency extensions.
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