Share on Facebook Tweet on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Share by email
Tolga Acar

Tolga Acar
PRINCIPAL SDE LEAD
.

I am the Cryptography Incubation Team lead in the Security and Cryptography team in Microsoft Research Technologies division. This is an applied security & cryptography research group working on various cryptography algorithms, security architectures in operating systems, mobile devices, and cloud computing platforms. My focus ranges from low level, fast, and side-channel secure cryptographic algorithm implementations (think Elliptic Curve and big integer arithmetic), to heterogonous security architectures spanning multiple devices and cloud services (think payment systems). My current projects include payments security (think credit cards), post-quantum cryptographic algorithms, JavaScript cryptography, cloud-scale key management, TLS, and IoT security. I also work on the open source AllJoyn Core security in the AllSeen Alliance.

I completed my B.S. (summa cum laude) and M.Sc. (cum laude) at the Istanbul Technical University in 1992 and 1994, and my Ph.D. at the Oregon State University in December of 1998, respectively. I designed and implemented a multi-tasking operating system on Intel 386 systems entirely in assembly language. Halfway through my B.S. thesis, I had heard of an open-source project going on somewhere in Finland and swiftly ignored it after discovering that my system was well ahead of what was to become Linux. In my master's thesis, I created new image compression, edge detection, and surface reconstruction algorithms based on non-convex optimization techniques. I had also setup the computer science department's first working network with CAT5 cables running across hallways intermingled with the coaxial bus cables and various other antiquity.

My PhD thesis focused on high-speed software and hardware architectures for number-theoretical cryptographic algorithms. Most of my graduate work was sponsored by grants from Intel, RSA DSI, and US Navy Research Labs across several projects. These projects include high-performance core cryptographic and math libraries on Intel Pentium and MMX, Sparc V8/V9, and TMS320C16 architectures. I was proud to have the fastest and meanest modular exponentiation implementation. I proposed several new SIMD instructions to speed up cryptographic algorithms in integer rings and characteristic 2 fields. Some of them appeared in later MMX versions now known as SSE.

I worked at Novell from 1997 through 2003 on various aspects of cryptography and authentication, and joined Microsoft in January of 2004 as a developer in Windows Security. At Microsoft, I worked as a Developer, Developer Lead, and Program Manager in Windows Core Security and Online Services groups. I moved to CSRO Incubations to start the Cryptography Incubation group within Security Incubations, which was later rolled into Microsoft Research and eXtreme Computing Group in 2009. In 2012, I moved to Software and Services Group (SSG) in Intel Corporation as a Security Architect, and worked on Intel's Cloud Services Platform as the lead security architect. I returned my previous group at Microsoft Research in 2013, and have been working on TLS, payment systems security, IoT, ECC, post-quantum cryptography, and cloud security.

Publications
Technical Reports