Dr. Taher Elgamal (sometimes seen El Gamal and ElGamal, but Elgamal is
preferred, see below) is an American-Egyptian cryptographer.
In 1985, Elgamal published a paper titled A Public key Cryptosystem and
A Signature Scheme based on discrete Logarithms in which he proposed the
design of the ElGamal discrete log cryptosystem. This
scheme became the basis for Digital Signature Algorithm (DSA) adopted
by National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) as the Digital
Signature Standard (DSS). He also participated in the 'SET' credit card
payment protocol, plus a number of Internet payment schemes.
Elgamal has had Bachelor
of Science degree from Cairo University, and Masters and Doctorate
degrees in Computer Science from Stanford University. He served as chief
scientist at Netscape Communications from 1995 to 1998 where he was a
driving force behind SSL. He also was the director of engineering at RSA
Security Inc. before founding Securify in 1998 and becoming their CEO.
When Securify was acquired by Kroll-O'Gara he became the president of
its information security group. Presently (2004), Securify is again independent
and Elgamal is Chief Technical Officer & Co-Chair of the Board of
Directors. In addition, Elgamal sits on the board of FaceTime
Communications, a company which provides security solutions for instant
messaging and peer-to-peer applications.
Dr. Elgamal's surname
has been spelled as two words (the El part is equalivant to "the"
in English), and as a single word with an intra-capital. The cryptographic
literature is full of both spellings. Dr Elgamal himself spells it as
a singly-capitalized surname, as this is less likely to be mangled in