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Horst Feistel

Horst Feistel

German cryptographer
Horst Feistel
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro German cryptographer
Was Cryptographer Mathematician Computer scientist
From Germany United States of America
Type Mathematics Science Technology
Gender male
Birth 30 January 1915, Berlin, Margraviate of Brandenburg
Death 14 November 1990 (aged 75 years)
Star sign Aquarius
Harvard University
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
The details


Horst Feistel (January 30, 1915 – November 14, 1990) was a German-American cryptographer who worked on the design of ciphers at IBM, initiating research that culminated in the development of the Data Encryption Standard (DES) in the 1970s. The structure used in DES, called a Feistel network, is commonly used in many block ciphers.

Life and work

Feistel was born in Berlin, Germany in 1915, and moved to the United States in 1934. During World War II, he was placed under house arrest, but nevertheless gained U.S. citizenship on 31 January 1944. The following day he was granted a security clearance and began work for the U.S. Air Force Cambridge Research Center (AFCRC) on Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) devices until the 1950s. He was subsequently employed at MIT's Lincoln Laboratory, then the MITRE corporation. Finally, he moved to IBM, where he received an award for his cryptographic work. His research at IBM led to the development of the Lucifer and Data Encryption Standard (DES) ciphers. Feistel was one of the earliest non-government researchers to study the design and theory of block ciphers.

Feistel lent his name to the Feistel network construction, a common method for constructing block ciphers (for example DES).

Feistel obtained a bachelor's degree at MIT, and his master's at Harvard, both in physics. He married Leona (Gage) in 1945, with whom he had a daughter, Peggy.

The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article on 05 Aug 2020. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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