Joan Daemen, Pierre-Yvan Liardet and team (Belgium, France)
Invention: Secure smart-card encryption
Joan Daemen, Pierre-Yvan Liardet and their team of Belgian and French cryptographers pioneered double-key smart-card encryption, a process for making smart-card networks more secure. Previously, the prevalence of these pocket-sized, plastic cards with computer chips embedded in them, coupled with the vulnerability of the so-called “master cards” used to create them, had left hundreds of thousands of cardholders susceptible to cyber fraud. To rectify this, the Belgian cryptographers designed a much stronger encryption algorithm.