Dickie George innovated mathematics theory and applications, affecting both the NSA and the nation in profound ways. He was a technical expert, developing and applying sophisticated methods to NSA’s hardest Cybersecurity and SIGINT problems. He was a directorate-level technical director and renowned leader.
George created the mathematical cryptographic technique now called differential cryptanalysis. In 1972, the National Bureau of Standards asked NSA to design an encryption algorithm to be a public national standard; NSA agreed to evaluate the submissions instead. George analyzed IBM’s submissions, leading to a secure algorithm. It took another eighteen years for academic analysts to rediscover differential cryptanalysis. George was the technical advisor for evaluations of the successor algorithm in 1997, ensuring confidence in the cryptographic strength of the new standard.
George wrote over 125 papers with a huge cross-section of the Information Assurance (today’s Cybersecurity) and SIGINT cryptomath community as collaborators. He was a key player in fostering partnership across NSA missions.
He advocated for the Information Assurance Directorate’s engagement with vendors, urging them to incorporate security design early in their development cycle. He made extraordinary efforts in the development of the next generation of cryptanalysts and cryptomathematicians. He was the technical thought leader across the entire Agency in designing and standing up centers of academic excellence that enabled government cooperation with universities to expand and deepen knowledge of this discipline.