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More than a decade ago, Distinguished Professor of Computer Science Gene Tsudik helped develop a technique for efficiently and securely verifying that a storage server is faithfully storing its client’s outsourced data. This Provable Data Possession (PDP) technique, which allowed for outsourcing of dynamic data, was developed in a paper, “Scalable and Efficient Provable Data Possession,” that Tsudik co-authored with Giuseppe Ateniese, Roberto Di Pietro and Luigi V. Mancini. This work was presented at the 4th International Conference on Security and Privacy in Communication Networks (SecureComm) in Istanbul, Turkey, in September 2008.

This year, at the 50th IEEE/IFIP International Conference on Dependable Systems and Networks (DSN 2020), the paper’s co-authors will receive the 2020 Jean-Claude Laprie Award. Since 2012, the award has been presented annually to recognize outstanding papers that have significantly influenced the theory or practice of dependable computing.

The 2020 Award Committee, in recognizing “Scalable and Efficient Provable Data Possession,” highlighted the work’s considerable impact on the field, noting its more than 1,300 citations. “The paper was seminal in allowing the outsourcing of dynamic data, i.e., by efficiently handling operations such as block modification, deletion, and append. This is the first solution to provide these properties and is still unsurpassed.” In addition, the committee addressed how the work has helped bridge the gap between research communities on security and on dependable systems and networks. “As Jean-Claude Laprie used to remind us, security is indeed one of the five fundamental attributes of dependability. For these reasons, the selection committee has unanimously selected this ground-breaking publication which is well-deserving of this award.”

Shani Murray