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Smart contracts startup Symbiont has hired a cryptographer best known for her work in detailing how to break the SHA-1 hashing algorithm as its new chief security officer.

Dr. Lisa Yin, who will also serve as chief cryptographer, was one of three academics to publish a 2005 paper outlining an attack on SHA-1. In the eleven years since, further research has been published highlighting attacks on the hashing algorithm, and in recent years tech firms have called for its retirement.

Yin also served as chief editor of the IEEE P1363 project, which develops and publishes standards for public-key cryptography.

According to the startup, Yin will focus primarily on privacy and security issues related to its blockchain projects. Symbiont unveiled its flagship blockchain initiative, dubbed Assembly, in October.

Yin said in a statement:

"I am very excited to join the team, and I look forward to keeping Symbiont ahead of the curve on developments in cryptography, which is a critical building block for distributed ledger technology."

Yin's appointment represents the second high-profile talent grab the startup has made in the past month. In November, Symbiont tapped former SEC commissioner Dan Gallagher for its board of directors. At the time, Symbiont also added former T. Rowe Price Global Investment Services CEO and president Todd Ruppert to the board.

Image via Shutterstock


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