Len Sassaman

Leonard Harris Sassaman (1980 – July 3, 2011) was an advocate for privacy, and the maintainer of the Mixmaster anonymous remailer code and operator of the randseed remailer.


Early life and education

Sassaman graduated from in 1998.


Sassaman was employed as the security architect and senior systems engineer for . He was a candidate at the in Belgium, as a researcher with the (COSIC) research group, led by . David Chaum and Bart Preneel were his advisors.

Sassaman was a well-known cypherpunk, cryptographer and privacy advocate. He worked for on the encryption software, was a member of the , a contributor to the , the project, and frequently appeared at technology conferences like . Sassaman was the co-founder of along with Bram Cohen, co-founder of the HotPETS workshop (with Roger Dingledine of and Thomas Heydt-Benjamin), co-author of the , and at the age of 21, was an organizer of the protests following the arrest of Russian programmer .

Len slips a blue cable-tie ring on ‘s finger

On February 11, 2006, at the fifth CodeCon, Sassaman proposed to returning speaker and noted computer scientist during the Q&A after her presentation, and they were married. The couple worked together on several research collaborations, including a critique of privacy flaws in the security platform, and a proposal of formal methods of analysis of computer insecurity in February 2011.

Meredith Patterson’s current startup, Osogato, aims to commercialize Patterson’s -based “query by example” research. Sassaman and Patterson announced Osogato’s first product, a downloadable music recommendation tool, at 21 in San Francisco.

In 2009, presented joint work with Sassaman and Patterson at in , showing multiple methods for attacking the infrastructure. Using these techniques, the team demonstrated how an attacker could obtain a certificate that clients would treat as valid for domains the attacker did not control.


Sassaman is reported to have died on July 3, 2011. Patterson reported that her husband’s death was a .

A presentation given by Kaminsky at the 2011 revealed that a testimonial in honor of Sassaman had been permanently embedded into Bitcoin‘s block chain.

See Also on BitcoinWiki