Niels Provos

Niels Provos is a researcher in the areas of secure systems, malware and cryptography. He is a Distinguished Engineer at . He received his PhD in Computer Science from the .

He is the author of numerous software packages, including the event driven programming system, the access control system, the honeypot system, the StegDetect detector, the SpyBye malware detector, and many others. He is also the creator of the bcrypt adaptive cryptographic hash function, and was for many years a contributor to the project.

Provos has been an outspoken critic of the effect of the and similar laws on security researchers, arguing that they threaten to make criminals of people conducting legitimate security research.

Provos has also served as the Program Chair of the Usenix Security Symposium, on the program committees of the Network and Distributed System Security Symposium, , and numerous other conferences, and served on the board of directors of from 2006 to 2010.

Provos’s hobbies include swordsmithing, and he has forged swords in both Japanese and Viking styles. He routinely posts videos of his blacksmithing activities online.



  • Ph.D., Computer Science & Engineering, August 2003, University of Michigan (Dissertation: “Statistical Steganalysis”)
  • Diplom in Mathematics, August 1998, Universität Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany. (Masters in Mathematics). (Thesis: “Cryptography, especially the RSA algorithm on elliptic curves and Z/nZ”)
  • Vordiplom in Mathematics, March 1995, Universität Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany.
  • Vordiplom in Physics, March 1995, Universität Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany.

Selected publications


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