Fosdem O'Reilly
2004 Edition Free and Open Source Software Developer's European Meeting


2004-01-26 - Mathias Brossard


An interview conducted by Alain Buret
FOSDEM - First and traditional question : Please present yourself ...

Matthias Brossard - I've been working with Linux and open source software since 1994. After studying at Chalmers University of Technology (Gothenburg, Sweden) and Ecole Normale Supérieure (Paris, France), I've started working for IDEALX 3 years ago. Since then I've been working on PKI related projects.

FOSDEM - This is not the first time you're coming to FOSDEM, and each time talking about different things (IDX/PKI, security, ...); let's talk about Crytponit. What's that ?

Matthias Brossard - It's a PKI client side « Swiss Army Knife ». We've put in some blades and we're working on adding new ones. The first function are key/certificate handling (LDAP import, CRL checking, ...), file encryption/signature and self-decrypting files generation. Other strong points are the fact that it's multi-platform (with the help of wxWindows), internationalized and it only uses standard file formats an protocols.

FOSDEM - Why did you start Cryptonit ? Was it something missing or other tools not matching some requirement ?

Matthias Brossard - At IDEALX we get a lot of feedback from corporate businesses and administrations on what pieces of Open Source Software are missing (wether priopietary solutions exist or not). We've been deploying PKIs for while now and basic PKI support in applications is now much better than when we started. Now one of the hurdle for PKI adoption is that some tools found on the market have the following types of problems :
  • they are closed-source,
  • they use non-standard formats,
  • they have pricing policies which makes them incompatible with full-scale deployments,
  • they only work on Windows platforms.

    FOSDEM - Introduce in few words what you're going to talk about during your presentation ...

    Matthias Brossard - The structure is not set in stone but I'm thinking about something in the lines of:
  • quick intro to Public Key Cryptography (PKI, Certificates) in order to ease the rest of the presentation
  • presentation of the objectives of the Cryptonit project
  • presentation of the technical choices and architecture
  • small demo
  • talk about future plans
  • Q&A

    FOSDEM - What are you expecting from your talk at FOSDEM and from the interactions with other developers present at the event ?

    Matthias Brossard - Getting people that have been waiting for something like Cryptonit to know that it exists. Getting other developpers into the project wouldn't be bad either.


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