'Expert Kernel Hacker' Returns to ISI

July 29, 2004

Annette DeSchon, a standout programmer who left ISI to create key elements of MacOS X and other software for Apple, has returned to build a more secure Internet

"I'm very pleased to welcome Annette back," said Division Director Joe Bannister.

DeSchon will work with Aaron Falk's group developing a prototype of the High Assurance Internet Protocol Encryption (HAIPE) system.

At Apple, said Bannister, "she participated in many product deliveries, including MacOS X's WebDAV, TCP/IP, and AppleTalk; plus AIX Network Servers. It is fair to say that Annette is an expert kernel hacker."

DeSchon's last work at ISI before her departure in 1996 was on the ATOMIC LAN project which demonstrated the first gigabit LAN. She contributed a kernel level driver for accessing the ATOMIC Network from Sun workstations, along and a suite of measurement tools to assess the performance of various network protocols.

Other ISI accomplishments included:

*The ISI Tunnel, a firewall which provides a protected site transparent access to the Internet via IP-level packet filtering
*The Voice Terminal (VT) program, which provides the audio portion of ISI's SPARCstation-based conferencing system ("definitely a first for Internet conferencing back in the 1990 time frame,"Bannister said)
*The Background File Transfer Program (BFTP)
*The INSpyTool, used for protocol analysis on the Xerox Dandelion workstation
*The original Intermail system, which forwarded electronic mail between the Internet and several commercial mail systems.

Before ISI she worked at System Development Corporation (SDC), which later became Burroughs, which later became Unisys. At SDC Annette worked on ARPANET protocols, secure networking, and air defense systems.

"I have very good memories of ISI," said DeSchon, who has moved down from the Bay Area and is now living in the Marina. "I'm very glad to be here again."