Meet the Team: Takashi Kojo

Kojo lives in Japan while working with wolfSSL and first heard of the company through a friend he was talking with at a conference. An example of some of the things that Kojo does when working is, integrating projects with IDE`s and working on their platform support. Along with these things he also does some sales/marketing and technical support.

His interest in computers started before they became mainstream, before it was common to hear the word microcomputers or personal computer. At that time he worked a lot with the physical components of what make up a computer, soldering on transistors and flip-flops. Like many computer hobbyist during that time frame he had the dream of owning a personal computer. It wasn`t long though before personal computers became more feasible and technology caught up with his dream. At that point he added i8080 microchips to the list of components he`d soldered with.

Outside of working with physical components Kojo`s software engineering career started with telecom systems where he was a tech team manger working on real-time systems. During his time there he worked on developing real time operating systems (RTOS) and added skills in embedded systems, networks, and Unix/Linux applications to his skills in C/C++ programming. Being with a large company, he has worked both here in the USA and in Japan at one point or another in his career, and currently works from Japan.

As far as food tastes go Kojo enjoys spicy food. This is most apparent in his enjoyment of wasabi when eating sushi. Some other types of spicy food that he would consider enjoyable are Indian and Thai curry which I can attest to being very spicy!
When not working with computers Kojo enjoys playing some piano. Some of the songs he enjoys playing are classical tunes such as Bach and Chopin.

About the Author:

My name is Jacob, a recent intern with wolfSSL learing about the company. As a senior studying computer science at Montana State University I`m learning more about the nuts and bolts of the field and seeing just how broad of an area the term computer science covers.

wolfSSL: www.wolfssl.com

Meet the Team: John Safranek

John Safranek is a Developer here at wolfSSL. John has been part of the company for going on two half years. Like most of the employees working for wolfSSL, John is very nice and open to answering any questions you may have about the company, products, or himself.

John is from Iowa and went to college at Iowa State University. He graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Engineering. With the degree he got hired at Zetron where he worked for almost 15 years. He wanted a change and with his experience in communication he got hired at wolfSSL.

Today John lives in Seattle, Washington and works on computer and network security for wolfSSL. In his free time, he enjoys running, video games and gardening with Meg, his wife. He said Meg has the green thumb and he’s the beast of burden.

About Author

My name is Nathan Rauch. I am a programming Intern at wolfSSL. I’m from Wolf Point Montana and now I’m a senior in the Computer Engineering department at MSU Bozeman, Montana. My background is in coding, robotics, and 3D manufacturing. My hobbies consist of play guitar, video games and robot design.

Support for AES-NI in Visual Studio

Hi!  We`ve been supporting AES-NI for a few years now.  We`ve decided to extend that support to Visual Studio users.  If you would like to use AES-NI with Visual Studio, then let us know.  Beta code will be available shortly.  Contact us at info@wolfssl.com if you have questions.

Meet the Team: Rod Weaver

This week at wolfSSL each intern was asked to perform a quick Q&A with a full time employee of wolfSSL. The goal was for each intern to get better acquainted with a member of the wolfSSL team. Additionally, by authoring a blog post of each interview the other interns would also get to know the team a little better.

First conversation with Rod

When Rod first answered the phone I was somewhat nervous because:
A. I had never met or talked to Rod before and…
B. I was busy at work and missed our appointed time for the interview!
My fears were quickly laid to rest however as Rod greeted me in a most pleasant and welcoming manner. He was gracious and willing to answer all my questions. Rods voice and tone would immediately put the most nervous person at ease, soothing any anxieties one might have about chatting with a senior employee.

Rods High School Interests

With this opening to our conversation I was comfortable to jump right in. Having come into the software field from a unique background, I was curious to find out if Rod had a similar past. I asked if Rod had always been interested in programming or software technology and he immediately replied “No”.  He then went on to explain that his interests in high school were sports and work. He specifically mentioned football and track, and went on to say he held a job while in high school. As an interviewer this led me to conclude that he was probably more mature than the average high school student.

Having experienced a life of sports and physical labor myself, I have always been intimidated by the younger generations of hackers who have been programming since they were in high school if not earlier. Naturally, I was very excited to hear that someone so obviously successful in the world of software and hardware had the same interests I had when I was in high school! Rod’s story gives me confidence that I will achieve everything I have ever wanted to in the field of software development.

After High School

It took me eight years before I started my higher education beyond high school so the next question I posed was in regards to Rod`s higher education. I was curious to know if he went straight into college and if so, did he immediately pursue an education in Computer Science? Rod good-naturedly laughed and said that, “Yes”, he went straight into college after graduating, but he never did get a degree. Rather he ended up leaving school to help his family through some difficult problems. All through college and helping his family Rod continued to hold a job and earn his way in the world.

Summary of Life Pre-wolfSSL

Eventually Rod told me that he wound up in the Seattle area selling software. This was where he met Larry Stefonic, the CEO and Co-Founder of wolfSSL. Rod gained the greater amount of his experience and knowledge of software tools/technology during these years. The best type of learning, hands on experience!

WolfSSL Team

Rod informed me that as a team wolfSSL is not “overconfident” but they are very “comfortable” with what they do. The tone in his voice led me to believe that while they are not “overconfident”, they are very good at what they do. As individuals they do not act superior because they have good morals and ethics, not because they lack skill.

The wolfSSL team strikes me as a group of laid back, responsible, and highly skilled individuals. I am more than ecstatic to get to know and meet the team as the summer goes on. They seem like an awesome group of programmers. I know I will learn a lot from the wolfSSL team the more I get to know each of them.

About the Author

Kaleb grew up in the small town of Condon, Montana (MT). He was always interested in computers but never had the opportunity to learn much about software technology. He moved to Stevensville, MT at the age of 12. His interests in high school included Football, Basketball, Baseball, Track. Kaleb worked at a local Timber Framing Company seasonally, and the local super market during the school year.

Kaleb joined the military at the age of 17 with parental consent and attended Basic Training in the summer of 2003, following his junior year in high school. Upon graduating high school in 2004 he returned to finish Advanced Individual Training in Ft. Benning, Georgia. Kaleb married Sherri Wandler from his hometown in 2009. Following 8 years of service, Kaleb was honorably discharged from active duty in 2011.

With a skill set not applicable to civilian life, Kaleb decided to pursue higher education. Having always been curious about computers and software technology, a degree in Computer Science was a natural pursuit for him. Kaleb has just completed his junior year in the Computer Science Bachelors Program at MSU Bozeman and is currently working as an intern for wolfSSL.

Meet the Team: Chris Conlon

I sat down with Chris Conlon, an employee here at wolfSSL and got to ask him a few questions:

Q: How did you start working with the company, and how long have you been here?
“I`ve been here going on four years now. I got the job directly out of MSU with a BS in Computer Science and minor in Management of IT. I met our CEO, Larry Stefonic, here in Bozeman, was offered an internship, and was really excited about working for a fast-paced and growing company. This also allowed me to stay in Bozeman where I could hike and ski, which I love to do.”

Q: What projects have you worked on?
“I`ve worked on a very diverse range of projects. The first one I worked on was related to Android. I was trying to see how difficult it would be to replace OpenSSL with CyaSSL. The final project was a Java SSL Provider for Linux and Android – both of which can be found on our website. I also worked with MIT on porting the Kerberos Authentication Protocol to Android. Since then, there have been many customer-specific projects ranging from “Smart” door locks to different forms of machine-to-machine (M2M) communication. One of the more recent larger projects was our wolfSSL JNI product, which was a lot of fun. Besides engineering projects, I`ve worked on a number of things to help the company grow including developing the website and various marketing and partnership activities.”

Q: What are your daily responsibilities like?
“It varies from day to day, but there are a few consistencies: managing our technical support, helping with pre-sales technical discussions, engineering projects, website work, and marketing activities. Customer projects vary in type of application and tools used so, like several of our employees, I end up working with a large variety of development tools and platforms.

I also speak and write on behalf wolfSSL for many of our presentations, magazine articles, and case studies. Last year I gave presentations at FOSDEM in Brussels, Belgium, Embedded World in Nuremberg, Germany, and at the ARM Technology Conference in San Jose, CA. Those were a lot of fun.

My most recent task, and one which I`m very excited to be part of, is supervising six interns here in Bozeman over the Summer of 2014. I know the whole team is really excited to bring this group of interns into the company for the Summer. It`s exciting to see the company expanding, and the fact that we`ve reached the point where we are able to handle six interns shows us just how much we have grown as a company. And that`s really cool for all of us to see.”

Q: You`ve worked on a lot. What was your favorite project? Your most challenging?
“I really enjoyed working on the wolfSSL JNI wrapper, but I feel like all the projects I`ve worked on were unique enough to where I enjoyed them all. Everything keeps me busy with new challenges. As far as the most challenging project, I would have to say that either porting Kerberos to Android or working on ASN-encoding related projects have taken that spot.”

Q: How did you overcome these challenging situations?
“I think the best way to solve problems is flexibility and having an open mind to learning new things. One of the reasons I enjoy working in this field is because I think it`s really exciting to be working with new technologies – and with the rapid expansion of the embedded Internet and IoT it really keeps things interesting.”

Q: What do you find most rewarding about working here?
“Lots of things are rewarding, but I think getting to see the impact we make on the communications security market and even on the technology itself is the most rewarding. Even being a small company we`ve got to work on lots of projects that help the field evolve and expand. Working with such a talented group of individuals here at wolfSSL and our partner companies is rewarding and inspiring.”

Q: What are your final thoughts?
“I think the whole team is really excited to bring on our new interns this Summer. I`ve enjoyed being part of yaSSL (now wolfSSL) for the past four years, and am looking forward to continuing to work with the wolfSSL team into the future.”

About the author:

My name is CJ Smith, and I am one of the interns that wolfSSL has taken on over the summer of 2014. I`m really looking forward to working for such a great company in an extremely exciting field. I`m a Sophomore at Montana State University working toward a BA in Computer Engineering. In my spare time I like to read, play games, hike, and mess around with programming. I haven`t done much in this field outside of school, so this summer should be a great learning experience as well as a huge opportunity to see the real-world applications of everything I have learned.

Meet the Team: Todd Ouska

Meet Todd Ouska, the Co-Founder of wolfSSL. Starting wolfSSL wasn`t a simple task. Todd had many obstacles to overcome, some of which included becoming an expert in all of the technology behind SSL/TLS and encryption and providing users with someone they could trust who had done it and done it correctly. Todd`s future hopes for the company are to expand wolfSSL’s products and to secure more devices around the world. Todd is fluent in C, C++, and x86 Assembly but prefers C++ because it has much stronger type checking compared to C, it`s easier to use modern design patterns because you have access to full objects, and it has the abstractions of a high level language but also the direct access to memory benefits that you get with C.

Outside of work Todd enjoys cycling and tries to do so a few times a week. His cycling trips tend to stretch as far as 50 miles. Next to cycling Todd enjoys reading non-fiction, listening to music, and modifying his sound system. When asked if he could work in any one single place, Todd said that he`d live in Portland; he`d lived in Seattle for a few years but moved back to Portland simply because he liked it.

About the Author:
My name is Shane Israel. I am an intern at wolfSSL working out of Bozeman, MT. I am currently a senior at Montana State University working towards my B.A. in Computer Science. In my spare time if I am not out hiking, camping, or kayaking I am likely playing video games or making games – lately mobile Android games. I love creativity and originality and find I can incorporate both in designing and making games on my free time. I`m looking forward to working with wolfSSL and learning more about this area of CS.

Meet the Team: Larry Stefonic

Larry Stefonic is one of the co-founders of wolfSSL, a company that develops SSL/TLS and cryptography libraries for adding security to devices and applications. wolfSSL began when Larry saw a need for proper security in embedded devices and knew that it was possible to develop a more lightweight SSL implementation. His main goal for wolfSSL is producing and maintaining secure, clean, and readable code, which can be a challenge with today’s rapidly advancing security technology. wolfSSL’s products are included in many different and unique markets ranging from embedded devices to enterprise solutions. His goal is to lead wolfSSL into the top spot in SSL deployments worldwide. Currently, wolfSSL has secured over 1 billion connections and this number is growing rapidly.

Being one of the leaders at one of the world’s top notch Internet security corporations, Larry strives to build a company that not only provides top of the line security software, but also connects cultures around the world. His vision for building wolfSSL includes a meta-national philosophy that melds and augments different ideas and viewpoints from various unique cultures. This worldly advantage contributes to wolfSSL’s tremendous success.

Larry enjoys every aspect of his work at wolfSSL, but he is most fond of developing the team environment. This team includes employees throughout the United States as well as around the globe. The company hosts weekly engineering and team meetings where they discuss current and future projects and ideas and maintain a close working relationship, even if separated by oceans, languages, and cultures.

On a more personal level, Larry is a graduate of Purdue University, and still enjoys following Boilermaker sports. He still enjoys a healthy and active lifestyle and has competed in a number of marathons.  

To learn more about Larry Stefonic and wolfSSL, feel free to explore the company web site at wolfssl.com.

About the Author
Leah Thompson is a development intern at wolfSSL in Bozeman, Montana. She is currently studying at Montana State University, working towards her master’s degree in Computer Science. She enjoys living in the great state of Montana, taking advantage of everything it has to offer including mountain biking, golfing and skiing. Leah is excited to be a part of such a great company and is learning more than she ever thought possible from the experienced team at wolfSSL.

wolfSSL Releases IoT Demo of CyaSSL Working with Xively and mbed

For those of you interested in how CyaSSL fits into IoT, here is an example you should take a look at!

We have prepared a demo with CyaSSL, Xively, and mbed. It runs on various mbed platforms with Ethernet connections, including NXP LPC1768 whose RAM size is as small as 32k for applications + 32k for drivers.

In the demo configuration, mbed sends sensor data every 10 seconds through SSL to the Xively server, and you can see it through the browser on your pc.

 “mbed with Sensors” –[https]–> “Xively Server” <–[https]– “Browser on PC”

Xively is a cloud IoT service. It provides both HTTP and HTTPS APIs for IoT clients, in which they highly recommend HTTPS for obvious reasons, especially for commercial applications.

The demo includes the CyaSSL-based https client class. It is forked from the standard mbed http client class. So you can find out how it can be embedded into a socket-based program as well.

To use the project, please go to our mbed site and import the demo.

http://mbed.org/users/wolfSSL/

http://mbed.org/users/wolfSSL/code/CyaSSL-Xively/

For more information:

Xively: http://xively.com

mbed: http://mbed.org

mbed HTTPClient class:

    http://mbed.org/users/donatien/code/HTTPClient/

    http://mbed.org/handbook/TCP-IP-protocols-and-APIs

wolfSSL Enforces Stack Usage Reduction

Understanding the stack and the heap are fundamental steps for all software developers. The importance of such understanding is inversely proportional to the amount of memory available on the platform, as both compete for a piece of the total memory space available on a system.

In some cases the developer has the choice of when to use one (either the stack or heap) more than the other. In other cases, a scenario may force the developer to work with minimal use of the stack, the heap, or both.

With this in mind, wolfSSL is introducing a new build option in CyaSSL. Developers can now choose a CyaSSL build that best matches their needs of using more stack and less heap OR more heap and less stack. This process is being accomplished by the refactoring of the CyaSSL code. Currently 90% of the encryption layer has been refactored to use the new option.

Small stack usage is not enabled by default. To enable it users must use the option “–enable-small-stack” when configuring the CyaSSL build as in the following example:

./configure –enable-small-stack [other options]

For users who don`t use CyaSSL`s configure script for compilation, smaller stack usage is not enabled by default. In this case, users will need to add the compiler directive CYASSL_SMALL_STACK in config.h file or settings.h to enjoy its benefits as in the following example:

#define CYASSL_SMALL_STACK

or

#define CYASSL_SMALL_STACK 1

If you have any questions about stack usage with CyaSSL please let us know at info@wolfssl.com.

wolfSSL with TLS 1.3

Hi!  Some of you know that the IETF working group on TLS is creating the specification for TLS 1.3.  We plan to upgrade wolfSSL to the TLS 1.3 specification as soon as the spec is finalized, or even close to finalized.  We are always aggressive with implementing the new TLS specifications, because we like to supply the community with a good test bed.  We did a great job getting TLS 1.2 out right away, as well as DTLS 1.2, and the community appreciated the effort.  We plan to continue our tradition of being quick with new protocol level changes.  

If you`re interested in what TLS 1.3 thinking is so far, then look here:  https://www.ietf.org/proceedings/87/slides/slides-87-tls-5.pdf.  If you have TLS 1.3 questions or comments, you are welcome to email us at info@wolfssl.com or call us at +1 425 245 8247.

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