I'm Alex Chernyakhovsky, a software engineer at Google. I recently graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where I studied Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, more commonly called Course 6.

I enjoy tinkering with distributed systems, from massively parallel, distributed simulations to high-availability web services and everything in between. I look at systems with both reliability and security in mind; I helped break MIT's Kerberos 5 deployment in 2012 and designed the initial patches that allowed OpenAFS to use cryptography stronger than DES (CVE-2013-4134) while requiring no client-side changes.

Having used Linux since 1998, I'm a firm believer in open source. I am currently a Debian Maintainer, Fedora Packager, and have contributed patches to various open source projects, most recently to iPXE, improving SSL support.

While at MIT, I joined the Student Information Processing Board (SIPB). My main responsibilities included maintaining the free web-hosting service Scripts, the XVM virtual machine service, and the popular Linux remote-access server Linerva. I also worked on the dorm management system Dormbase and contributed to various other SIPB projects. In January 2014, I co-taught the alumni-run “Caffeinated 6.828,” which compressed MIT's semester-long, graduate-level operating systems course into 4 short weeks.

I researched the spread of avian influenza, developing a novel predictive methodology for vaccine strain selection. This research has resulted in numerous publications and an invited talk at the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, GA.


Email to alex@achernya.com is the easiest way to reach me. I also maintain a PGP key, BBC7 56DD BE59 5F6B, which is available from the key servers. Encrypted email may take me a bit longer to respond to, as the PGP private key is stored on a limited subset of my computers. I'm also @achernya on Twitter and achernya on IRC.


I enjoy taking photographs, usually landscapes and macro shots. Here are some of my latest photos.

Copyright © 2012-2014 Alex Chernyakhovsky