LangSec: A Workshop on Language Theoretic Security

San Jose CA, May 18th, 2014

(submission deadline now firm: Feb. 16th)

Call for Papers

The LangSec workshop solicits contributions of research papers and panel
proposals related to the growing area of language-theoretic security.
Language-theoretic security (LangSec) is a design and programming
philosophy that focuses on formally correct and verifiable input
handling throughout all phases of the software development lifecycle. In
doing so, it offers a practical method of assurance of software free
from broad and currently dominant classes of bugs and vulnerabilities
related to incorrect parsing and interpretation of messages between
software components (packets, protocol messages, file formats, function
parameters, etc.).

LangSec aims to (1) produce verifiable recognizers, free of typical
classes of ad-hoc parsing bugs, (2) produce verifiable, composable
implementations of distributed systems that ensure equivalent parsing of
messages by all components and eliminate exploitable differences in
message interpretation by the elements of a distributed system, and (3)
mitigate the common risks of ungoverned development by explicitly
exposing the processing dependencies on the parsed input.

For further details refer to the workshop website, which includes a full
and updated version of this CFP:

Or to the IEEE S&P workshop page:

*** Important Dates ***
Submissions due: 16 February 2014, 11:59 PM Pacific
Notification to authors: 15 March 2014
Final files due: 1 April 2014

*** Submission Instructions and Formats ***

Submissions should be in PDF file format and made via EasyChair.
Submissions must not be anonymized. The confidentiality of submissions
will be protected as is customary, but submissions with non-disclosure
agreements or forms attached will be returned without review.

The types of submissions sought are as follows:

*** Research Papers

The LangSec PC encourages submission of research papers from academia,
industry, and government. There is no hard maximum page limit, but
length should be justified by the content and quality of the text. The
PC expects research papers to vary between 4 and 15 pages in length.
Shorter papers are encouraged, but longer papers that document
high-quality or extensive experimentation are very much in scope.
Research papers are encouraged to address some of the topics listed
below, but the list is not exhaustive:

1. systems architectures and designs based on LangSec principles
2. computer languages, file formats, and network protocols built on
LangSec principles
3. re-engineering efforts of existing languages, formats, and protocols
to reduce computational power
4. novel system designs for isolation and separation of parsers and
5. exploit programming as an engineering discipline
6. structured techniques for building weird machines
7. systems and frameworks for post-hoc or design time recognizer definition
8. identification of LangSec anti-patterns; certification of absence
9. type safety; efficient runtime type checking
10. small languages
11. parser generators
12. embedding runtime language recognizers
13. methods and techniques for practical assurance
14. parser proof-of-equivalence in distributed systems
15. LangSec case studies of successes and failures
16. comprehensive taxonomies of LangSec phenomena
17. measurement studies of LangSec systems or data sets
18. formalization of vulnerabilities and exploits in terms of language
19. science of protocol design: layering, fragmentation and re-assembly,
extensibility, etc
20. architectural constructs for enforcing limits on computational
21. empirical data on programming language features/programming styles
that effect bug introduction rates (e.g., syntactic redundancy)

The PC expects that topics should cover recent LangSec–related advances
or make the connection between research and practical assurance through
computability theory.
The LangSec PC particularly encourages papers that deal with controlling
LangSec anti-patterns:
1. Ad-hoc notions of input validity.
2. Parser differentials: mutual misinterpretation between system components.
3. Mixing of input recognition and processing (a.k.a. 'Shotgun parsers')
4. Ungoverned development: Adding New Features / Language Specification

*** Panels

The LangSec PC seeks submissions for interesting and lively panel
topics. Panel submissions should identify the panel moderator and two to
three panelists that have agreed to participate, along with short
position statements on the panel’s core question or assertion. Panel
proposals should be at most four pages in length. Panels will be scribed
and the notes published in the proceedings alongside the panelist

*** Proof-of-Concept

The LangSec PC encourages submissions that discuss actual
implementations, prototypes, and proofs-of-concept. The resulting talk
must not be a product pitch or a product manual, but the PC expects that
the demonstration should enlighten and educate the audience to the
extent that the audience could subsequently apply the tool or system in
their own research or work. Proof-of-concept submissions are encouraged
to include in their paper submission links to videos or other media
demonstrating the project.

*** Program Committee ***

Sergey Bratus (Dartmouth College)
Jon Callas (Silent Circle)
Gal Diskin (Cyvera)
Thomas Dullien (Google)
Alex Gantman (Qualcomm)
Dan Geer (In-Q-Tel)
Robert Graham (Errata Security)
David Grawrock (Intel)
Dan Kaminsky (White Ops, LLC.)
Felix Lindner (Recurity Labs / Phenoelit)
Michael E. Locasto (University of Calgary)
Meredith L. Patterson (Nuance Communications / Upstanding Hackers, LLC)
Sean W. Smith (Dartmouth)
Julien Vanegue (Bloomberg)
Jesse Walker (Intel)
Stefano Zanero (Politecnico di Milano University)

*** Organizing Committee ***
Sergey Bratus (Dartmouth College)
Trey Darley (Splunk)
TQ Hirsch (Upstanding Hackers, LLC)
Michael E. Locasto (University of Calgary)
Meredith L. Patterson (Nuance Communications / Upstanding Hackers, LLC)
Anna Shubina (Dartmouth)