18th NISS Conference draws throng to Baltimore

The National Information Systems Security Conference (formerly the National Computer Security Conference) convened at the Baltimore Convention Center on a succession of lovely days from October 10-13. Although the halls seemed a bit less crowded than past years, organizers reported that the registration was over 1900, on a par with past events. Several innovations (in addition to the new name) marked this year's edition. Many vendors took advantage of the opportunity to provide exhibits on the floor of the Convention Center, so it was possible to get an overview of current technology without traipsing to half a dozen suites in two or three different hotels. The Conference Proceedings includes the Tables of Contents from all of the seventeen previous editions of the conference, which increases its value as a reference, and a subset of the proceedings was provided on CD-ROM at no charge. The disc includes those papers and panel statements whose authors choose to submit electronic copy) as well quite a bit of other information (I think -- the disc is unfortunately formatted for DOS and Windows, but not for Macintoshes, so your reporter can only make educated guesses about the full contents.

Another traditional feature of this conference is a large number of auxiliary meetings that are scheduled on an ad hoc basis during the conference. The large number of these meetings this year, together with the press of other work, conspired to prevent your reporter from attending more than a couple of regular paper and panel sessions -- hence the absence of descriptions of paper and panel sessions from this article. Any Cipher readers who attended and would like to contribute summaries of sessions they found interesting are invited to mail them to the editor for inclusion in the next issue.

Awards were given to two regular papers: "Internet sniffer attacks," by Eugene Schultz and Thomas Longstaff, and "Maintaining privacy in electronic transactions," by Benjamin Cox. "Authorship analysis: identifying the author of a program," by Ivan Krsul and Gene Spafford won the student paper award. In her opening keynote address, Marjory Blumenthal, Director of the Computer Science and Telecommunications Board of the National Research Council discussed the National Information Infrastructure (NII) and its security requirements, concluding that the government needs to foster the development of a security architecture for the NII. Laryngitis prevented Dennis Branstad from delivering the address he had written as recipient of the National Computer Security Award; Steve Walker read the address for him.Stephen Barnett of the National Computer Security and Irene Gilbert of NIST co-chaired the conference, and Jack Holleran and Dennis Gilbert organized the program. Papers (up to 8 pages) for next year's conference (October 22-25, 1996 at the Baltimore Convention Center) are due February 16, 1996; for information, send e-mail to NISSCONFERENCE@Dockmaster.ncsc.mil.

A limited number of single copies of the proceedings (hard copy) and CD-ROM (this is a subset of the papers) are available from the National Computer Security Center. Cipher readers should call +1(410)766-8729 or send e-mail to NISSConference@dockmaster.ncsc.mil with requests (see proceedings table of contents in this issue).