Dear Readers,

I am pleased to have three articles written for Cipher in this issue, as well as the customary contribution of three lively book reviews from Robert Bruen. The RSA security conference elicited a report of impressions by Jeremy Epstein, who should be designated Cipher reporter-at-large for his many such articles over the years. The security area directors for the Internet Engineering Task Force, Russ Housley and Sam Hartman, provided us with an update on recent happenings in the Kerberos standardization effort. Nancy Mead and Ted Stehney of Carnegie Mellon University report on an examination of how engineering quality assurance methods fare when applied to system security issues.

The IEEE Symposium on Research in Security and Privacy will hold its annual meeting at the Claremont Resort in Berkeley, California on May 8-11. The list of sessions and papers appears in this Cipher issue, and it promises to be an interesting event. We need a reporter to cover this venerable conference, so please considering volunteering to cover all or part of the conference.

A reader recently suggested that our online calendar and calls-for-papers web page should primarily represent conferences with published proceedings, because those venues are more valuable for researchers. We will probably be reading CFP's a little more carefully so that we can denote "proceedingless" conferences in some way on the web pages. We welcome such comments and suggestions that will help us improve the utility of Cipher's online presence.

Usually Cipher contains a list of upcoming conference dates and CFP's. They are available online, as always, but your editor did not have time to extract and format the list for this issue.

Cipher's contributors are a wonderful group. We can always use help, and we always welcome relevant material. Send us news items, your commentary on conferences or workshops (especially if there are no proceedings!), or notices of events.

If you are driving a cryptographic hash function, wear a seatbelt, there have reports of numerous collisions recently.
     Hilarie Orman