September inaugurates the start of the research conference season, but we have an excellent, in-depth review of a summer conference, SOUPS, contributed by Fahd Arshad and Rob Reeder.

Bob Bruen selected three books from recent security literature and contributed reviews, as usual. Yong Guan organized our CFP and calendar entry lists for reader perusal. Cipher can tell you what to read and where to go.

The photos and reports of devastation from Hurrican Katrina put physical security and population protection are on everyone's mind. Does computer security have a role in this? Underlying the news, largely unremarked, we hear of webistes, databases, and email conveying information about the living, the missing, and incredibly detailed aerial images of the coastline. One can only believe that more agile and reliable communication would have enabled more focused relief efforts. And yes, communications and data security are major contributors to reliability.

I hope governments everywhere will take note of the importance of communication in managing crises and that we will see research budgets reflect this reality. Technology is probably many years away from being able to avert natural catastrophes, but we can save lives and put lives back together with reliable and secure communications and computer technology.

And last, it is important to note that Cipher depends entirely on user contributions, and our contributors for this issue are due many thanks for their efforts.

Hilarie Orman
  Cipher Editor