Cipher Issue E96, May 2010, Editor's Letter

Dear Readers,

Privacy on the Internet seems to be the main concern in the news in recent weeks, as users of social networking sites have watched with amazement as their personal information and Internet actions become exposed in a frenzied mesh complex sharing. Those who have followed the field of privacy research over the last few decades should not be not surprised, and the annual meeting of the Security and Privacy Symposium heard presentations about several lines of research specifically concerned with privacy. This issue of Cipher has descriptions of the presentation of all papers.

Some aspects of the history of the symposium's focus areas can be inferred from its citation graph, the directed graph showing which papers in the Symposium cite papers from earlier Symposia. That graph appears on the DVD given to all participants (it is also on the website, under the description of the "Oakland" conferences for the year 2010). A major cluster of citations concern malware --- its design, detection, and prevention. The 2010 Symposium had several papers in this vein, perhaps showing that the tide is turning from secure design to just dealing with what happens.

The Symposium attendees took an evening to honor notable people in the field, for their accomplishments and service, and for some laughter and applause. Pictures of the event will be posted on the aforementioned website soon, as soon as we can verify the privacy preferences of the pictured! Watch for it.

Yours securely in the knowledge that anything can happen,
    Hilarie Orman
    Cipher Editor