Cipher Issue 100, January 19, 2011, Editor's Letter

Though we do not have a Cipher article this month about the Stuxnet malware, I think that almost everyone in the security world already knows about it. This landmark piece of carefully crafted software, designed to damage equipment used in producing material for nuclear devices, signals that malware is on the forefront of international espionage, and defensive security is a distant runner in that race.

Our own current pet peeve is privacy, specifically privacy when using popular social networking (PSN) services. Dismayed by finding many sites gleefully welcoming us with our photo from a PSN site, we have found it necessary to cleanse the web browser carefully after visiting that PSN site. We now understand some news reports that mention users who find it expedient to disable their PSN accounts when they are not logged in.

The program for the Security and Privacy Symposium will be announced soon, and this year there will be three associated workshops: Web 2.0 Security (W2SP); Systematic Approaches to Digital Forensic Engineering (SADFE); and Community Workshop on Ethical Guidelines for Security Research. Watch the website ( for news.

Finally, I'd like to note a small event: the 100th electronic edition of Cipher. Under the guidance of Carl Landwehr, the newsletter was an early adopter of web technology.

Do you know where that USB stick has been?

    Hilarie Orman
    Cipher Editor