Cipher Issue 114, May 28, 2013, Editor's Letter

Dear Readers,

Last week I was at the Security and Privacy Symposium in San Francisco. This annual event has grown to well over 400 attendees, and the two days of workshops following it now bring in a crowd of their own. The events had unprecedented corporate donations, showing the importance of cybersecurity to our economy. The spectrum of research areas is amazing, and the program has grown to accommodate more papers and more time.

Next month the Computer Security Foundations Symposium will be held in New Orleans, and it too will have an excellent program. "Foundations" tends more toward theory and formalism than the mean of "Security and Privacy" (which features a "Best Practical Paper" award).

The team of people who make these events possible is superlative, and every year they take on more daunting tasks. Ulf Lindqvist, a former S&P general chair and the new Techical Committee Vice Chair Elect, described it as "being a CEO for a year."

S&P will take on a new procedure for selecting Program Chairs. The description of that and more can be found at

This month's issue has a book review from Richard Austin, and he has chosen a book covering "insider threats". That combined with a windfall of news articles, should raise the hackles of us all. "Eternal vigilance" has never been more apt.

Please take note of the imminent deadline for article abstracts for "Security and Privacy Magazine" for "moving target defenses". Techniques like address space layout randomization (the subject of a paper and the S&P Symposium) can defeat some common attacks. The magazine will devote an issue to these techniques and their effectiveness.

I hope you all have a good summer traveling from one security conference to another, keeping all your mobile devices safe and secure.

In closing, I take note of this adage: "The desire for safety stands against every great and noble enterprise." (Publius Cornelius Tacitus) ,

      Hilarie Orman