Cipher Issue 119, March 17, 2014, Editor's Letter

Dear Readers,

The registration website for the annual Security and Privacy Symposium is open for business. This year's program has over 40 papers ranging over a multitude of security issues from mobile devices to frankencerts to stylometry and to automated verification and beyond. The conference, long known as "Oakland" because of its permanent location in that city, has become itinerant and is now trying downtown San Jose, California, as a place for the gathering.

This month Richard Austin's book review concerns building situational awareness as seen through the lens of network logs. If only this were a standard industry practice, sigh.

There are two featured news items from the media this month. One concerns Microsoft's 2013 verified software award. The work that is honored seems to be computer hardware verification, and certainly this is an important underpinning for any verfied software. The second news item is about a report concerning a disgraced state attorney general who had a great deal of bad luck with all his communication devices; despite his litany of loss and damage, computer forensics specialists were able to recover a lot of email. It is interesting to note how practices that used to be the realm of speculative research are now commonplace methods with far-reaching effects.

    "The dog ate my email",

       Hilarie Orman