Cipher Issue 129, November 23, 2015, Editor's Letter

Dear Readers,

At the end of this year, Ulf Lindqvist of SRI becomes the chair of the IEEE Computer Society's Technical Committee on Security and Privacy (TCSP), the sponsoring organization of this newsletter. He takes the reins from Patrick McDonald, who has overseen the amazing growth of the flagship conference and its workshops. The incoming vice chair is Sean Peisert.

The new inductees into the US Computer Security Hall of Fame include long-time TCSP contributor Cynthia Irvine of the Naval Postgraduate School. Our news section has a link to the website where you can read a summary of her contributions to the field, and those of the other notable inductees for 2015. Cipher offers its congratulations to these pioneers.

A book about cyberphysical attacks is the subject of this issue's book review by Richard Austin, and it is the subject of one of our news links about attacks on the US energy grid. It is increasingly difficult to separate cyber from physical these days, and our notions of "security" in any form must adapt to include the computer components --- they are always there.

Recent terroristic events around the world may take us into a very different kind of computer security future. Our debates about privacy, about the purpose of security technology, and about the two-edged sword of world-wide communication all have the spectre of violence backlighting the discussions. Our challenge is to develop technology that keeps the adversarial advantage with the good side.

The fault is not in our software nor our networks,
But in ourselves, that we cannot stop using them.
      Hilarie Orman