MAY 23-27, 2021 AT THE HYATT REGENCY, SAN FRANCISCO, CA

42nd IEEE Symposium on
Security and Privacy

Call For Papers


Since 1980 in Oakland, the IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy has been the premier forum for computer security research, presenting the latest developments and bringing together researchers and practitioners. We solicit previously unpublished papers offering novel research contributions in any aspect of security or privacy. Papers may present advances in the theory, design, implementation, analysis, verification, or empirical evaluation and measurement of secure systems.

Topics of interest include:

This topic list is not meant to be exhaustive; S&P is interested in all aspects of computer security and privacy. Papers without a clear application to security or privacy, however, will be considered out of scope and may be rejected without full review.

Systematization of Knowledge Papers

As in past years, we solicit systematization of knowledge (SoK) papers that evaluate, systematize, and contextualize existing knowledge, as such papers can provide a high value to our community. Suitable papers are those that provide an important new viewpoint on an established, major research area, support or challenge long-held beliefs in such an area with compelling evidence, or present a convincing, comprehensive new taxonomy of such an area. Survey papers without such insights are not appropriate and may be rejected without full review. Submissions will be distinguished by the prefix “SoK:” in the title and a checkbox on the submission form. They will be reviewed by the full PC and held to the same standards as traditional research papers, but they will be accepted based on their treatment of existing work and value to the community, and not based on any new research results they may contain. Accepted papers will be presented at the symposium and included in the proceedings.

Quarterly Submissions

Based on the experience in the past two years, the reviewing process for IEEE S&P is changed to a quarterly submission model. Within 2.5 months of submission, author notifications of Accept/Revise/Reject decisions will be sent out. For each submission, one of the following decisions will be made:

All papers accepted by February 21, 2021 will appear in the proceedings of the symposium in May 2021 and invited to present their work. These include papers that were submitted in December 2020 and were accepted without revision, or papers that were submitted by June 2020, got the Revise decision, and resubmitted the revised paper in December.

Important Dates

All deadlines are 23:59:59 AoE (UTC-12).

Spring Quarter Deadline

Summer Quarter Deadline

Fall Quarter Deadline

Winter Quarter Deadline

Revised Submissions

As described above, some number of papers will receive a Revise decision, rather than Accept or Reject. This decision will be accompanied by a detailed summary of the expectations for the revision, in addition to the standard reviewer comments. The authors may prepare a revision, which may include running additional experiments, improving the paper’s presentation, or other such improvements. Papers meeting the expectations will typically be accepted. Those that do not will be rejected. Only in exceptional circumstances will additional revisions be requested. Upon receiving a Revise decision, authors can choose to withdraw their paper or not submit a revision, but they will be asked to not submit the same or similar work again (following the same rules as for Rejected papers) for one year from the date of the original submission. Authors can submit a revised paper to the next two quarterly submission deadlines after the notification. Revisions must be accompanied by a summary of the changes that were made.

Submission Statistics

Statistics on the submissions and decisions will be published once the first review period has finished.

Instructions for Paper Submission


These instructions apply to both the research papers and systematization of knowledge papers. All submissions must be original work; the submitter must clearly document any overlap with previously published or simultaneously submitted papers from any of the authors. Failure to point out and explain overlap will be grounds for rejection. Simultaneous submission of the same paper to another venue with proceedings or a journal is not allowed and will be grounds for automatic rejection. Contact the program committee chairs if there are questions about this policy.

Anonymous Submission

Papers must be submitted in a form suitable for anonymous review: no author names or affiliations may appear on the title page, and papers should avoid revealing authors’ identity in the text. When referring to their previous work, authors are required to cite their papers in third person, without identifying themselves. In the unusual case in which a third-person reference is infeasible, authors can blind the reference itself. Papers that are not properly anonymized may be rejected without review.

While a paper is under submission to the IEEE Security & Privacy Symposium, authors may choose to give talks about their work, post a preprint of the paper online, and disclose security vulnerabilities to vendors. Authors should refrain from widely advertising their results, but in special circumstances they should contact the PC chairs to discuss exceptions. Authors are not allowed to contact directly the program committee members to discuss their submission.

The submissions will be treated confidentially by the PC chairs and the program committee members. Program committee members are not allowed to share the submitted papers with anyone, with the exception of qualified external reviewers approved by the program committee chairs. Please contact the PC chairs if you have any questions or concerns.

Conflicts of Interest

Drawn from the ACM SIGMOD 2015 CFP

During submission of a research paper, the submission site will request information about conflicts of interest of the paper's authors with program committee (PC) members. It is the full responsibility of all authors of a paper to identify all and only their potential conflict-of-interest PC members, according to the following definition. A paper author has a conflict of interest with a PC member when and only when one or more of the following conditions holds:

  1. The PC member is a co-author of the paper.
  2. The PC member has been a co-worker in the same company or university within the past two years.
    • For student interns, the student is conflicted with their supervisors and with members of the same research group. If the student no longer works for the organization, then they are not conflicted with a PC member from the larger organization.
  3. The PC member has been a collaborator within the past two years.
  4. The PC member is or was the author's primary thesis advisor, no matter how long ago.
  5. The author is or was the PC member's primary thesis advisor, no matter how long ago.
  6. The PC member is a relative or close personal friend of the author.

For any other situation where the authors feel they have a conflict with a PC member, they must explain the nature of the conflict to the PC chairs, who will mark the conflict if appropriate. Papers with incorrect or incomplete conflict of interest information as of the submission closing time are subject to immediate rejection.

Ethical Considerations for Vulnerability Disclosure

Where research identifies a vulnerability (e.g., software vulnerabilities in a given program, design weaknesses in a hardware system, or any other kind of vulnerability in deployed systems), we expect that researchers act in a way that avoids gratuitous harm to affected users and, where possible, affirmatively protects those users. In nearly every case, disclosing the vulnerability to vendors of affected systems, and other stakeholders, will help protect users. It is the committee’s sense that a disclosure window of 45 days [https://vuls.cert.org/confluence/display/Wiki/Vulnerability+Disclosure+Policy] to 90 days [https://googleprojectzero.blogspot.com/p/vulnerability-disclosure-faq.html] ahead of publication is consistent with authors’ ethical obligations.

The version of the paper submitted for review must discuss in detail the steps the authors have taken or plan to take to address these vulnerabilities; but, consistent with the timelines above, the authors do not have to disclose vulnerabilities ahead of submission. If a paper raises significant ethical and/or legal concerns, it might be rejected based on these concerns. The PC chairs will be happy to consult with authors about how this policy applies to their submissions.

Ethical Considerations for Human Subjects Research

Submissions that describe experiments on human subjects, that analyze data derived from human subjects (even anonymized data), or that otherwise may put humans at risk should:

  1. Disclose whether the research received an approval or waiver from each of the authors' institutional ethics review boards (IRB) if applicable.
  2. Discuss steps taken to ensure that participants and others who might have been affected by an experiment were treated ethically and with respect.

If a submission deals with any kind of personal identifiable information (PII) or other kinds of sensitive data, the version of the paper submitted for review must discuss in detail the steps the authors have taken to mitigate harms to the persons identified. If a paper raises significant ethical and/or legal concerns, it might be rejected based on these concerns. The PC chairs will be happy to consult with authors about how this policy applies to their submissions.

Page Limit and Formatting

Submitted papers may include up to 13 pages of text and up to 5 pages for references and appendices, totaling no more than 18 pages. The same applies to camera-ready papers, although, at the PC chairs’ discretion, additional pages may be allowed for references and appendices. Reviewers are not required to read appendices.

Papers must be formatted for US letter (not A4) size paper. The text must be formatted in a two-column layout, with columns no more than 9.5 in. tall and 3.5 in. wide. The text must be in Times font, 10-point or larger, with 11-point or larger line spacing. Authors are encouraged to use the IEEE conference proceedings templates. LaTeX submissions should use IEEEtran.cls version 1.8b. All submissions will be automatically checked for conformance to these requirements. Failure to adhere to the page limit and formatting requirements are grounds for rejection without review.

Reviews from Prior Submissions

Drawn from the ACM CCS 2020 CFP, New this year

For papers that were previously submitted to, and rejected from, another conference, authors are required to submit a separate document containing the prior reviews along with a description of how those reviews were addressed in the current version of the paper. Authors are only required to include reviews from the last time the paper was submitted. Reviewers will be asked to complete their reviews before reading the provided supplementary material to avoid being biased in formulating their own opinions; once their reviews are complete, however, reviewers will be given the opportunity to provide additional comments based on the submission history of the paper. Authors who try to circumvent this rule (e.g., by changing the title of the paper without significantly changing the contents) may have their papers rejected without further consideration, at the discretion of the PC chairs.

Submission

Submissions must be in Portable Document Format (.pdf). Authors should pay special attention to unusual fonts, images, and figures that might create problems for reviewers.

Conference Submission Server

Papers must be submitted at: https://oakland21-spring.syssec.rub.de/hotcrp/

Publication and Presentation

Authors are responsible for obtaining appropriate publication clearances. One of the authors of the accepted paper is expected to present the paper at the conference.

Program Committee


PC Chairs

Alina Oprea Northeastern University
Thorsten Holz Ruhr-Universität Bochum

PC Members

TBD