Annual Computer Security Applications Conference (ACSAC) 2013

Full Program »

Forum: LASER Workshop

Thursday, 12 December 2013
15:30 - 17:00

DH Holmes B


Forum Moderator:

Laura Tinnel, SRI International

Forum Speakers:

Forum Theme:

The Learning from Authoritative Security Experiment Results (LASER) workshop has a goal of helping the cybersecurity community quickly identify and learn from both success and failure from all properly conducted experimental (cyber) security research. The workshop focuses on research that has a valid hypothesis and reproducible experimental methodology, but where the results were unexpected or did not validate the hypotheses, where the methodology addressed difficult and/or unexpected issues, or that unsuspected confounding issues were found in previous work.

In his keynote speech at the 2012 LASER workshop, Dr. Roy Maxion of Carnegie Mellon University suggested a possible means to improve the results from experimental research for cybersecurity. This suggestion focused on two key elements of research papers:

  1. Include structured abstracts which concisely and clearly summarize the whole story of the work detailed in papers. This practice will enable future researchers to more quickly find and understand relevant prior research.

  2. Follow a structure that includes specific key sections (e.g., aim, method and data used, analysis techniques, results, etc). This practice will lead to a more thorough examination of each of the key aspects of the research being conducted, leading to better research results.

As a result, the organizing committee decided to try this approach in the 2013 workshop. This panel will discuss the results of the LASER 2013 requirement for submissions to follow a standard structure and plans for the future to support the overall workshop goals.


Dr. Greg Shannon is Chief Scientist for the Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) at the Carnegie Mellon University Software Engineering Institute (CMU/SEI). Previously, he was Chief Scientist for CounterStorm, where he focused on statistical anomaly detection. Dr. Shannon is the co-chair of the 2013 LASER program committee. He will address his experience in the practicality and usefulness of requiring structured abstracts and papers for reporting research results.

Dr. Carl Landwehr spent the past twelve years funding, managing, and guiding cybersecurity research programs for the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA), and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Dr. Landwehr has also served as Editor-in-Chief of IEEE Security & Privacy Magazine. He is presently with the Cyber Security Policy and Research Institute at George Washington University (GWU). He was a member of the 2013 LASER program committee and reviewed paper submissions as part of the LASER trial. He will speak about the current state of paper submissions and his experience in reviewing papers, both structured and non-structured.

Dr. Carrie Gates is currently a research staff member at CA Labs, where she is examining enterprise security in collaboration with university faculty and students. She formerly worked for the CMU/SEI CERT, where she focused on network security and at the IBM Toronto Centre for Advanced Studies (CAS) where she focused on access control. Dr. Gates was the 2012 LASER general chair and served on the 2013 LASER organizing and program committees. She will speak from her experience shepherding papers as part of her program committee duties.

The last panelist will be a LASER 2013 paper author, who will speak from his or her experience in writing a paper that met the LASER paper structure requirements.


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