Annual Computer Security Applications Conference (ACSAC) 2014

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Distinguished Practitioner Keynote Panel

Wednesday, 10 December 2014
08:30 - 10:00

DH Holmes AB(C)

ACSAC Distinguished Practitioners

The Multicians

Multics: Before, During, After

Few systems have had as much influence on information security, computer architecture, and academic computer science as the Multics system did. From the project's inception in 1964, through to significant use as a computer utility in government, academic, and commercial settings in the 1970s and 1980s, to its influence on many systems and technologies that came afterward, Multics has delivered lasting value for half a century. This panel will celebrate its 50th anniversary and focus particularly on the Multics influence on information security: the state of the world before Multics, how Multics defined, refined, utilized information security principles in its development, and how the world has--and has not--made effective use of those principles in the decades that followed.

With presentations by

About the Panelists

Olin Sibert has been an independent consultant focused on information security since founding Oxford Systems, Inc., in 1982. Prior to that, he worked for MIT and later for Honeywell as part of the joint Multics Development Project, responsible for developing diverse aspects of the Multics system ranging from kernel support for next-generation hardware to the mail reader client. As a consultant, much of his work involved--and still does today--bringing the "lessons of Multics" to a wide variety of clients in industry and government.

Roger R. Schell is a Professor of Engineering Practice at the University Of Southern California Viterbi School Of Engineering, and a member of the founding faculty for their Masters of Cyber Security degree program. He holds patents in cryptography, authentication and trusted workstation. For more than decade he has been co-founder and an executive of Aesec Corporation, a start-up company providing verifiably secure platforms on an OEM basis. Previously Prof. Schell was the Corporate Security Architect for Novell, and co-founder and vice president for Gemini Computers, Inc., where he directed development of their "Class A1" commercial GEMSOS based heavily on Multics security concepts. He was also the founding Deputy Director of NSA's National Computer Security Center where they employed Multics as the primary network-accessible computer services. Earlier as program manager he had the USAF join with DARPA and General Motors to have Honeywell enhance Multics with mandatory access controls. Prof. Schell is a retired USAF Colonel. He received a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the MIT, where as part of his research he designed and implement what has been described as "extremely aggressive on-line reconfiguration" of hardware for the commercial Multics product.

Tom Van Vleck worked on many parts of Multics beginning in 1966. He led the design and implementation of the Multics New Storage System, and contributed to Multics login, account management and security software. After leaving the Multics project in 1981, he had senior engineer positions on security projects at several companies. He has edited the Multics website at since 1994.

Steven B. Lipner is Partner Director of Program Management in Trustworthy Computing Security at Microsoft. Lipner is the creator and long-time leader of Microsoft's Security Development Lifecycle (SDL) team that defines the SDL, develops associated tools and processes, and executes Microsoft's internal SDL process company-wide. Lipner also leads Microsoft's initiatives to make the SDL available to organizations beyond Microsoft. Lipner has worked for over forty years as a researcher, development manager, and business manager in computer and network security. While at the MITRE Corporation early in his career, he led MITRE's work specifying security enhancements to Multics for the Air Force Data Services Center and for Project Guardian. He is a director and board chair of SAFECode, a non-profit industry association dedicated to improving the security and integrity of software. Lipner holds S.B. and S.M. degrees in Civil Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and attended the Harvard Business School's Program for Management Development.

If you are planning to attend ACSAC and were involved with Multics, please drop us a note at with "Multics" in the subject line and let us know when and how.


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