Current Activities

Past Activities

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Current ACSA Activities

Annual Computer Security Applications Conference

The Annual Computer Security Applications Conference (ACSAC) is the major activity funded by ACSA. Started in 1985, the conference's goal is to explore technology applications in the area of computer security, for both civil and military applications. It looks at hardware and software tools and techniques, as well as specific examples of system applications and implementations.

The conference consists of a two and a half day technical program, preceeded by two full days of a formal tutorial program.

Coordinator. Steve Schwab , USC Information Sciences Institute (ACSAC Conference Chair)

At each conference, ACSA recognizes an outstanding computer security professional through its Distinguished Lecture Series. The Distinguished Lecturer is invited to present a lecture of current topical interest to the entire conference.

Coordinator. Position Open

ACSA also recognizes student contributions through sponsorship of a Best Student Paper award. The winning student receives an honorarium and expense-paid attendance at the conference.

Coordinator. David Balenson, SRI International (ACSAC Student Awards Coordinator).

New Security Paradigms Workshop

Since 1992, the New Security Paradigms Workshop (NSPW) has provided a stimulating and highly interactive forum for innovative approaches to computer security. The workshop offers a constructive environment for experienced researchers and practitioners as well as newer participants in the field. The result is a unique opportunity to exchange ideas. In 2003, the workshop moved from ACM sponsorship to ACSA sponsorship.

Chairman. Anil Somayaji, Carleton University

Information Security Bookshelf

The Information Security Bookshelf is an virtual extension to a professional's shelf of information security books, reports, and other references. ACSA sees this bookshelf being used is as a source of readings for self-study and for courses. Its goal is to supplement physical holdings with items that are out of print or difficult to obtain.

Everyone is invited to take a look at the bookshelf and to suggest additional books, papers, and reports. It would be most helpful if submissions to the editor could provide the source files or a URL pointer to them. Suggestions and contributions should be sent to Don't be bashful about suggesting your own work.

Coordinator. Position Open

Marshall D. Abrams Invited Essay Program

The goal of the Marshall D. Abrams Invited Essay Program is to stimulate development of provocative and stimulating reading material for students of Information Security, forming a set of Invited Essays. Each Invited Essay will address an important topic in Information Security not adequately covered by the existing literature. ACSA envisions that the Invited Essays will contain an exhaustive survey of the state-of-the-art. This survey should include description of the theory and practice of an Information Security problem, a history of successful attacks and defenses, and research challenges. The Information Security Essays should be usable as the basis for advanced undergraduate and graduate seminars as well as springboards for research.

The essayist will present his/her essay at the Annual Computer Security Applications Conference (ACSAC). Essays will be published in the conference proceedings and on the ACSA pages on the World Wide Web. Each essayist will receive an honorarium and complementary registration and per diem at ACSAC. If an essay is co-authored, these benefits will be provided for one person only.

Coordinator. This activity is handled through the ACSAC Invited Speakers Chair

Layered Assurance Workshop

The Layered Assurance Workshop (LAW) concerns itself with the fundamental problems of “compositional assurance” and with a need for principles, methods, and techniques that can be applied to achieve the assurance necessary for security-critical, safety-critical, and mission-critical components and systems. LAW has provided a forum for vital exchange, as well as a maturing source of information, focused on key issues relating to the effective and efficient modular construction and certification of assured systems from assured components. It is widely recognized that such an approach is the most promising way to achieve diverse and flexible systems that can be certified quickly and cost effectively. LAW is concerned with the theoretical, engineering, and certification challenges to be met before this goal can be fully realized.

The first LAW in 2007 took an exploratory approach, relying heavily on the participants' input to establish the agenda. The second LAW in 2008 was attended by approximately 80 individuals representing more than 30 distinct organizations. In that Workshop more of the program was established in advance, with several keynote talks chosen from responses to an open invitation, followed by breakout sessions on diverse topics. The third LAW comprised two thematic days with a common structure: morning keynote talks, afternoon panels and breakout sessions. The theme of the first day was programmatic needs of government, while that of the second day was research and development on the problems of layered assurance. In 2010, LAW became an affiliated workshop with ACSAC, and is being held in conjunction with ACSAC.

Coordinator: Rance J. DeLong


Learning from Authoritative Security Experiment Results

The goal of the LASER workshop is to provide an outlet for publication of the results of all properly conducted experimental (cyber) security research. This will encourage people to share not only what works, but also what doesn't. Given the increased importance of computer security, the security community needs to quickly identify and learn from both success and failure. This is the primary goal of this workshop. The specific technical results of the experiments are of secondary importance for this workshop.

Topics include, but are not limited to

  • Unsuccessful research in experimental security
  • Methods and designs for security experiments
  • Experimental confounds, mistakes, mitigations
  • Successes and failures in reproducing the experimental techniques and/or results of earlier work

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 identified previously unsuspected confounding issues.

More information may be found here.

ACSA Coordinator: Laura S. Tinnel, SRI International


Scholarship for Women Studying Information Security (SWSIS)

The ACSA SWSIS program offers a $10,000 scholarship to a woman for use in her junior or senior year of undergraduate studies, or first year of a graduate program (i.e., application may be made in the spring of her sophomore, junior, or senior year, or the spring before entering a graduate program if a bachelor's degree has already been completed). The scholarship is administered by CRA-W.

Coordinator: Jeremy Epstein, Director of Scholarship Programs

[In Memoriam]

In Memoriam Page

A place to remember those luminaries in the computer security field who have passed on.

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