[ACSAC History]

1988: ACSAC is a Recognized Conference

By the end of the third conference the conference had matured to a point where its role in the computer security community was recognized. This role is to provide a forum at which issues regarding applications of computer security to planned programs and systems may be explored in a technically supportive atmosphere. And second to provide educational experiences in computer security applications. The format of two days of tutorials followed by the technical sessions of papers and panels was the most effective way to execute this role and made ACSAC distinguishable from the growing numbers of computer security conferences.

Planning for the Fourth Conference began early in 1988, almost before the applause had died down from the Third conference. At this point the conference began to establish traditions. The first was to change the key committee roles on a periodic basis. Dr. Marshall Abrams, of the MITRE Corporation was selected as the General Chairman and Dr. William Bisignani, also of MITRE returned to the conference as Technical Program Chairman. Dr. Dixie Baker of the Aerospace Corporation served as the Tutorials Chairman. Dr. Joel Levy became the Treasurer. Dr. Ron Gove, then of BoozAllen & Hamilton, and Doug Hunt of the National Institute of Standards and Technology were recruited as Technical Program Co-Chairs.

The fourth conference would not include classified sessions as changes in Department of Defense policies made it impossible to hold classified meetings at a non-DoD conference.

Fourth Annual Computer Security Applications Conference
  • Secure System Design - An Introduction, by Morrie Gasser
  • Recent Developments in Distributed Systems Security, by Harold Podell
  • Approaches to Data Base Security, by Teresa Lunt
  • Security Assurance Issues in Configuration Management, by R. Leonard Brown
  • Compliance with the Computer Security Act Of 1987, by Ian Schreiber

The fourth conference was held December 12 - 16, 1988 in Orlando, Florida. The conference included some vendor exhibits, but this was not a big part of the program. We had five tutorials this year covering a variety of important topics (see side bar).

The keynote speaker this year was John J. Lane, formally of the DOD and at the time of his speech, a Vice President, Computer Sciences Corporation. Following Mr. Lane's excellent talk, complete with his traditional lawyer joke, Dr. Bisignani introduced the technical program. This presentation was punster heaven, with accompanying photographs and cartoons that fit the program topics with tongue firmly in cheek. Due to the large number of technical papers that were received, the technical program had three tracks; a format that has been continued through the present conference. Some of the highlights this year included sessions on computer viruses, database security, integrity, Trusted MACH, and Formal Methods. View a complete listing of the sessions at the fourth conference.