July 19, 2001

Controversial research to be presented at USENIX security conference

Author: JT Smith

Monica Ortiz tells us about this press release: The USENIX Association today confirmed the inclusion of a controversial research paper to its Security Symposium to be held in Washington, DC next month. The paper reveals inherent security risks with the recording industry's digital music access-control technologies. Dr. Edward Felten, the Princeton University scientist who was a key member of the research team, will also participate in a panel discussion about the paper's recent legal wrangles.
The paper first came under fire from the recording industry in April 2001, when Felten and other scientists from Princeton and Rice Universities were prevented from presenting the paper at the 4th International Information Hiding Workshop. By June 2001, the research team, USENIX, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) jointly asked a federal court for First Amendment protections for the researchers and the paper. Although, RIAA, SDMI, and Verance have since filed motions to dismiss and claim there was never a real threat of litigation, the EFF continues to seek protection for all private defendants and their ability to produce and publish future work based on their research.

The paper, "Reading Between the Lines: Lessons from the SDMI Challenge," is now scheduled to be presented on the evening of August 15, 2001. Dr. Felten, EFF Legal Director Cindy Cohn, and Peter Jaszi of the American University will be analyzing the paper's progress through the legal system in a panel discussion immediately following the paper presentation.

Controversial topics are not new to this symposium but an inevitable product when security, cryptology, and computer protection scientists and gurus gather. This conference features some of the leading computer security professionals in the world, including Keynote Speaker Richard M. Smith, CTO of the Privacy Foundation, who will discuss whether the public should trust the security measures of Web-enabled gadgets.

"The USENIX Security Symposium is a venue to meet the people who are at the cutting edge of computer security technology and be a part of a the community working toward solving the security problems we face today and that are coming down the road," said Dan Wallach, Symposium Program Chair. USENIX Security is about in-depth discussion of advanced topics. The technical track focuses on providing the most current research and inviting the speakers on every security professionals top ten list. This is where people working at the heart of computer security come to meet their peers and discuss their concerns, new solutions to critical issues, and how their work is going to push the industry forward."

The symposium, now in its 10th year, begins with two days of intensive, highly technical tutorials followed by three days of research presentations and invited speakers by industry luminaries. Speakers include Steven Bellovin, creator of Netnews, AT&T Fellow, and a pioneer in the security space, who chairs presentations on Denial of Service. Matt Blaze, AT&T Labs Researcher, explores the tricky relationship between science and public policy now the computer security and cryptology research and technology have gained national attention. Mudge, VP of Research and Development for @Stake, and his associate Kingpin dissect Palm OS protections against malicious code threats from the hacker's perspective. And Kevin Fu's "The Do's and Don'ts of Client Authentication on the Web" reveals the often humorous ways real Web sites handicap their own security systems.

Along with the Felten paper and panel, the symposium's evening events offer attendees opportunities to delve into their topics of choice. The ever-popular Birds-of-a-Feather sessions and Works-in-Progress reports provide insight on current trends and openly compare project progress with peers and experts. As with every USENIX conference, it is the lively post-session discussions that occur in the tongue-in-cheek named "Hallway Track" that bring attendees back each year.

"This event really offers every perspective on computing security plus the advantage of hobnobbing with the top people in the field," said Avi Rubin, a USENIX Director and Symposium Program Committee member. "This is the only symposium that delves deeply into technical issues and incorporates research. Other events scratch the surface and are intended more as professional training. The USENIX Security Symposium pushes the envelope on the state of the art."

The USENIX Security Symposium takes place August 13 - 17, 2001 at the JW Marriott Hotel in Washington, DC. Detailed tutorial and technical program information can be found online at www.usenix.org/events/sec01. Complimentary press badges are also available by prior arrangement. Contact Monica Ortiz, USENIX Press Liaison, at monica@usenix.org for more information about press badge registration.

10th USENIX Security Symposium
August 13 - 17, 2001
JW Marriott Hotel
Washington, DC USA
www.usenix.org/events/sec01

About the USENIX Association
USENIX is the Advanced Computing Systems Association. For over 25 years, it has been the leading community for engineers, system administrators, scientists, and technician working on the cutting edge of the computing world. USENIX conferences are the essential meeting grounds for the presentation and discussion of technical advances in all aspects of computing systems. For more information about the USENIX Association, visit http://www.usenix.org.

For more information contact:
Monica Ortiz, monica@usenix.org, 415-990-5513

Click Here!