Experts in systems security, data integrity, and zero trust will review papers for acceptance to the prestigious conference.
Formal portraits of Hamed Okhravi, Shamaria Engram, Derrick McKee, and Tyler Kaczmarek
Pictured left to right, Hamed Okhravi, Shamaria Engram, Derrick McKee, and Tyler Kaczmarek have been selected to the program committee of the 2024 IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy.

Four cybersecurity researchers from Lincoln Laboratory have been appointed to the program committee of the 2024 Symposium on Security and Privacy (S&P) sponsored by the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). The IEEE S&P is considered the premier conference for presenting developments in computer security and electronic privacy.

In their appointments to the program committee, Hamed Okhravi, Shamaria Engram, Derrick McKee, and Tyler Kaczmarek will join fellow cybersecurity experts to review paper submissions and determine which ones to accept for publication at the conference. As a top-tier venue, the acceptance rate is around 10% to 15%.

All four researchers hail from the Secure Resilient Systems and Technology Group. Okhravi, who is also serving as the associate chair of the committee, aims to shepherd the review process in a positive manner. "A lot of the times, there is a tendency to see only flaws. As an author myself, I have gotten reviews that were less than constructive, so I really want to push myself and others to be constructive and provide comments for improving papers," he says.

Okhravi previously served on the committee and is a known expert in the field of systems security; his current focus is developing a "resilient mission computer," a new computer system in which important security properties are inherent and large classes of vulnerabilities are prevented by design.

For the three others, this appointment will be their first. Engram is looking forward to broadening her perspective in adjacent research areas, which she says can help bring new and exciting ideas to national security challenges. "I hope to contribute a practical perspective to the committee as someone who sees the unique, operational challenges faced by the government," Engram says.

At the Laboratory, Engram works on data integrity and secure data storage and messaging. One of her recent projects developed a secure platform to allow humanitarian workers to notify militaries in real time about their activities during armed conflict, to avoid inadvertent strikes. The previous system required 72 hours for notification.

McKee is excited to learn more about the peer-review process and to provide his thoughts on new research. He brings expertise in system security, compartmentalization, and zero-trust security to the committee. "I work on hardening commodity operating systems so that exploits within the operating systems can only affect the compartment that the exploited code belongs to, and nothing more," says McKee, whose team recently developed the Hardware-Assisted Kernel Compartmentalization technology to impose zero-trust security on computer systems.

Kaczmarek looks forward to applying his background in blockchain, data provenance, and useable security to the committee evaluations and discussions. At the Laboratory, Kaczmarek is pursuing a vision to move from network-centric security to data-centric security, by putting data into secure, encrypted data capsules.

Submissions to the symposium are now open, and reviews are already underway. The IEEE S&P will take place from May 20 to 22, 2024, in San Francisco.

Inquiries: contact Kylie Foy.