Past Competitions

Visible to the public 

6th Annual | 5th Annual | 4th Annual | 3rd Annual | 2nd Annual | 1st Annual

  6 T H  A N N U A L  B E S T  S C I E N T I F I C  C Y B E R S E C U R I T Y  P A P E R  C O M P E T I T I O N  

The sixth Annual NSA Competition for Best Scientific Cybersecurity Paper recognized the best scientific cybersecurity paper published in 2017. Papers were nominated between January 1, 2017 through December 31, 2017. One paper was selected for recognition from the 28 nominations received. The winning paper is How Shall We Play a Game? A Game-theoretical Model for Cyber-warfare Games by Tiffany Bao, Yan Shoshitaishvili, Ruoyu Wang, Christopher Kruegel, Giovanni Vigna, and David Brumley. These researchers are from Carnegie Mellon University and University of California, Santa Barbara. This paper was originally accepted at 30th IEEE Computer Security Foundations Symposium (CSF '17).

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  5 T H  A N N U A L  B E S T  S C I E N T I F I C  C Y B E R S E C U R I T Y  P A P E R  C O M P E T I T I O N  

The fifth Annual NSA Competition for Best Scientific Cybersecurity Paper recognized the best scientific cybersecurity paper published in 2016. Papers were nominated between January 1, 2016 through December 31, 2016. One paper was selected for recognition from the 38 nominations received. The winning paper is “You Get Where You're Looking For: The Impact of Information Sources on Code Security” (Free Open Access Copy) by Yasemin Acar, Michael Backes, Sascha Fahl, Doowon Kim, Michelle L. Mazurek, Christian Stransky. These researchers are at CISPA, Saarland University in Germany and at The University of Maryland, College Park in the United States. The paper was presented at the 2016 IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy - Oakland.

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  4 T H  A N N U A L  B E S T  S C I E N T I F I C  C Y B E R S E C U R I T Y  P A P E R  C O M P E T I T I O N  

The fourth Annual NSA Competition for Best Scientific Cybersecurity Paper recognized the best scientific cybersecurity paper published in 2015. Papers were nominated between December 1, 2015 through March 31, 2016. Three papers were selected for recognition from the 54 nominations received. The winning paper is Nomad: Mitigating Arbitrary Cloud Side Channels via Provider-Assisted Migration by Soo-Jin Moon, Vyas Sekar and Michael Reiter from Carnegie Mellon University and University of North Carolina. It was presented at Association for Computer Machinery (ACM) Conference on Computer and Communications Security (CCS 15). Two papers are being recognized as honorable mentions: Quantum-Secure Covert Communication on Bosonic Channels and Increasing Cybersecurity Investments in Private Sector Firms.

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  3 R D  A N N U A L  B E S T  S C I E N T I F I C  C Y B E R S E C U R I T Y  P A P E R  C O M P E T I T I O N  

The third annual competition recognized papers published in 2014. Papers were nominated between December 1, 2014 through March 31, 2015 and 50 nominations were received. Three papers were selected for recognition, a winning paper and two papers for an honorable mention. The winning paper, "Additive and Multiplicative Notions of Leakage and Their Capacities," is a research paper presented at the 2014 IEEE Computer Security Foundations Symposium writted by Prof. Mario S. Alvim, Dr. Kostas Chatzikokolakis, Prof. Annabelle McIver, Prof. Carroll Morgan, Prof. Catuscia Palamidessi and Prof. Geoffrey Smith.The first paper receiving an honorable mention, "Increasing Security Sensitivity with Social Proof: A Large-Scale Experimental Confirmation," was written by Sauvik Das, Dr. Adam D.I. Kramer, Prof. Laura Dabbish and Prof. Jason Hong. The second paper receiving an honorable mention, "Quantitative Evaluation of Dynamic Platform Techniques as a Defensive Mechanism," was written by Dr. Hamed Okhravi, Dr. James Riordan, and Dr. Kevin Cater. An Award Ceremony honoring the achievement of these scientists was held on November 10th, 2015 at NSA. Dr. Deborah Frincke, NSA Research Director presented them with certificates of accomplishment for their contributions to foundational cybersecurity knowledge.

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  2 N D  A N N U A L  B E S T  S C I E N T I F I C  C Y B E R S E C U R I T Y  P A P E R  C O M P E T I T I O N  

The second annual competition invited nominations of papers published between October 1, 2012 and December 31, 2013. The winning paper, "Memory Trace Oblivious Program Execution," was originally presented at the 2013 IEEE Computer Security Foundation by Chang Lui, Dr. Michael Hicks, and Dr. Elaine Shi. Their research centered on the development of a scientific foundation for the use of Oblivious RAM (ORAM) in programs. Of the 35 papers nominated one received honorable mention in this year's competition - "Rethinking SSL Development in an Appified World" by Sascha Fahl, Marian Harbach, Henning Perl, Markus Koetter, and Dr. Matthew Smith from the Distributed Computing and Security Group at Leibniz University in Hannover, Germany. The authors studied the possible causes of SSL problems on "appified" platforms, and their results showed that the root cause is not simply careless developers, but also the limitations and issues of the current SSL development paradigm.

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  1 S T  A N N U A L  B E S T  S C I E N T I F I C  C Y B E R S E C U R I T Y  P A P E R  C O M P E T I T I O N  

The first NSA Competition for Best Scientific Cybersecurity Paper invited nominations of papers published in fiscal year 2012 (Oct. 1, 2011 - Sept. 30, 2012) that show an outstanding contribution to cybersecurity science. The winning paper was “The Science of Guessing:  Analyzing an Anonymized Corpus of 70 Million Passwords", by Joseph Bonneau. The paper offered careful and rigorous measurements of password use in practice and theoretical contributions to how to measure and model password strength and reflected many dimensions of good science. Two other papers were recognized as honorable mentions. "On Protection by Layout Randomization” by Martín Abadi and Gordon Plotkin was recognized as a significant theoretical paper. The paper “Before We Knew It:  An Empirical Study of Zero-Day Attacks in the Real World” by Leyla Yumer and Tudor Dumitraş was recognized as a significant data science paper.

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