Visible to the public The Science of Security: Perspectives and Prospects

Abstract: Within the last few years there has been a steadily increasing interest in establishing the Science of Computer Security, starting, at least, as far back as the joint NSF/ IARPA/NSA workshop on the topic in the Fall of 2008. However, from a certain perspective there is actually a much longer history of advances in Computer Security that would qualify as being scientific. This talk will take a look at some of the criteria of what constitutes science and uses those criteria to demonstrate that Computer Security actually possesses a solid history of scientific progress. That said, there are certain areas where a more scientific approach to computer security could be beneficial. This talk will also examine some of those areas and the difficulties they present.

mclean.jpgBio: John D. McLean is Superintendent of the Naval Research Laboratory's Information Technology Division. He became Acting Superintendent in 2002 and was confirmed as Superintendent and appointed to the Government's Senior Executive Service in 2003. As Superintendent, he supervises over 325 government scientists, support personnel, and contractors, and he is responsible for formulating, selling, and executing ITD's $125M program in basic research, exploratory development, and advanced technology demonstrations in the areas of Artificial Intelligence and Autonomous Systems, High Assurance Systems and Cyber Security, Human/Computer Interaction, Network Technology and Communication Systems, and High Performance Computing. Prior to becoming Superintendent, Dr. McLean was a member of the Government's Senior Science and Technology Service and NRL's Senior Scientist for Information Assurance.

Dr. McLean came to NRL in 1980. As a Research Computer Scientist, he has published approximately 100 technical articles and reviews, including several seminal papers, in the areas of software specification and formal models for computer security. In 1988 he helped create the Navy's Center for High Assurance Computer Systems within ITD, establishing and heading the Center's Formal Methods Section. In 1994 he became Director of the Center, which during his tenure transitioned technological advances into several successful products, including early implementations of IPSec and IPv6, devices that support a variety of MSL architectures, and the world's first Type 1 programmable cryptographic device. While at NRL, he has also served as a Senior Research Fellow of the University of Cambridge's Centre for Communications Systems and has held positions as an Adjunct Professor of Computer Science for the University of Maryland, the National Cryptologic School, and Troisieme Cycle Romand d'Informatique.

Dr. McLean has served as an Associate Editor for Distributed Computing, Journal of Computer Security, ACM Transactions on Information and System Security, and International Journal of Information and Computer Security. He is the Chair of the NATO Science and Technology Organization Information Systems Technology Panel and the US Navy Representative to the Technical Cooperation Program (TTCP) C3I Group. He has been Conference Chair for the IEEE Symposium on Research in Security and Privacy and Program Chair for that conference, the IEEE Computer Security Foundations Workshop, and COMPASS. He is the recipient of an Outstanding Paper Award from the IEEE Computer Society (1990), the Presidential Rank Award of Meritorious Executive (2008), an NRL Distinguished Contribution Award (2000), and four NRL Alan Berman Research Publication Awards.

Dr. McLean holds Ph.D., M.S., and M.A. degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a B.A. degree from Oberlin College.

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