Visible to the public SoK: Science, Security, and the Elusive Goal of Security as a Scientific PursuitConflict Detection Enabled

TitleSoK: Science, Security, and the Elusive Goal of Security as a Scientific Pursuit
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsCormac Herley, P.C. van Oorschot
Conference LocationSan Jose
Keywordscomputer security research, connections between research, history of science, observable world, philosophy of science, science of security

Abstract--The past ten years has seen increasing calls to make security research more "scientific". On the surface, most agree that this is desirable, given universal recognition of "science" as a positive force. However, we find that there is little clarity on what "scientific" means in the context of computer security research, or consensus on what a "Science of Security" should look like. We selectively review work in the history and philosophy of science and more recent work under the label "Science of Security". We explore what has been done under the theme of relating science and security, put this in context with historical science, and offer observations and insights we hope may motivate further exploration and guidance. Among our findings are that practices on which the rest of science has reached consensus appear little used or recognized in security, and a pattern of methodological errors continues unaddressed.


I think this may well prove to be the most significant paper on science of security published this year. - Carl Landwehr, 2012 National Cyber Security Hall of Fame Inductee

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