Workshop Overview

The LASER workshop series focuses on learning from and improving cybersecurity experiment results. The workshop strives to provide a highly interactive, collegial environment for discussing and learning from experimental methodologies, execution, and results. Ultimately, the workshop seeks to foster a dramatic change in the experimental paradigm for cybersecurity research, improving the overall quality and reporting of practiced science.

Each year, the LASER committee chooses a slightly different focus and approach to help the community reach the overall goals of the effort. This year, the LASER workshop is gathering a group of authors of accepted NDSS papers to come together to explore and discuss the experimental aspects of their work amongst themselves and other workshop participants. Conference papers all too often must focus on research results and contain limited discussion of the experimental aspects of the work. LASER will provide authors the opportunity to lead focused discussion on the experimental approaches and methodologies used to obtain their results.

We invite open participation by others interested in being part of and learning from such discussions. To participate, simply register for the workshop.

Workshop Format

The workshop will be structured as a true “workshop” in the sense that it will focus on discussion and interaction around the topic of experimental methodologies, execution, and results with the goal of encouraging improvements in experimental science in cybersecurity research. Authors will lead the group in a discussion of the experimental aspects of their work. Areas of interest include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Approaches to study design, including hypotheses and research questions
  • Experimental methodologies used and/or developed
  • Experiment design and instantiation techniques
  • Use of simulation, emulation, virtualization, and/or physical testbeds
  • Use of general-purpose experimentation infrastructure, such as Emulab and DETER
  • Integration of specialized hardware including CPS and IoT devices
  • Modeling of human-behavior characteristics
  • Software tools used and/or developed to perform experimentation
  • Approaches to experiment validation, monitoring, and data collection
  • Datasets used and/or developed to perform experimentation
  • Analytical techniques used and/or developed to evaluate experimental results
  • Development and use of measurements, metrics, and use cases
  • Attempts to replicate or reproduce results of earlier research as part of your work
  • Intermediate results including possible unsuccessful tests or experiments
  • Experimentation artifacts borrowed from and/or shared with the community

As a group, participants will discuss these areas and answer interesting questions such as: “How did you get the results?”, “What can be learned from your methodology?”, and “What did you try that did not succeed before getting to the results you presented?”.

Workshop Agenda

Experimental aspects of the work in the following NDSS papers will be discussed during the LASER workshop (this list is tentative and subject to change).

An Experimental Security Analysis of Relative Matching on a Genetic Genealogy Service
Peter Ney, Luis Ceze, and Tadayoshi Kohno (University of Washington)

Compliance Cautions: Investigating Security Issues Associated with U.S. Digital-Security Standards
Rock Stevens (University of Maryland); Josiah Dykstra and James Chapman (Independent security professional); Wendy Knox Everette (Leviathan Security Group); Garrett Bladow and Alexander Farmer (Independent security professional); Kevin Halliday and Michelle Mazurek (University of Maryland)

DefRec: Establishing Physical Function Virtualization to Disrupt Reconnaissance of Power Grids’ Cyber-Physical Infrastructures
Hui Lin and Jianing Zhuang (University of Nevada, Reno); Yih-Chun Hu (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign); Huayu Zhou (University of Nevada, Reno)

Hold the Door! Fingerprinting Your Car Key to Prevent Keyless Entry Car Theft
Kyungho Joo, Wonsuk Choi, and DongHoon Lee (Korea University)

The Attack of the Clones Against Proof-of-Authority
Parinya Ekparinya (University of Sydney); Vincent Gramoli (University of Sydney and Data61, CSIRO); Guillaume Jourjon (Data61, CSIRO)

TKPERM: Cross-platform Permission Knowledge Transfer to Detect Overprivileged Third-party Applications
Faysal Hossain Shezan and Kaiming Cheng (University of Virginia); Zhen Zhang and Yinzhi Cao (Johns Hopkins University); Yuan Tian (University of Virginia)

uRAI: Return Address Integrity for Embedded Systems
Naif Saleh Almakhdhub (Purdue University and King Saud University); Abraham A Clements (Sandia National Labs); Saurabh Bagchi (Purdue University); Mathias Payer (EPFL)

Preliminary Agenda

(subject to change; a more detailed agenda will be provided later).

Sunday, February 23
8:00 am – 7:00 pmRegistration
8:30 am – 10:15 amSession 1: Welcome, Workshop Goals/Organization, and Paper Discussions
10:15 am – 10:45 amMorning Workshop Break
10:45 am – 12:15 pmSession 2: Paper Discussions
12:15 pm – 1:15 pmWorkshop Lunch
1:15 pm – 3:00 pmSession 3: Keynote and Paper Discussions
3:00 pm – 3:30 pmAfternoon Workshop Bre
3:30 pm – 5:15 pmSession 4: Paper Discussions and Wrap-up

Workshop Papers

Participants in the LASER Workshop are invited to write new papers on their experimental work. The papers will be published in post-workshop proceedings. The new papers will be driven and guided, in part, by the discussions and interactions, and possibly even new collaborations, forged at the workshop.

Draft papers will be due approximately two months after the workshop. The program committee will review papers and provide notifications and feedback one month after submission. Final camera-ready papers will be due approximately one month later.

Important Dates

  • LASER Workshop @ NDSS: February 23, 2020
  • Draft Papers Submitted: April 23, 2020
  • Notifications and feedback: May 23, 2020
  • Final Papers Submitted: June 23, 2020
  • Papers Published: July 23, 2020

Program Committee

  • Dr. Jim Alves-Foss (University of Idaho), Program Chair

The program committee is currently being formed. More information will be provided later.


  • Terry Benzel (USC-ISI), General Chair
  • David Balenson (SRI International), Funding/Local Arrangements/Scholarships
  • Laura S. Tinnel (SRI International), Publicity/Web/IT Services

Further Information

Please see www.laser-workshop.org for more information about the LASER Workshop Series and 2020.laser-workshop.org for more information about LASER 2020. Send questions to info@laser-workshop.org.