The 2nd International Workshop on Ethics in Computer Security
(EthiCS 2023)

Ethics in computer security research are increasingly critical. Security research may not only involve human subjects and user data, thus is subject to ethics considerations, but also assess the security of computer systems by breaking them (a.k.a offensive security research), which often raises ethical concerns. Unethical security research would cause significant harms to the society and in turn hurt the community. “Ethics in Computer Security Research” is still an under-studied area. Researchers may lack clear guidelines and resources. For instance, many research institutions still do not have IRB or the ethics-review board, and researchers are expected to properly handle ethical concerns on their own. Consequently, ethical concerns are not uncommon in security research. It is thus urgent for the community to provide ethical guidelines for international researchers and enforce ethics as a discipline. This workshop aims to provide an international forum for researchers, practitioners, and administrators, from security and other areas, to bring and exchange perspectives, lessons learned, and new insights into the guidelines and practices of ethical computer security research. As a result, it expects to help generate new guidelines for future ethical security research, to call for resources assisting security researchers, and to raise awareness of even implicit ethical concerns.

EthiCS is co-located with The Network and Distributed System Security (NDSS’23), February 27, 2023. It will be held at the Catamaran Resort Hotel & Spa, San Diego, California.

Scope and Topics

EthiCS welcomes submissions on studies, proposals of protocols, reflections, risk modeling, measurements on ethics in security research, as well as technical papers on protecting data and providing controlled safe experimental environments. Full papers, work-in-progress short reports, and proposals are all welcome. We would like to broadly invite submissions related to ethics in security research. The covered topics include, but not limited to:

  • Ethical reflections and analyses on existing security research
  • Ethical considerations in security research
    • How ethical concerns are properly addressed in existing research
    • Implicit ethical concerns identified in security research
  • Proposals of ethics protocols
    • How ethical concerns can be addressed at institutions without IRB or ethics review boards
    • Ethical considerations beyond IRB
  • Modeling of threats and risks of security research
  • Subject-consent management
  • Techniques for ethical research
    • Approaches for protecting sensitive data
    • Approaches for controlled and safe experimental environments
  • Measurements and user study
    • Risks, impact, fairness, etc.
  • Security research with a strong, extended component on ethical considerations and practices

All papers will be published by the Internet Society.


EthiCS encourages submissions of full papers and short papers from academia, industry, and government. Short papers must be up to 4 pages and long papers must be up to 8 pages, including references. All papers are in the NDSS conference proceedings format. Submitted papers must adhere to the NDSS symposium proceeding template. Submissions must be written in English and typeset in A4 format. We recommend using LaTeX, and suggest you first compile the supplied LaTeX source as is, checking that you obtain the same PDF as the one supplied. Then, write your paper into the LaTeX template, replacing the boilerplate text. Please do not use other templates. Submissions must be in Portable Document Format (.pdf). Authors should pay special attention to unusual fonts, images, and figures that might create problems for reviewers. Your document should render correctly in Adobe Reader XI and when printed in black and white.

EthiCS will accept anonymous submissions and apply a double-blind peer-review process for them. Submissions must be fully anonymized, including submissions discussing existing research or author’s prior research. All submissions are expected to follow the guidelines for ethical research and human subject research if applicable and address potential ethical concerns.

The PC will select best paper award(s) for work that provides significant insights, ideas, or approaches for ethical security research.

Papers must be submitted at and may be updated at any time until the submission deadline expires.

Publication and Presentation

All papers will be published by the Internet Society. At least one authors of each accepted submission will register and present at the workshop. Authors are responsible for obtaining appropriate publication clearances. We are expecting to hold an in person conference and that authors will be able to travel to the conference to present their paper, but will make allowances for remote presentation in cases where all authors of a paper have legitimate reasons they are unable to attend in person.

Important Dates

  • Paper submission: December 20, 2022 Extended to January 4, 2023 (AoE, UTC -12)
  • Notification: January 20, 2023
  • Camera-ready paper: February 3, 2023
  • Workshop: February 27, 2023

Workshop Co-Chairs

Program Committee

  • Frank Li, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • David Evans, University of Virginia
  • Ruba Abu-Salma, King’s College London
  • Gang Wang, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Enrico Mariconti, University College London
  • Sara Tehranipoor, West Virginia University
  • Allison McDonald, Boston University
  • Catherine Meadows, Naval Research Laboratory
  • Bradley Reaves, North Carolina State University
  • Haixin Duan, Tsinghua University
  • Lenzini Gabriele, SnT/University of Luxembourg
  • Fengwei Zhang, SUSTech
  • Neil Gong, Duke University


Contact EthiCS 2023 chairs at: [email protected].