[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 38 (Friday, February 25, 2011)]
[Pages 10627-10628]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-4272]



Assumption Buster Workshop: Trust Anchors Are Invulnerable

AGENCY: The National Coordination Office (NCO) for the Networking and 
Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD) Program.

ACTION: Call for participation.


SUMMARY: The NCO, on behalf of the Special Cyber Operations Research 
and Engineering (SCORE) Committee, an interagency working group that 
coordinates cyber security research activities in support of national 
security systems, is seeking expert participants in a day-long workshop 
on the pros and cons of the use and implementation of trust anchors. 
The workshop will be held April 27, 2011 in the Savage, MD area. 
Applications will be accepted until 5 p.m. EST March 18, 2011. Accepted 
participants will be notified by March 30, 2011.

DATES: Workshop: April 27, 2011; Deadline: March 18, 2011. Apply via e-
mail to [email protected]. Travel expenses will be paid for 
selected participants who live more than 50 miles from Washington, DC, 
up to the limits established by Federal Government travel regulations 
and restrictions.


    Overview: This notice is issued by the National Coordination Office 
for the Networking and Information Technology Research and Development 
(NITRD) Program on behalf of the SCORE Committee.
    Background: There is a strong and often repeated call for research 
to provide novel cyber security solutions. The rhetoric of this call is 
to elicit new solutions that are radically different from existing 
solutions. Continuing research that achieves only incremental 
improvements is a losing proposition. We are lagging behind and need 
technological leaps to get, and keep, ahead of adversaries who are 
themselves rapidly improving attack technology. To answer this call, we 
must examine the key assumptions that underlie current security 
architectures. Challenging those assumptions both opens up the 
possibilities for novel solutions that are rooted in a fundamentally 
different understanding of the problem and provides an even stronger 
basis for moving forward on those assumptions that are well-founded. 
The SCORE Committee is conducting a series of four workshops to begin 
the assumption buster process. The assumptions that underlie this 
series are that cyber space is an adversarial domain, that the 
adversary is tenacious, clever, and capable, and that re-examining 
cyber security solutions in the context of these assumptions will 
result in key insights that will lead to the novel solutions we 
desperately need. To ensure that our discussion has the requisite 
adversarial flavor, we are inviting researchers who develop solutions 
of the type under discussion, and researchers who exploit these 
solutions. The goal is to engage in robust debate of topics generally 
believed to be true to determine to what extent that claim is 
warranted. The adversarial nature of these debates is meant to ensure 
the threat environment is reflected in the discussion in order to 
elicit innovative research concepts that will have a greater chance of 
having a sustained positive impact on our cyber security posture.
    The second topic to be explored in this series is ``Trust Anchors 
are Invulnerable.'' The workshop on this topic will be held in the 
Savage, MD area on April 27, 2011.
    Assertion: ``Trust anchors are invulnerable thus users who 
faithfully deploy reliable trust anchors can be confident that they are 
immune from the attacks.''
    This assertion underlies significant cyber security research and 
development that is aimed at developing and implementing invulnerable 
trust anchors, security keystones that cannot be circumvented, and that 
assure that trust in a system is well grounded. Numerous trust anchors 
are proffered at different levels of assurance and for different 
aspects of the system. Platform trust is assured by

[[Page 10628]]

the Trusted Platform Module. Trusted authentication is provided by 
tokens. The padlock on the browser assures we can trust web 
interactions since they are protected by SSL. Close-held keys and 
strong key management systems assure cryptographic trust.
    At the workshop we will explore what assurances these trust anchors 
do and do not provide, what they depend upon, how they do or do not 
interact with the rest of the system, how they typically fail, and what 
needs to be addressed to enable effective use of them.

How To Apply

    If you would like to participate in this workshop, please submit 
(1) a resume or curriculum vita of no more than two pages which 
highlights your expertise in this area and (2) a one-page paper stating 
your opinion of the assertion and outlining your key thoughts on the 
topic. The workshop will accommodate no more than 60 participants, so 
these brief documents need to make a compelling case for your 
participation. Applications should be submitted to 
[email protected] no later than 5 p.m. EST on March 18, 2011.
    Selection and Notification: The SCORE committee will select an 
expert group that reflects a broad range of opinions on the assertion. 
Accepted participants will be notified by e-mail no later than March 
30, 2011. We cannot guarantee that we will contact individuals who are 
not selected, though we will attempt to do so unless the volume of 
responses is overwhelming.
    Submitted by the National Science Foundation for the National 
Coordination Office (NCO) for Networking and Information Technology 
Research and Development (NITRD) on February 22, 2011.

Suzanne H. Plimpton,
Reports Clearance Officer, National Science Foundation.
[FR Doc. 2011-4272 Filed 2-24-11; 8:45 am]