Twenty-eighth International Workshop on Security Protocols

Cambridge, England — 6-8 April 2020

The Organising Committee of the International Workshop on Security Protocols is pleased to announce that the twenty-eighth edition of this event will be held once again in Trinity College, Cambridge, UK on 6-8 April 2020. Attendance is by invitation only and to be considered for invitation you must submit a position paper. It will not be possible to come along as “just a member of the audience”. We invite the submission of position papers by 2 Jan 2020.

This long-running workshop has hosted lively debates with many security luminaries (the late Robert Morris, chief scientist at the NSA and well known for his pioneering work on Unix passwords, used to be a regular) and continues to provide a formative event for many young researchers. The post-proceedings, published in LNCS, contain not only the refereed papers but the curated transcripts of the ensuing discussions (see the website for pointers to past volumes).

Attendance at the International Workshop on Security Protocols is by invitation only. To be considered for invitation, please send us a position paper. Start writing now! "Writing the paper is how you develop the idea in the first place", in the wise words of Simon Peyton-Jones.


The theme of the 2020 workshop is going to be "intentional security".

“A system that has not been formally specified cannot misbehave, it can only behave in surprising ways.” - Young, Boebert, Kain (Proving a computer system secure. Scientific Honeyweller 6, 2 (1985))

Security “failures” sometimes involve a system behaving in ways that its designers (and users) did not intend - but often the problem is that our intentions turned out to have unintended consequences. Security countermeasures may be intended to prevent the system from exhibiting certain behaviours, but it is surprisingly hard to model or verify such anti-properties.

Can we capture more explicitly what we intend a system to be able - and even more importantly, unable - to do? Or should we just accept that security is an emergent property, and seek more dynamic approaches to expressing and managing intentions as their consequences become clear?

Note: We particularly encourage new participants not to consider the theme as restrictive: as long-time attendees already know, it is quite acceptable to offer a position paper just loosely related or inspired by the theme, on anything security-related, provided the paper is deemed likely to stimulate an interesting discussion. The theme is offered not as a definition of what’s on/off topic, but to help provide a particular perspective and focus to the discussions. Our intention is to stimulate discussion likely to lead to conceptual advances, or to promising new lines of investigation, rather than to consider finished work. New authors are encouraged to browse through past volumes of post-proceedings (search for Security Protocols Workshop in the Springer LNCS series) to get a flavour for the variety and diversity of topics that have been accepted in past years.


Authors should submit position papers (PDF, suggested length: 2-4 pages of A4) to the Program Chair, Vashek Matyas <matyas AT>, with message subject “SPW 2020 submission”, by 2 Jan 2020. Invitations or rejections (but not paper reviews or grades, which our selection process does not produce) will be sent back soon after that.


Below are the important dates.

Date(s) Significance
2 January 2020 Submission of position papers
TODO February Invitations to authors
TODO February Revised papers due
TODO February Registration deadline
6-8 April 2020 Workshop

If you are invited to the workshop, don’t forget that you can send us a revised copy of your paper (for inclusion in the pre-proceedings) by the deadline above.

Springer logoWorkshop post-proceedings with revised selected papers will be published within the Springer Lecture Notes in Computer Science series.


If you have any enquiries about the workshop that are not answered by the Dates or Ground Rules pages, please contact the Chair of this year’s organising committee (Frank Stajano).