HotSec '20 Call for Participation

The 2020 USENIX Summit on Hot Topics in Security (HotSec '20) will take place August 11, 2019, and will be co-located with the 29th USENIX Security Symposium in Boston, MA, USA.

Important Dates

  • Lightning talk submissions due by Thursday, June 4, 2020
  • Notifications to lightning talk presenters sent by Monday, June 15, 2020

Summit Organizers

Program Co-Chairs

Kevin R. B. Butler, University of Florida
Emily Stark, Google


HotSec aims to bring together researchers across computer security disciplines to discuss the state of the art, with emphasis on future directions and emerging areas.

HotSec is not your traditional security workshop! The day will consist of sessions of lightning talks on emerging work and positions in security, followed by discussion among attendees. Talks are 10 MINUTES in duration—time limit strictly enforced with a gong! The format provides a way for lots of individuals to share ideas with others in a quick and more informal way, which will inspire breakout discussion for the remainder of the day.

Some of the most successful HotSec lightning talks take and defend a strong position. This instigates real discussion, and we encourage you to do so!

Potential Topics

We welcome talks on a wide range of computer security topics. Here are some prompts to help you get started:

  • If you are a grad student: tell us about a research project that isn't quite ready for a paper, a project that failed, or a negative result.
  • If you are a professor: tell us about the paper you've worked on that best stood the test of time, a paper that you've always wanted to see written but hasn't popped up yet, or a position that's controversial in the community.
  • If you work in industry: tell us about a problem you wish academic researchers would focus on, or an assumption that researchers commonly make that doesn't hold in the real world. Or tell us a story about the gnarliest vulnerability you've ever seen.
  • If you are an undergrad student: tell us what most surprised you in your computer security class, or what terrible security flaws exist in your classmates' preferred social media platforms.
  • If you are retired: tell us what mistakes you see the security community making over and over again, or what you would work on if you were starting your career from scratch today.

Once again there will be prizes based on audience feedback for the:

  • Most engaging talk
  • Most amusing talk
  • Most surprising talk
  • Most controversial talk

Submission Format

Unlike previous years, this year we'll ask each submission to come in the format of a 1-2 page PDF describing your talk. Please describe the main idea of your talk, why it's important, and what interesting discussions you think it will provoke. Feel free to use figures if you think they will help clarify the concepts you're describing. There are no formal formatting requirements.

Practice Talks

We'll offer each speaker the (optional) opportunity to participate in a video conference practice talk with the co-chairs to polish their talk in advance of the workshop.