USENIX Security '20 Preliminary Call for Papers

Symposium Overview

The USENIX Security Symposium brings together researchers, practitioners, system administrators, system programmers, and others interested in the latest advances in the security and privacy of computer systems and networks. The 29th USENIX Security Symposium will be held August 12–14, 2020, in Boston, MA, USA.

Important: The USENIX Security Symposium moved to multiple submission deadlines last year and included changes to the review process and submission policies. Detailed information is available at USENIX Security Publication Model Changes.

All researchers are encouraged to submit papers covering novel and scientifically significant practical works in computer security. The Symposium will span three days with a technical program including refereed papers, invited talks, posters, panel discussions, and Birds-of-a-Feather sessions. Co-located events will precede the Symposium on August 10 and 11.

Important Dates

Spring Quarter Deadline

  • Refereed paper submissions due: Wednesday, May 15, 2019, 8:00 pm EDT
  • Early reject notification: Monday, June 17, 2019
  • Author responses due: Friday, June 21, 2019
  • Notification to authors: Monday, August 19, 2019
  • Final papers due: Thursday, September 19, 2019, 11:59 pm EDT

Summer Quarter Deadline

  • Refereed paper submission due: Friday, August 23, 2019, 8:00 pm EDT
  • Early reject notification: Monday, September 23, 2019
  • Author responses due: Friday, September 27, 2019
  • Notification to authors: Friday, November 1, 2019
  • Final papers due: Monday, December 2, 2019, 11:59 pm EDT

Fall Quarter Deadline

  • Refereed paper submission due: Friday, November 15, 2019, 8:00 pm EDT
  • Early reject notification: Sunday, December 15, 2019
  • Author responses due: Friday, December 20, 2019
  • Notification to authors: Saturday, February 1, 2020
  • Final papers due: Monday, March 2, 2020, 11:59 pm EDT

Winter Quarter Deadline

  • Refereed paper submission due: Saturday, February 15, 2020, 8:00 pm EDT
  • Early reject notification: Sunday, March 15, 2020
  • Author responses due: Friday, March 20, 2020
  • Notification to authors: Friday, May 1, 2020
  • Final papers due: Monday, June 1, 2020, 11:59 pm EDT

  • Invited talk and panel proposals due: Friday, February 14, 2020, 8:00 pm EST
  • Poster proposals due: Tuesday, July 7, 2020, 9:00 pm EDT
    • Notification to poster presenters: Tuesday, July 14, 2020
  • Lightning talks information will be available soon.

Symposium Organizers

Program Co-Chairs

Srdjan Capkun, ETH Zurich
Franziska Roesner, University of Washington

Program Committee


Steering Committee

Matt Blaze, University of Pennsylvania
Dan Boneh, Stanford University
William Enck, North Carolina State University
Kevin Fu, University of Michigan
Casey Henderson, USENIX Association
Thorsten Holz, Ruhr-Universität Bochum
Jaeyeon Jung, Samsung Electronics
Engin Kirda, Northeastern University
Tadayoshi Kohno, University of Washington
Adrienne Porter Felt, Google
Thomas Ristenpart, Cornell Tech
David Wagner, University of California, Berkeley

Symposium Topics

Refereed paper submissions are solicited in all areas relating to systems research in security and privacy, including but not limited to:

  • System security
    • Operating systems security
    • Web security
    • Mobile systems security
    • Distributed systems security
    • Cloud computing security
  • Network security
    • Intrusion and anomaly detection and prevention
    • Network infrastructure security
    • Denial-of-service attacks and countermeasures
    • Wireless security
  • Security analysis
    • Malware analysis
    • Analysis of network and security protocols
    • Attacks with novel insights, techniques, or results
    • Forensics and diagnostics for security
    • Automated security analysis of hardware designs and implementation
    • Automated security analysis of source code and binaries
    • Program analysis
  • Data-driven security and measurement studies
    • Measurements of fraud, malware, spam
    • Measurements of human behavior and security
  • Privacy-enhancing technologies and anonymity
  • Usable security and privacy
  • Language-based security
  • Hardware security
    • Secure computer architectures
    • Embedded systems security
    • Methods for detection of malicious or counterfeit hardware
    • Side channels
  • Research on surveillance and censorship
  • Social issues and security
    • Research on computer security law and policy
    • Ethics of computer security research
    • Research on security education and training
  • Applications of cryptography
    • Analysis of deployed cryptography and cryptographic protocols
    • Cryptographic implementation analysis
    • New cryptographic protocols with real-world applications

This topic list is not meant to be exhaustive; USENIX Security is interested in all aspects of computing systems security and privacy. Papers without a clear application to security or privacy, however, will be considered out of scope and may be rejected without full review.

Refereed Papers

Papers that have been formally reviewed and accepted will be presented during the Symposium and published in the Symposium Proceedings. By submitting a paper, you agree that at least one of the authors will attend the conference to present it. If the conference registration fee will pose a hardship for the presenter of the accepted paper, please contact

A major mission of the USENIX Association is to provide for the creation and dissemination of new knowledge. In keeping with this and as part of USENIX’s open access policy, the Proceedings will be available online for registered attendees before the Symposium and for everyone starting on the opening day of the technical sessions. USENIX also allows authors to retain ownership of the copyright in their works, requesting only that USENIX be granted the right to be the first publisher of that work. See our sample consent form for the complete terms of publication.

Go to Paper Submission Policies and Instructions page for more information.

Symposium Activities

Invited Talks, Panels, Poster Session, and BoFs

In addition to the refereed papers and the keynote presentation, the technical program will include invited talks, panel discussions, a poster session, and Birds-of-a-Feather sessions (BoFs). You are invited to make suggestions regarding topics or speakers in any of these sessions via email to the contacts listed below or to the program co-chairs at

Invited Talks and Panel Discussions

Invited talks and panel discussions will be held in parallel with the refereed paper sessions. Please submit topic suggestions and talk and panel proposals via email to by Friday, February 14, 2020, 8:00 pm EST.

Poster Session

Would you like to share a provocative opinion, an interesting preliminary work, or a cool idea that will spark discussion at this year’s USENIX Security Symposium? The poster session is the perfect venue to introduce such new or ongoing work. Poster presenters will have the entirety of the evening reception to discuss their work, get exposure, and receive feedback from attendees.

To submit a poster, please submit a draft of your poster, in PDF (maximum size 36" by 48"), or a one-page abstract via the poster session submission form, which will be available here soon, by Tuesday, July 7, 2020, 9:00 pm EDT. Decisions will be made by Tuesday, July 14, 2020. Posters will not be included in the proceedings but may be made available online if circumstances permit. Poster submissions must include the authors’ names, affiliations, and contact information. At least one author of each accepted poster must register for and attend the Symposium to present the poster.

Lightning Talks

Information about lightning talks will be available soon.

Birds-of-a-Feather Sessions (BoFs)

Birds-of-a-Feather sessions (BoFs) will be held Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings. Birds-of-a-Feather sessions are informal gatherings of persons interested in a particular topic. BoFs often feature a presentation or a demonstration followed by discussion, announcements, and the sharing of strategies. BoFs can be scheduled on site or in advance. To schedule a BoF, please send email to the USENIX Conference Department at with the title and a brief description of the BoF; the name, title, affiliation, and email address of the facilitator; and your preference of date and time.

Go to Paper Submission Policies and Instructions