Twenty-sixth International Workshop on Security Protocols

Cambridge, England — 19-21 March 2018

We are pleased to announce the twenty-sixth International Security Protocols Workshop, SPW 2018. The workshop will be held in the beautiful grounds of Trinity College, Cambridge, UK, from Monday 19th to Wednesday 21st of March 2018 (with Easter being 1st April).

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.


Our theme this year is “Fail-safe and fail-deadly concepts in protocol design”. Security protocols fail. Fortunately, they don’t fail all the time, although sometimes their failure is less evident than we would like. In some situations, specific partial protocol failures that are properly observed and recorded, can by design lead to responses that will still drive the protocol execution to a successful end. At other times, we deliberately aim for an all-or-nothing mindset: fail-deadly is a concept from nuclear military strategy, suggesting deterrence by an immediate and forceful response to an attack. It is interesting to investigate what differentiates these two design approaches to security protocols, and what they have in common when we consider a family of protocols where both fail-safe and fail-deadly versions come to consideration.

Fail–safe (Merriam-Webster)

  1. incorporating some feature for automatically counteracting the effect of an anticipated possible source of failure;
  2. being or relating to a safeguard that prevents continuing on a bombing mission according to a preconceived plan;
  3. having no chance of failure / infallibly problem-free.

Note: As usual, this theme is not prescriptive. It is not intended to restrict the topic of your paper, but to help provide a particular perspective and focus to the discussions, for any paper in some way related to security protocols. Consider the theme as a springboard, not a fence. 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.


Position papers must be submitted through the form on the website by 23:59 UTC+0 on 15 January 2017.

To be considered for invitation, you must send us a first draft of a position paper by the published deadline. Short indicative submissions are preferred, preferably no more than 2000 words. You will have the opportunity to extend and revise your paper both before the pre-proceedings are issued, and after the workshop. At the workshop, you will be expected to spend ten minutes introducing the idea of your paper. This will be followed by a longer discussion.


Below are the important dates (all in 2018).

Date(s) Significance
15 January Submission of position papers
12 February Invitations to authors
26 February Revised papers due
26 February Registration deadline
19-21 March 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).