Computer security as a discipline was first studied in the early 1970s, although the issues had influenced the development of many earlier systems such as the Atlas system and Multics. Unfortunately, many of the early seminal papers are often overlooked as developers (and sometimes researchers) rediscover problems and solutions, leading to wasted time and development effort.
We are identifying seminal papers in the field of computer security, synopsizing them, and putting them on a series of CD-ROMs. Each CD-ROM will also contain synopses of each paper on it and a key word index to aid the reader in locating papers quickly. The papers will be in their original text processing form (if available) and Postscript and PDF.
This information has several types of value. First, it provides a historical record of how computer security developed, and why. It provides a resource for computer security education. Instructors will be able to assign sets of papers for students to analyze without having to assemble the resource materials. Lastly, it provides a resource for practitioners, to which they can turn to see what has been suggested (and tried) before, under what conditions, and with what results.
We are beginning with seminal papers, technical reports, and other documents up to the early 1980's. Our first effort will include only those documents without copyright restrictions, because we wish to put out the first CD quickly (as proof that the idea of the project has merit). We plan to include between 10 and 30 papers. Later CDs will contain the contents of the first, plus substantially more papers.
These web pages contain information about the project. Please explore them!
SOMETHING ABOUT COMPUTERS
Generally, a computer is any electronic data-processing device that performs tasks, such as mathematical calculations or electronic communication, under the control of a set of instructions called a program. Programs usually reside within the computer's main memory and are retrieved and processed by the computer's electronics, and the program results are stored or routed to output devices, such as video display monitors or printers. It communicates with other electronic devices to receive data, store and manipulate them (using mathematical and logical calculations specified in a sequence of instructions called a program), and transmit the results; e.g. accept a sequence of numbers typed in at a keyboard, and plot a graph of them on a visual display unit, or monitor.
Computers are now familiar at work, home, and school, as desktop personal computers (PCs). They also exist as very small devices called microprocessors, to control electronic equipment and machinery, e.g. car engines; and as much larger devices such as supercomputers, used to model and predict weather, earthquakes, nuclear explosions, etc.
The heart of today's computers are integrated circuits (ICs), sometimes called microchips, or simply chips. These tiny silicon wafers can contain millions of microscopic electronic components and are designed for many specific operations: some control an entire computer (CPU, or central processing unit, chips); some perform millions of mathematical operations per second (math coprocessors); others can store more than 16 million characters of information at one time (memory chips).
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