The Computer Security Foundations Symposium is an annual conference for researchers in computer security, to examine current theories of security, the formal models that provide a context for those theories, and techniques for verifying security. It was created in 1988 as a workshop of the IEEE Computer Society Technical Committee on Security and Privacy, in response to a 1986 essay by Don Good entitled "The Foundations of Computer Security - We Need Some." The meeting became a "symposium" in 2007, along with a policy for open, increased attendance.
Over the past two decades, many seminal papers and techniques have been presented first at CSF. In 2008, CiteSeer listed CSF as 38th out of more than 1200 computer science venues (top 3.11%) in impact based on citation frequency. CiteSeerX lists CSF 2007 as 7th out of 581 computer science venues (top 1.2%) in impact based on citation frequency.
The atmosphere of the symposium is informal, often in a peaceful, rural setting that encourages an exchange of thoughtful technical discussion by all attendees, both during and after scheduled presentations. It was held for seven years at the Franconia Inn, Franconia, New Hampshire, USA, and subsequently at various European and North American locations.
The program includes papers and panels. Topics of interest include access control, information flow, covert channels, secure protocols, database security, language-based security, authorization and trust, verification techniques, integrity and availability models, and broad discussions concerning the role of formal methods in computer security and the nature of foundational research in this area. The symposium program is chosen from among submissions by prospective participants.