IEEE Security & Privacy Call for Papers: Hacking without Humans

In August 2016, seven machines competed in the DARPA Cyber Grand Challenge (CGC) finals. Like previous DARPA Grand Challenges, the goal was to kick-start efforts to fully automate cyberdefense. Although machines have previously bested human champions in checkers, chess, and even Go, capture the flag (CTF)-style security contests are even more challenging. Unlike board games, CTFs are multiplayer games in which contestants must take action based on incomplete information. To compete in the event, teams had to field and integrate multiple strands of computer science research, including binary analysis and rewriting, symbolic and concrete execution, fuzz testing, game theory, automated exploit generation, and exploit mitigation.This special issue will focus on all things related to the DARPA CGC. Topics include, but aren’t limited to:

  • design and implementation of cyber-reasoning systems;
  • organization of semi- and fully autonomous cybersecurity competitions;
  • implementing and supporting CGC-style events, including infrastructure development,challenge development,rule development and strategy scoring, and dissemination of results and technical data;
  • case studies and lessons learned related to any CGC aspect;
  • transitioning CGC strategies and technology into practice; and
  • advancement of science or industry in support of cyber-reasoning development.

Submissions closely related to the CGC will be prioritized over tangentially related ones.

Submission Guidelines

  • Abstracts due to guest editors: 15 April 2017
  • Articles due in ScholarOne: 1 July 2017
  • Publication date: March/April 2018

Submissions will be subject to the IEEE Computer Society’s peer-review process. Articles should be at most 6,000 words, with a maximum of 15 references, and should be understandable to a broad audience of people interested in security, privacy, and dependability. The writing style should be down to earth, practical, and original. Authors should not assume that the audience will have specialized experience in a particular subfield. All accepted articles will be edited according to the IEEE Computer Society style guide. Submit your papers to Scholar­One at

Direct any questions and submit abstracts (by 15 April 2017) to the guest editors: