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Workshop on Binary Analysis Research (BAR) 2018 at NDSS on 18 February

Binary analysis refers to the process where human analysts and/or automated systems scrutinize the underlying code in software to discover, exploit, and defend against malice and vulnerabilities, oftentimes without access to source code. Through protecting legacy software deployed in all types of devices and platforms in the modern world, binary analysis techniques are becoming more and more critical in making our everyday life and our society more secure.

A Workshop on Binary Analysis Research (BAR) will be co-located with the Network and Distributed System Security Symposium (NDSS), and held in San Diego, CA, USA, on February 18, 2018.

The Workshop aims to provide an interaction point for researchers doing work in binary program analysis, with half of the workshop dedicated to traditional paper sessions and the other half to a roundtable discussion among researchers, implementers, and end-users of binary analysis techniques. BAR has attracted attention of many researchers, especially tool and framework authors, who actively work to create cutting-edge techniques and build powerful tools. Here we are happy to announce that eight high-quality academic papers have been accepted to appear in the paper sessions of the workshop, with presenters from both academia and industry. Researchers and authors of several famous binary analysis tools and frameworks, including BAP, Binary Ninja, BitBlaze-Fuzzball, BinCAT, CodeSurfer, Manticore, McSema, Panda, and S2E, will participate in the roundtable discussion.

With the analysis of binary programs once again becoming relevant due to the proliferation of interconnected embedded devices, the subfield of binary analysis has recently undergone a renaissance. Over the past few years, well over a dozen binary analysis frameworks were produced and released by well over a dozen research groups and private enterprise, putting the world in a situation where there are more binary analysis frameworks than there are web browsers. The situation has not been ignored by funding agencies, with massive grants, featuring binary analysis, being funded around the world. To drive the point home, in 2016, DARPA Cyber Grand Challenge turned automatic binary analysis, exploitation, and defense into something resembling a spectator sport.

It is worth noting that this binary analysis gold rush has taken place in a mostly uncoordinated manner, with some researchers meeting up on an ad-hoc basis at conferences and other research groups working in obscurity and isolation. As a result, while commonly adapted solutions to some problems have emerged, there is very little actual sharing and solution reuse among tools. This has resulted in missing tool functionality and needlessly duplicated effort, and has hampered the adoption of fundamental scientific advances in the field.

At the Workshop on the 18th, we are expecting great presentations, heated discussions, and exchange of brilliant ideas. If you are interested in reverse engineering and binary analysis, please consider registering for the workshop and paying us a visit!

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