Spaf's Notable Activities



In the News & On the WWW

Short Bio

Full C.V. PDF indicator

Selected Firsts

Notable Activities

My CERIAS Blog Posts

Spaf & the US Gov

Courses & Teaching

Information for Grad Students

Students Past and Present

Research and Papers

Selected Quotes

Miscellaneous Items

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On-going Activities


CERIAS is the Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security. Spaf is the Executive Director Emeritus of this campus-wide Center, with a broadly-focused mission to explore issues related to protecting information and information resources.

ACM U.S. Public Policy Committee

Spaf is a past chair. This group helps advise legislators and regulators about the impact of policy on cmputing technology and vice versa.

CRA Board of Directors

Spaf is one of ACM's representatives on the Computing Research Association board of directors, from 1998-2007 and 2022-2025.

Government Testimony and Advice

Spaf has been called on to testify before Congress, advise the President, and provide advice to government agencies. This page provides further details.

Computers & Security

Spaf is the Editor-in-Chief of the journal Computers & Security -- the field's oldest journal.

Notable Past Activities


Spaf was a member of the President's Information Technology Advisory Committee (PITAC) for 2003-2005.

Senior Advisor at NSF

Spaf spent the 2003-2004 academic year at the National Science Foundation as a senior advisor to the Assistant Director of CISE, Dr. Peter Freeman. In this role he assisted in formulating general plans for programs such as the Cyber Trust solicitation, and increasing awareness of the interdisciplinary aspects of cyber security, privacy, and cyber forensics.

The Beta Indiana Chapter of Upsilon Pi Epsilon

Upsilon Pi Epsilon (UPE) is the international honor society for the computing sciences. Spaf was a founder and long-time faculty advisor of the Purdue University Chapter (Beta Chapter of Indiana).

The COAST Laboratory

The COAST Laboratory existed from 1992-1998 in the CS Department at Purdue as a focus for information security research. It has been subsumed by CERIAS.

US Air Force Scientific Advisory Board

Spaf was a member of the the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board in 1999-2003. This group provides expert scientific advice to the Chief of Staff of the Air Force regarding current and future technology issues.

The Spyder Project

A research project concerned with research into new methods of debugging software. My first three Ph.D. students worked on this project.

The Purdue Computer Emergency Response Team

Spaf was a founding member of this group whose mission was to coordinate responses to computer security problems at Purdue. He was also Purdue's Chief Information Security Office (CISO) for several years.

Poly2 Project

This project is one under CERIAS where we are trying to build a server that is based on classic security principles, and is highly-resistant to attack and failure. More information is on the project home page.

The MESSIAHS Project

Research into scheduling mechanisms for autonomous, heterogeneous, distributed computing systems.


Spaf was a member of DSSG-V, the fifth incarnation of the IDA/DARPA Defense Science Study Group.

Spaf's involvement in guiding the Usenet

For 11 years, I updated the newusers postings and posted them to the net. I was the person who "created" the Usenet backbone concept (and thus the Usenet Cabal), helped design the current naming structure of Usenet, answered thousands of newbie questions, and many other activities. In 1993, I retired from the task.

IFIP Working Group 11.4: Network Security

Spaf is a past chair of this IFIP working group. IFIP TC11.4 is devoted to research in network security issues.

WIPO/DCMA Opposition

I coordinated efforts to educate representatives in Congress to the flaws in the Digital Millenium Copyright Act. Unfortunately, it was passed without fixing all the problems. The USACM continues to address these problems.