Together with Asst. Prof. Martín Ochoa, I am currently setting up a team of researchers and students to compete in capture-the-flag (CTF) competitions. Such competitions are held on/ and offline, and usually consist of a range of individual security challenges (web, pwnage, crypto, forensics). We aim to participate in online events regularly to showcase our practical skills and train students. If you are interested to join, please contact me or Prof. Martín.

Writing Presentations in Org-mode Markup

For two years now, I am almost exclusively using the toolchain of org-mode+emacs+beamer+pdflatex to prepare my presentations for conferences and lectures. In this post, I want to share the basic setup to quickly reproduce for others. Disclaimer: If you have never used Emacs, then this method might not be very interesting for you.


Install the org-mode for Emacs using ELPA. Make sure the mode is loaded when opening an .org file. Currently, I am using Emacs 24.5.1 (Org mode 8.2.7b).

Minimal Example

Create a file in Emacs:

#+startup: beamer
#+LaTeX_CLASS: beamer
#+LaTeX_CLASS_OPTIONS: [presentation, aspectratio=54]
#+OPTIONS: H:2 num:t toc:nil \n:nil @:t ::t |:t ^:t -:t f:t *:t
#+OPTIONS: TeX:t LaTeX:t skip:nil d:nil todo:t pri:nil tags:not-in-toc
#+LATEX_HEADER: \input{../misc/SUTD-light}
#+latex_header: \AtBeginSection[]{\begin{frame}\frametitle{}\LARGE\insertsectionhead\vspace{0.1cm}\hrule\end{frame}}

#+TITLE: L1 - Introduction
#+AUTHOR: Nils Ole Tippenhauer
#+DATE: 50.020 Security/Spring term/2016

* This is a Section Title
** My first org-mode slide
- You can have bullet lists
- And sub-lists
- You can *highlight* words
- You can /emphasize/ words

I assume that you have the SUTD-light beamer theme installed in ../misc/, but you can also comment out that LATEX_HEADER line to get the default beamer style.
Now, you should be able to compile this to slides by using “C-C C-e l O” Emacs magic. The output can be seen here: org-mode test


To include a centered image into the slide, I normally use the following code, which should be self-explanatory

#+ATTR_LATEX: :width \linewidth

Animations, Only

This is where things become a bit messy, but still easy enough. I normally use the “<2->” style animations to put additional bullet points or answers to questions on a slide. The additional text will be invisible at the beginning, but still influence the layout. The “only” style animations do not consider the later content in the first layout, so it is not as useful for text. I use it exclusively to do “manual” animations of figures. For that, I draw each animation step separately (in Inkscape), and exchange the images on each slide.

I use separate blocks for each. In my theme, the standard block actually has same colors as background, so it is invisible. You generate block code by starting a new heading (without title) with ***, and then using C-C C-B b. I then manually add the BEAMER_act line into the block header.

Uncover example:

- This will be displayed first
*** :B_block:
:BEAMER_env: block
:BEAMER_act: <2->
- Then this will appear on the second animation slide

Beamer-style “only” is also possible, by using a block like this:

- This will be displayed first
*** :B_block:
:BEAMER_env: onlyenv
- Then this will appear on the second animation slide

To export the onlyenv, you need to add the following to your .emacs:

;; only env for org-mode beamer
(add-to-list 'org-beamer-environments-extra
'("onlyenv" "O" "\\begin{onlyenv}%a" "\\end{onlyenv}"))

Call for Papers: SCSP-W 2016

I’m on the TPC for the “Smart City Security and Privacy Workshop” (SCSP-W 2016), held in conjunction with CPS Week 2016 in Vienna, Austria on 11-14 April, 2016 – link.

CPS Week is the premier event on Cyber-Physical Systems and brings together academicians, industry experts, and government representatives from around the world. The SCSP-W workshop will focus on security and privacy aspects of smart cities that are pertinent to areas like Internet of Things (IoT), Smart Buildings, Smart‑Grid Systems, Critical Infrastructure Networks, Intelligent Transportation Systems, and Medical Devices. SCSP-W is a full day workshop and will include research papers, invited talks, and discussion sessions to facilitate exchange of research ideas in a community environment.

Submission deadline: January 822, 2016