Friday 18 February 2011

Day 2 of B-Sides San Francisco

Day 2 of B-Sides SF (pictures all up now on my Picasa page)

After very little sleep, headed over to Zeum early and as one of the volunteers was missing presumed sick I volunteered to be a Roamer for the day. Red T-shirt (would this mean I wasn't goin to return), earpiece and simple duties (keep an eye out for people going where they shouldn't.)

There were so many good speakers on Day 2 I found myself dotting between them to try and pick up content, but I did enjoy Anton Chuvakin's talk on SIEM. Key point he made was that you need to plan resource for it. I quote "If you only have an hour a month to do SIEM, stick to log management. Dedicate at least 50% of someones time"

Andrew Hay, Richard Bejtlich and Travis Reese's talk on Cyber Security Marketecture was well received as well. Some arguments about particular points, but in a generally productive spirit. I think they focused a little too hard on APT to the exclusion of all else, but they did cover APT in a rational way, unlike the usual FUD. I like the comment about Stuxnet - not very advanced or persistent but definitely a cyber warfare threat.

I also managed to get brief interviews with Jack Daniel of Astaro and Jon Speer of Tripwire to find out what sponsors get out of BSides. They both had remarkably similar viewpoints. They see value from:
  • Connecting with security professionals
  • Learning from and teaching the security community
  • Meeting potential employees
  • Having fun
For those companies not sure, just get involved. Sponsor as little or as much as you can, and be part of the community.

After lunch I managed to win The Manga Guide to Databases in the raffle (Excellent Prize) before the BSidesSF Carousel ride!

Dave Shackleford and Andrew Hay's "A Brief History of Hacking" was also very entertaining, including along the way the good and bad hacker films.

Robert Zigweid of IOActive then spoke about a topic quite close to our hearts here at 7 Elements - Threat modelling taxonomy. He splits out into the following types:

  • spoofing
  • tampering
  • repudiation
  • information disclosure
  • denial of service
  • privilege escalation
And these impact categories:
  • damage potential
  • reproduceability
  • exploitability
  • affected users
  • discoverability
Damon Cortesi's talk on Developers also included Threat Modelling - it is becoming pervasive.

The EFF panel were very well received but I only caught a small piece of it: key usage of end to end encryption to avoid compromise from threat sources as well as to avoid misuse by governments and their view that subject lines and text messages are definitely content, and email addresses and IP addresses may be in certain circumstances.

Raffael Marty's log analysis and visualisation in the cloud. This is an area which is likely to become all too important as more and more services are pushed to the cloud. Loggly have the concept of logging as a service, and Raffael's talk included an important piece on the need for visibility of dynamically scaling virtualised environments and the hypervisor, as well as availability.

I then said my goodbyes to the wonderful BSidesSF folks and volunteers - Banasidhe, MikD, djbphaedrus, Duckie, CindyV etc and headed east for the Owasp meet, where we had very worrying discussion around the security of critical national infrastructure...

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