About René Pfeiffer

System administrator, lecturer, hacker, security consultant, technical writer and DeepSec organisation team member. Has done some particle physics, too. Prefers encrypted messages for the sake of admiring the mathematical algorithms at work.

Reminder for your Training @ DeepSec 2020: Bypassing CSP via ajax.googleapis.com – Dawid Czagan

René Pfeiffer/ September 11, 2020/ Conference/ 0 comments

Content Security Policy (CSP) is the number one defensive technology in modern web applications. A good CSP offers a lot of possibilities, but it is hard to develop. Mistakes are common, too. Many developers add ajax.googleapis.com to CSP definitions, because they use libraries from this very popular content distributions network (CDN) in their web applications. The problem is that it completely bypasses the CSP and obviously you don’t want that to happen. Since CSP should be part of any modern application, you better get to work and brush up your knowledge. In a free video Dawid Czagan (DeepSec Instructor) will show you step-by-step how your CSP can be bypassed by hackers. Watch this free video and feel the taste of Dawid Czagan’s Live Online Training ”Black Belt Pentesting / Bug Hunting Millionaire: Mastering Web

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Administrivia: Updated COVID-19 counter measures document

René Pfeiffer/ September 9, 2020/ Conference/ 0 comments

In software development and system administration some data sets are periodically updated. This is true for our COVID-19 counter measures document. We updated some sections and whacked our reverse proxy a bit (i.e. reduced the caching limits). We can’t do much about the travel regulations and your company policy, but we gone through great efforts to make your stay at DeepSec and DeepINTEL as safe as possible. 1918 is the new 1984. Stay healthy! Keep yourself air-gapped!

Reminder for your Training @ DeepSec 2020: Token Hijacking via PDF – Dawid Czagan

René Pfeiffer/ September 9, 2020/ Conference/ 0 comments

PDF files are everywhere. No day goes by without someone having used a PDF document. This is why PDF files are the perfect hacking tool. They can even be used to hack your web application. Imagine that the attacker prepares a malicious PDF file which steals sensitive data from a user. The PDF file is uploaded to the web application, the user reads this PDF file, and finally sensitive data is exfiltrated from the user’s browser. It’s scary, isn’t it? In a free video Dawid Czagan (DeepSec Instructor) will show you-step-by step how this attack works and how you can check if your web application is vulnerable to this attack. Watch this free video and feel the taste of Dawid Czagan’s Live Online Training ”Black Belt Pentesting / Bug Hunting Millionaire: Mastering Web Attacks with

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Administrivia – DeepSec 2020 Schedule, in-depth Articles, and Tickets

René Pfeiffer/ September 1, 2020/ Administrivia, Conference/ 0 comments

We have some news. The schedule for DeepSec is getting stable. 🎉 Juggling the presentations slots and keeping in touch with all speakers and trainers is always the most dynamic part of DeepSec events. The current situation puts an extra strain on the preparations. We intend to conduct as much on-site presentations as possible. So far only two trainings and selected talks will be virtual. The main part of the schedule will be physically on-site. Please note our updated counter COVID-19 measures document. We have some more features planned for anyone attending, because we want to keep you busy during the conference. The ticket shop is online and waiting for your orders. We know that most people book late. Usually this is not a problem. Nevertheless we like to ask you to book early

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DeepSec 2020 preliminary Schedule published

René Pfeiffer/ August 22, 2020/ Conference/ 0 comments

In Summer time slows down considerably. This has nothing to do with the theory of relativity. It’s just hot, people take some time off, and messaging latency significantly increases. In turn we have to speed up the reviews and come up with a selection. As always, this has been very hard. You sent us very high quality submissions. Thanks for making the selection process hard for us. 😍 The preliminary schedule is where it has always been in the past years. Please note that two trainings will be virtual trainings. All other trainings will be on-site unless we are forced to conduct them virtually as well. With COVID-19 being the Corona elephant in the room for all events all over the world, we created a document to address the health situation. DeepSec and DeepINTEL

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Administrivia: DeepSec Mailing Lists and last Call for our CfPs

René Pfeiffer/ July 25, 2020/ Administrivia, Conference/ 0 comments

Summer is always a bad time for getting things done. Usually people are on holiday, sweat, relax, or travel for recreation. Things are different due to the Covid-19 precautions. Unfortunately our Call for Papers ends on 31 July 2020. This means we have to remind you about the deadline. We plan to publish the schedule in mid-August, so we don’t have much choice to ask you again for research results, insights, incidents, weaknesses, helpful hints for defence, and more.. Tell us about your research. Keep our reviewers busy! We have some additional information. We added a mailing list system to our infrastructure. The server is run by our event partners, the Crowes. So you can get news by raven, not only figuratively. The mailing lists we created are a tool to keep you informed.

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Administrivia: DeepSec/DeepINTEL/ROOTS Speaker Benefits extended to 2021

René Pfeiffer/ July 8, 2020/ Call for Papers, Conference/ 0 comments

The Call for Papers of DeepSec, DeepINTEL, and ROOTS have a deadline. DeepSec and DeepINTEL have set he first deadline to 31 July 2020. We will accept submissions after this date, but everyone who submitted before the deadline will be reviewed first. Since all speakers are entitled to benefits which depend on their presence at the conference we decided to extend these offers. If you submit your presentation for the 2020 events and cannot attend, then all benefits such as entry to the conference, travel cost reimbursement, our famous speaker’s dinner, your stay at the hotel, and everything else will stay valid until DeepSec 2021. The only condition is that your content must be presented (either virtually or by proxy). The offer is valid for DeepSec and ROOTS. DeepINTEL is a special case, because

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Lectures on Information Security

René Pfeiffer/ July 1, 2020/ Discussion, High Entropy/ 0 comments

It’s time for an editorial to end our premature Covid-19 induced Summer break. We (as in the staff behind DeepSec/DeepINTEL) were busy with projects, preparations, following the news about the pandemic, and collecting information for our event(s) in November. Personally I have been involved in teaching for decades. The past months have shifted the focus heavily on virtual presences in the form of teleconferences. Keeping hundreds of students busy while explaining how operating systems work and how secure code looks tends to take up some of your time. Good network connections and decent hardware helped a lot, but there are a couple of problems with conveying content, concepts, and ideas. Let me show you what I mean. Getting good tutorials is hard. The new agile way of computer science is to ditch good documentation

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Administrivia Update: Regulations, Ticket Shop, and DeepSec

René Pfeiffer/ May 29, 2020/ Administrivia, Conference

Clear guidelines for events and conferences slowly emerge here in Austria. We have some news on how DeepSec, DeepINTEL, and ROOTS will look like in November. We will compile the set of regulations in a separate document and publish it on our web site. The constraints set by the authorities contain no show-stoppers for the event and the trainings. We will carefully work out a concept which we will use in November for everything that is going on on site in Vienna. 😷 We have the full support of our conference hotel, and we are confident that we can increase health protection and decrease risks for everyone attending. In addition we found some bug in the ticket shop system. The tickets for DeepINTEL, DeepSec conference / training, and ROOTS can be bought via the

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Update and Reminder – DeepSec/DeepINTEL Call for Papers is still open

René Pfeiffer/ May 27, 2020/ Call for Papers, Conference

We have added another training to the schedule. Irene Michlin (IBM) will teach you about threat modelling and how to integrate threats into your software development life cycle. Further details will be published in our blog. Speaking of content – the call for papers for both DeepSec and DeepINTEL are still open. We are looking for your contribution. And then there is the inevitable update on DeepSec and the current pandemic situation. A lot of countries discuss how to proceed in terms of regulations, health protection, and logistics such as travel. We would very much link to official information on travel, accommodation, additional procedures during our event, and how DeepSec will look like in November. Sadly we cannot do this yet. The facts are that the Austrian hotels open on 29 May 2020 again.

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Administrivia for DeepSec, DeepINTEL, and trainings

René Pfeiffer/ May 13, 2020/ Administrivia, Conference

We cleared some administrative obstacles in the past weeks. The conference hotel has confirmed that DeepSec and DeepINTEL can happen in November. Of course, we cannot look into the future, but technically everything is in place. We still don’t know how the regulations for events will look like, but we definitely plan to have a traditional conference in November. DeepSec and especially DeepINTEL cannot be moved easily into a virtual venue. We rely on face-to-face communication, having groups of people chat in our lounge areas, and random encounters in the foyer. One way or another we are convinced that this can happen. We will let you know about any changes, but we will carefully proceed. In order to improve the way you can learn new things and practice your security skills we made some

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Update on DeepSec / DeepINTEL / ROOTS 2020 with regards to Covid-19

René Pfeiffer/ May 2, 2020/ Administrivia, Discussion, High Entropy

Lacking time travel we have no way to know what will happen in November 2020. That’s not news to us. We closely follow the development of the current Covid-19 crisis, and we constantly evaluate our plans for DeepSec, DeepINTEL, and ROOTS 2020. Given the current state of affairs and the experiments in various countries (including Austria) with lowering the restrictions for business and public life, we believe that our conferences can take place in November. There may be restrictions still present in November with regard to travel and protection measures at our venue. We have developed a schedule for keeping you informed. Additionally we have plans for changing the schedule in order to guarantee the minimum level of content required by our call for papers process. Updates regarding the state of our events in

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First DeepSec 2020 Trainings confirmed

René Pfeiffer/ May 2, 2020/ Conference

We haven’t been idle in the past weeks. The Austrian government is reducing the lock-down rules to see how normal business and private life can go on. We take this as an opportunity to announce the first three confirmed trainings for DeepSec 2020. The preliminary descriptions can be found on our schedule web site. Black Belt Pentesting / Bug Hunting Millionaire: Mastering Web Attacks with Full-Stack Exploitation – Dawid Czagan (Silesia Security Lab) Open Hardware Hacking – Paula de la Hoz Garrido (Telefónica Security Engineering) Defending Industrial Control Systems – Tobias Zillner & Thomas Brandstetter (Limes Security) Early Bird tickets are available. Given the unusual start into 2020 we ask you to consider buying Early Bird tickets (especially for the trainings). We are exploring special attendee tickets for remote attendance of the trainings. A

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Contact Tracing and the Security of Things

René Pfeiffer/ April 17, 2020/ Call for Papers, Discussion

The spread of Sars-Cov-2 keeps everyone on their toes. Given the emotional state after weeks and months of physical distancing (which we recommend; social distancing has been the norm for decades). We have closed our office in March and heavily rely on telecommunication. Fortunately we did not need to reinvent the Internet. Many of you have probably done the same. We hope that you manage to stay healthy until things can get back to “normal”. Speaking of communication and normality, there are some aspects of the current situation we like to point out. Every security conference features presentations shedding light on important tools, libraries, applications, or protocols people rely on. Humans like to communicate. The degree varies, but essentially few can do without talking, writing, hearing, or seeing stuff (i.e. messages). This is even

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It’s April Fool’s Day – 7/24 and 365 Days of the Year

René Pfeiffer/ April 1, 2020/ Discussion, High Entropy

The first day of April is typically the time where you hide well-written pieces of misinformation to trick people into believing something that isn’t true. We published our share of April Fool’s Day articles in the past. While this was and still is fun we believe that it is time to break with this tradition. Hiding something that isn’t true within a stream of informative articles or news items has become a major way of influencing opinion. Good comedy does the same, but the outcome is different. Satirical news are a means to criticise by exaggerating or focussing on an issue. The typical audience of comedy expects this. The distinction between satire and reality have almost disappeared in the past decade. So if you are looking for entertainment there are plenty of other sources

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