We are proud to support the Rookie Track at BSidesLondon in 2018 again. This means that one of us will be present at the Rookie Track and that the winner will get to attend DeepSec in November. It’s hard to get a start, so we like to help the rookies with that. We also like to encourage everyone to share ideas, thoughts, code, and insights either at the Rookie Track or on the main stage. If you have never presented before, get a mentor and work on your presentation. Don’t be afraid. We like to hear your thoughts on infosec and related topics. The same is true for our U21 presentation slot. We encourage young researchers to submit a presentation to DeepSec. We also offer mentoring and help you to get your content on
While ‘security is not a team’, you’ll find that most companies growing just beyond 60-80 people start employing a group of people focusing primarily on the topic. But the culture of secure engineering in a company does not only strongly correlate with when you start building a security team – it becomes (and grows as) a matter of how they connect with the rest of your organization, and make security, adversarial thinking, and the care for user safety and privacy part of everyone’s concern. In this talk, Astera will review what the purposes of a security team can be, which challenges you’ll face, how you can make it scale beyond the team’s boundaries; as well as proven good practices of running (fairly operational) engineering teams themselves. Whether your organization already has a security team
We have some news for you. Everyone attending DeepSec 2017 will get a cinematic finish on the last day of the conference. We will be showing The Maze by Friedrich Moser. For all who don’t know Friedrich’s works: He is the director of A Good American which was screened at DeepSec 2015. The Maze is a documentary covering terrorism, counter-terrorism, surveillance, business, and politics. So it’s basically information security in a nutshell. Right after the closing of DeepSec you can enjoy The Maze – with popcorn and hopefully everyone who is attending DeepSec. We have seen the documentary before, and we highly recommend it! The Maze from Friedrich Moser on Vimeo.
The motto of DeepSec 2017 is „Science first!“. This is expressed by the co-located ROOTS workshop, many speakers from academics, topics fresh from the front lines of research, and a mindset that favours facts over fake content or showmanship. This is why we want to thank the University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria for their continued support of DeepSec! Their motto is Teaching and learning with pleasure – researching with curiosity, which fits nicely into the mindset of most information security researchers. They have a wide range of very interesting research projects. If you are interested in courses or collaboration as a company, let them now. We are happy to support you with your enquiry. Lest you forget: DeepSec offers a steep discount for anyone in academic research – be it student or professor.
A lot is expected of software developers these days; they are expected to be experts in everything despite very little training. Throw in the IT security team (often with little-to-no knowledge of how to build software) telling developers what to do and how to do it, and the situation is further strained. This silo-filled, tension-laced situation, coupled with short deadlines and mounting pressure from management, often leads to stress, anxiety and less-than-ideal reactions from developers and security people alike. In this talk Tanya Janca will explain how people’s personal insecurities can be brought out by leadership decisions in the way we manage our application security programs, and how this can lead to real-life vulnerabilities in software and other IT products. This is not a soft talk about “feelings”, this is a talk about creating
You are what you think. At least we think so. Is this mental model the right way to explore our surroundings and our interconnected world? Well, let’s find out by thinking about it. When we’re talking and thinking about security, we very often have a rather fixed mindset and keep using what we think are proven methods. We tend not to question our decisions and thoughts, and the way how our brains work reaffirms our bias and our mediocre choices. In this talk we take a closer look at how we are thinking, and how we can change or expand this as well as our perception, by hacking into our own brains in order to get a clearer picture of what we really want and need. New ways of thinking and creativity can be
While the schedule is still preliminary, we have already some confirmations from our speakers. We are happy to announce Dr Jessica Barker as the keynote speaker for DeepSec 2017. Information security has a lot to do with interactions. Despite AI (a.k.a. Assisted Intelligence), „smart“ assistants (a.k.a. paper clips on steroids), and a metric ton of gadgets we still have a lot of contact with human beings. Marketing departments and tech people lost in code often forget this. Jessica will give you something to think about which you can’t discuss with Siri, Alexa, the Google AI, or even HAL 9000. Bruce Schneier popularised the concept in 1999: cyber security is about people, process and technology. Yet almost two decades later, the industry still focuses so much more on technology than the other two dimensions of
The Crypto Wars are still raging despite everyone relying on secure communication. Everyone means everyone. The good thing is that mathematics still works, even though some people wouldn’t want it to. The latest cryptographic review comes from Amber Rudd, the current UK Home Secretary. She said recently: “Real people often prefer ease of use and a multitude of features to perfect, unbreakable security.” The corollary in turn states that DeepSec conferences aren’t attended by real people. Since we are not yet a purely robot-based event, there is something wrong with this approach to secure communication. The common denominator is simply the lack of technical expertise. There is no surprise there. Ever since the Internet was discovered by the rest of the world (which was in the 1990s, don’t get fooled by web sites who
Everyone talks about information security, countering „cyber“ threats, endless feats of hackers gone wrong/wild, and more epic stories. Once you have realised that you are reading the news and not a script for a TV series, you are left with one question: What are information security skills? The next question will probably be: How do you train to be „information secure“? Let’s take a look at possible answers. First of all, yes, you can study information security or security-related topics. Universities, schools, and companies offer lectures, training, exercises, etc. Great. However it may not help you right away. We talked with top quality head hunters from a nameless big corporation. When they look for infosec specialists, they filter for anyone having worked in three different fields related to computer science (applied or otherwise) for
Biometrics has an irresistible attraction. Simply by mentioning the fact that you can measure parts (or surfaces) of the body and convert them to numbers a lot of people are impressed out of their mind. Literally. In theory biometric information serves as a second set of data to be used for any purposes. A common purpose is to use it for authentication. Most physical sources of biometric data are easily accessible. Fingers (for fingerprints), eyes (for your iris), limbs (for your veins), voice (for the Cloud), and other examples show this well. Where does the security come into play? Well, it doesn’t. For starters, passwords can be changed. Biometrics can’t unless you have a transplant. In contrast to passwords biometrics can be faked. The biometric source can be copied. In most cases this is
After the Wannacry malware wreaked havoc in networks, ticket vending machines, companies, and hospitals the clean-up has begun. This also means that the blame game has started. The first round of blame was distributed between Microsoft and the alleged inspiration for the code. The stance on vulnerabilities of security researchers is quite clear. Weaknesses in software, hardware, protocols, or design needs to be documented and published. This is the only way to address the problem and to give the defenders a chance to react. The discussion about how to deal with the process is ongoing and will most likely never come to a conclusion. What about the source of the attack? Attribution is hard. Knowing who attacked has become increasingly difficult in the analogue world. Take any of the conflicts around the world and
Society and businesses increasingly rely on networked infrastructure. This is not news. Worms that used networks to spread to new hosts in order to infect them is also not news. Code Red did this back in 2001. There is a new worm going around. Its name is Wannacry, and it is allegedly based on published attack code developed by the NSA. The malicious software is delivered by email. After successful installation it infects the host and propagates to other systems by using probes to port 139/TCP, 445/TCP and 3389/TCP. It belongs to the class of ransomware, encrypting files and demanding ransom. Thousands of infected systems are still active. The attack is still ongoing. If you are in doubt if you have compromised systems within your network, we recommend taking a look at how to
Hopefully many of you know the Applied Crypto Hardening (ACH) project, also known as BetterCrypto.org. The project was announced at DeepSec 2013. The idea was (and is) to compile hands-on advice for system administrators, dev ops, developers, and others when it comes to selecting the right crypto configuration for an application. The BetterCrypto.org document covers far more protocols than HTTPS. OpenSSH, OpenVPN, IPsec, and more topics are described in the PDF guide. The project is run by volunteers. This is where you come in. The ACH project needs more volunteers to keep going. New GNU/Linux distributions are around the corner (the apt store never sleeps). Some vendors really do upgrade their code base. Libraries change and bleed less. Algorithms get tested, improved, and re-evaluated. The field of cryptography is moving forward, as it should.
The ageing SS7 protocol has reached it’s end of life. Security experts around the world have criticised vulnerabilities a long time ago. SS7 even facilitated unsolicited surveillance attacks. What’s more, it has its own talks at the annual Chaos Communication Congress – which is a clear sign of fail if there is more than one presentation dealing with inherent design failures. It’s time to put SS7 to rest. Since the 1970s the requirements for signalling have clearly changed. It’s not only about telephones any more. SS8, its successor, features a brand new design and fixes the many shortcomings of SS7. New technologies such as blockchain, artificial intelligence, crowd routing, social signalling, full “tapping”, and deep state connections are now part of the core functions. Furthermore, SS8 is completely in harmony with Big Data, because it offers a
The world of information security is full of publications. It’s like being in a maze of twisted little documents, all of them alike. Sometimes these works of art lack structure, deep analysis, or simply reproducibility. Others are perfectly researched, contain (a defence of) arguments, proofs of concept, and solid code or documentation to make a point. Information security is a mixture of different disciplines such as mathematics, physics, computer science, psychology, sociology, linguistics, or history. It’s not about computers and networks alone. There is interaction between components. Protocols are involved. Even the simple act of logging in and staying in an active session requires in some parts to talk to each other. And then there are rituals. Scepticism is widespread in information security. Questioning your environment is the way to go, but you need to