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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(Almost) (Pretty) Final ROOTS 2018 Schedule (last beta version) published!

René Pfeiffer/ November 21, 2018/ Administrivia, ROOTS

We have rearranged the ROOTS 2018 schedule to its final form. You may have noticed that it is more condensed. We thought it would be easier to connect, to discuss, and to exchange ideas without the stretch over two days. Furthermore it is easier to have sessions with a specific focus when there is more unallocated time to use. ROOTS 2018 will get its own keynote presentation, too. We are currently sorting out the details. You may wonder why there are so many empty slots. The reason is simple. ROOTS is an academic workshop. All presentations must be submitted formally correct. Then they are reviewed by the programme committee. The submitted content is graded according to the scientific methods used, research topic, evaluation of the results, the conclusion, and so on. After that there

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DeepSec 2018 Talk: Without a Trace – Cybercrime, Who are the Offenders? – Edith Huber & Bettina Pospisil

Sanna/ September 14, 2018/ Conference, Security

Cybercrime is a worldwide and diverse phenomenon, which needs multidisciplinary and global prevention and intervention strategies. Regarding the situation in Austria, no evidence-based scientific analysis exists that depicts the bright field of Cybercrime. Therefore an interdisciplinary research group investigated the phenomenon cybercrime regarding the questions – Edith Huber and Bettina Prospisil will present their findings at DeepSec 2018. We asked them a few questions about their talk: Please tell us the top 5 facts about your talk. We will talk about cybercrime, offender profiling, the typical modus operandi and successful methods to apprehend offenders. How did you come up with it? Was there something like an initial spark that set your mind on creating this talk? Cybercrime is a worldwide and diverse phenomenon, which needs multidisciplinary and global prevention and intervention strategies. Regarding the situation

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ROOTS 2018 Call for Papers – Deadline extended

René Pfeiffer/ August 27, 2018/ Administrivia, Call for Papers

ROOTS‘ deadline for abstract submissions has been extended. The new deadline is the 17 September 2018. Authors will be notified by 30 September 2018. We need your camera-ready papers until 13 October 2018. Please spread the word. The Reversing and Offensive-Oriented Trends Symposium 2018 still accepts your research. We are looking forward to the results of your work. Information security is all about well-researched facts and reproducible findings. If you need some more time to prepare your submission, this is the time. Let us know if you need help when submitting. The first European symposium of its kind, ROOTS aims to provide an industry-friendly academic platform to discuss trends in exploitation, reversing, offensive techniques, and effective protections. Submissions should provide novel attack forms, describe novel reversing techniques, or effective deployable defences. Submissions can also

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Thoughts on the Information Security Skill Set

René Pfeiffer/ July 13, 2018/ Discussion, Security

As mentioned in an earlier blog article we moved our office infrastructure to a new location. Once you use a space for more than a decade things inevitably pile up. So I had to sort through hardware, software (on optical storage hardware and floppy disks), lecture notes from a previous life, ancient project documentation, and notes on ideas for a brighter future. Most things were thrown away (i.e. responsibly recycled), some stuff could be saved by enthusiasts (for example the two old Amigas that were sitting in the basement). All of the things we had to move had a purpose once. The main purpose was to get familiar with technology, accumulate knowledge, and understand how things work. This is essentially the hacker mindset, also found among scientists. Given the many presentations at past DeepSec

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Call for Papers: Reversing and Offensive-Oriented Trends Symposium (ROOTS) 2018

René Pfeiffer/ June 16, 2018/ Call for Papers, Security

ROOTS 2018 The second Reversing and Offensive-Oriented Trends Symposium (ROOTS) 2017 opens its call for papers. ROOTS is the first European symposium of its kind. ROOTS aims to provide an industry-friendly academic platform to discuss trends in exploitation, reversing, offensive techniques, and effective protections. Submissions should provide novel attack forms, describe novel reversing techniques or effective deployable defences. Submissions can also provide a comprehensive overview of the state-of-the-art, and pinpoint promising areas that have not received appropriate attention in the past. To facilitate interaction with industry, the ROOTS ticket will be valid for all DeepSec conference tracks on both days, including the industry tracks, and the DeepSec conference tickets for the industry track will be valid for ROOTS. The usual rules for academic discounts apply. Please contact the DeepSec staff or our sponsors for

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#efail, Crypto, HTML, PDF, and other complex Topics

René Pfeiffer/ May 14, 2018/ High Entropy, Security

You probably have noticed the #efail hashtag that came with the claim that the crypto world of PGP/GPG and S/MIME is about to end. Apocalyptic announcements were made. The real news is due for 15 May 2018 (i.e. the publication with all the facts). There was even the advice to stop using encryption until more information is known. The authors of the bug claimed that responsible disclosure was being followed. Well, it seems that this is not the case. Judging from the Internet response, the bug depends on the content of the encrypted message, not on the protocol of the encryption or the encryption tools. Lessons learned so far: It is a bug in some mail user client software. It’s all about the content of the message and how it gets interpreted. Responsible disclosure

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Science First! – University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria (FHOOe) supports DeepSec

René Pfeiffer/ October 12, 2017/ Conference, Security

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.

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Call for Papers: 1st Reversing and Offensive-Oriented Trends Symposium (ROOTs) 2017

René Pfeiffer/ May 1, 2017/ Call for Papers, Conference

ROOTs 2017 The first Reversing and Offensive-Oriented Trends Symposium (ROOTs) 2017 opens its call for papers. ROOTs is the first European symposium of its kind. ROOTS aims to provide an industry-friendly academic platform to discuss trends in exploitation, reversing, offensive techniques, and effective protections. Submissions should provide novel attack forms, describe novel reversing techniques or effective deployable defenses. Submissions can also provide a comprehensive overview of the state-of-the-art, and pinpoint promising areas that have not received appropriate attention in the past. To facilitate interaction with industry, the ROOTs ticket will be valid for all DeepSec conference tracks on both days, including the industry tracks, and the DeepSec conference tickets for the industry track will be valid for ROOTs. The usual rules for academic discounts apply. Please contact the DeepSec staff or our sponsors for

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DeepINTEL Update, Science First Campaign, Early Birds, and other News

René Pfeiffer/ April 28, 2017/ Administrivia, Conference

The Easter break is over. We didn’t sleep (much), and we did not look for Easter eggs in software either. Instead we did a bit of work behind the scenes. DeepSec 2017 will have some more content due to the co-hosted ROOTs workshop. The full call for papers will be ready on 1 May 2017. We will publish the text here on this blog, and email it to interested researchers. In the meantime the DeepSec 2017 Call for Papers is waiting patiently for your submission. In case you haven’t noticed, the DeepSec and DeepINTEL ticket shops are online. Please book your ticket as early as possible! Every year so far we had some people at our conference who were very sad because their favourite training was not available. If you book early you’ll help us to secure

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Putting the Science into Security – Infosec with Style

René Pfeiffer/ January 27, 2017/ Discussion, Security

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

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