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Notes From Boulder OWASP 2008 Meetings


Here are the links to the available presentations from FROCo8:

Jeremiah Grossman Business Logic Flaws - 7 Deadly Sins Media:FROCo8_JeremiahGrossman_BizLogicFlaws.pdf

Akshay Aggarwal Application Security Kung-Fu Competitive Advantage from Threat Modeling Media:ApplicationSecurityKungFuByAkshayAggarwal-FrontRangeOWASP-10Jun08.pdf

Robert Hansen Web Browser (In)Security

Mike Zusman SSL VPN Security Blog post containing slides

More info about the event

Planning page,

October 2008: Alex Smolen: the ASP .NET ESAPI

Sept 2008 - Black Box vs. White Box: Different App Testing Strategies (John Dickson of Denim Group)

Competing approaches for application security testing have pros and cons. This presentation will look at and discuss a number of security assessment strategies including white box testing, black box testing, static analysis and dynamic analysis.

Download the presentation

BIO – John Dickson

John Dickson is a principal at [ Denim Group, Ltd.] and a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) whose technical background includes hands-on experience with intrusion detection systems, telephony security and application security. He has consulted with Fortune 500 clients, Department of Defense organizations and numerous Chief Information Officers regarding their organizations’ security programs and has served as Chief Information Security Officer for a major healthcare organization.

John Dickson is a former U.S. Air Force officer who specialized in network defense and command and control while on active duty and Air Force Reserves. He joined Denim Group after holding several leadership positions at high profile organizations including Regional Vice President of International Operations and Director of Consulting at SecureLogix Corporation, Senior Account Manager at Trident Data Systems and Manager at KPMG’s Information Risk Management consulting practice. In these positions, he specialized in network penetration projects, firewall project management, enterprise security reviews, security architecture development, intrusion detection and more.

John regularly speaks in front of numerous security groups including the Information Systems Security Association (ISSA) and the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA). He has also presented at several conferences including CSI 2007, the annual Computer Security Institute Conference, the Texas Regional Infrastructure Security Conference (TRISC) and ConSec 2006. He is a founder and chairman of the San Antonio Technology Accelerator Initiative (SATAI), a founder of the Alamo Chapter of ISSA and the Chairman Elect of the North San Antonio Chamber of Commerce.

He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Texas A&M University, a Master of Science degree from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, and an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin.

More about John:

Aug 2008 Static Analysis Techniques for Testing Application Security (Dan Cornell of The Denim Group)

Static Analysis of software refers to examining source code and other software artifacts without executing them. This presentation looks at how these techniques can be used to identify security defects in applications. Approaches examined will range from simple keyword search methods used to identify calls to banned functions through more sophisticated data flow analysis used to identify more complicated issues such as injection flaws. In addition, a demonstration will be given of two freely-available static analysis tools: FindBugs for the Java platform and FXCop for the .NET platform. Finally, some approaches will be presented on how organizations can start using static analysis tools as part of their development and quality assurance processes.

Dan Cornell has over ten years of experience architecting and developing web-based software systems. He leads Denim Group’s security research team in investigating the application of secure coding and development techniques to improve web-based software development methodologies.

Dan was the founding coordinator and chairman for the Java Users Group of San Antonio (JUGSA) and is currently the San Antonio chapter leader of the Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP). He is a recognized expert in the area of web application security for and the primary author of Sprajax, OWASP’s open source tool for assessing the security of AJAX-enabled web applications.

Slide deck (PPT)

July 2008 Intro to Grendel - a WebApp PenTesting Tool (WebApp Pentesting for Dummies?) David Byrne and Eric Duprey

David Byrne and Eric Duprey will be presenting their latest work - Grendel. Grendel is a tool that's been developed to automate some appsec testing. During this presentation, these guys will show how to use Grendel to accelerate webapp pen testing. David Byrne is an infosec veteran, with experience ranging from penetration testing for Fortune 100's to architecting security solutions for large multinational financials to consulting for government agencies. David is presently part of the team at Trustwave. Eric Duprey is a Senior Security Engineer for Dish Network Corporation and co-leader of the Denver OWASP Chapter. The Grendel blog is the place to go to stay current, download updates, etc. if you can't find it on the Grendel homepage.

May 2008 Meeting Notes - David C Campbell and Eric Duprey - Cross Site Scripting, Exploits and Defenses

Topic: Cross Site Scripting, Exploits and Defenses Sponsor: FishNet Security

For a long time, the impact of XSS vulnerabilities has been grossly underestimated. Recent compromises, such as the pro-Hillary defacement of Barack Obama's website demonstrated the impact of XSS vulnerabilities to the masses. During this presentation, we demonstrated exactly how effective XSS vulns can be, and showed you what you can do to protect yourself and your sites. The practicalities of doing live-demos meant that each night we had one demo fail. At Denver it was the live session stealing demo against a production website. In Boulder it was the browser-based botnet. Nevertheless, we hope that you found the presentations interesting, and the interactive format a welcome change. Slide deck Note that alot of the content is hidden in the speakers notes of the presentation, which we need to sanitize a bit to protect to guilty prior to posting. Speakers Chapter leaders David Campbell and Eric Duprey presented on the emerging threat of cross site scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities. David Campbell is an infosec veteran, with experience ranging from penetration testing for Fortune 100's to architecting security solutions for large multinational financials to consulting for government agencies. DC is presently head of security engineering for Raytheon Polar Services, and is also on the board of directors of Psiframe Inc., a San Francisco based security consultancy. Eric Duprey is a Senior Security Engineer for Dish Network Corporation.

April 2008 Meeting Notes - Ryan C. Barnett - Dynamic Vulnerability Identification: Continuous Web Application Assessment

The sponsor was Breach Security, and the speaker was Ryan C. Barnett of Breach Security. Ryan demonstrated the concept of using a Web Application Firewall (WAF) as a means of detecting vulnerabilities.

Ryan's presentation is available in PDF format here.

Identifying web application vulnerabilities has traditionally been achieved by running vulnerability scanners. While these tools can been effective, they have some deficiencies, mainly that they are simply snap-shots in time and they often add network load on the web application. Web application firewalls can help to detect application defects in applications by monitoring the application as it is used. In this presentation, Ryan Barnett, Director of Application Security at Breach, will discuss how deploying a web application firewall can provide more value beyond simply protecting applications from attack. Due to their strategic placement within the application's communication stream, web application firewalls, can provide a great deal of visibility into how an application is used and detect defects by watching the interaction between the application and a client.

Ryan C. Barnett is a recognized security thought leader and evangelist who frequently speaks with the media and industry groups. He is the director of application security at Breach Security. He is also a faculty member for the SANS Institute, where his duties include instructor/courseware developer for Apache Security/Building a Web Application Firewall Workshop, Top 20 Vulnerabilities Team Member and Local Mentor for the SANS Track 4, "Hacker Techniques, Exploits and Incident Handling" course. He holds six SANS Global Information Assurance Certifications (GIAC): Intrusion Analyst (GCIA), Systems and Network Auditor (GSNA), Forensic Analyst (GCFA), Incident Handler (GCIH), Unix Security Administrator (GCUX) and Security Essentials (GSEC). Mr. Barnett also serves as the team lead for the Center for Internet Security Apache Benchmark Project and is a member of the Web Application Security Consortium. His web security book, "Preventing Web Attacks with Apache,” was published by Addison/Wesley in 2006.

February 2008 Meeting Notes - Michael Sutton - SQL Injection

The sponsor was HP, and the speaker was Michael Sutton of HP/SPI Dynamics. Topics included:

1. Data tampering via SQL injection (verbose and blind)

2. Guidance regarding WHAT TO DO and WHAT RESOURCES ARE AVAILABLE for input validation (aka data validation).

3. SQL injection against AJAX

4. Intro and results of Michael Sutton's FUGGLE project

Michael's slide deck is available in PDF format Sutton:Revisiting SQL Injection

Michael Sutton is the co-author of "Fuzzing : Brute Force Vulnerability Discovery" and the Security Evangelist for SPI Dynamics, recently acquired by HP. Michael is responsible for identifying, researching and presenting on emerging issues in the web application security industry. He is a frequent speaker at major information security conferences, has authored much literature and is regularly quoted in the media on various information security topics. Michael is also a member of the Web Application Security Consortium (WASC), where he is project lead for the Web Application Security Statistics project.

Prior to joining SPI Dynamics, Michael was the Director for iDefense Labs, a team of world class researchers tasked with discovering and researching security vulnerabilities. Michael also established the Information Systems Assurance and Advisory Services (ISAAS) practice for Ernst & Young in Bermuda. He holds degrees from the University of Alberta and The George Washington University.

January 2008 Meeting Notes - Aman Garg - Web App Protection, Tips for QA and Testing

Aman Garg of TippingPoint presented "Success Stories for Resolving App Security Bugs". The 2 things that got my attention were common evasion techinques and his commitment to spending ~20% of available testing/QA time doing UNstructured testing. It must be working - TippingPoint is the market leader in the IPS space. Many thanks to Aman for presenting, to TippingPoint for sponsoring, and to Corporate Express for hosting as we all try to get better at writing more secure code!

Outline for January 17th:

Web app protection

  • php exploit demo
  • primer on php vulnerabilities and various layers at which these can be exploited
  • primer on XSS (cross site scripting) vulnerabilities
  • what you can do to make your web apps more secure

My experiences running QA/testing at TippingPoint

  • conventional wisdom in testing (make a million test cases, really comprehensive regression testing)
  • challenges in testing
  • tradeoff between responsiveness and thorough QA cycle
  • making processes secure & tamper proof
  • architecture issues - separating platform from application
  • best practices & recommendations from my experience

Aman's Bio: A veteran in the network security industry with over 10 years of experience, Aman Garg is currently Principal Architect at TippingPoint, where his current work focuses on design and research for new products and solutions, partnerships with other solution providers, and prototyping technology concepts. He has worn several different hats at TippingPoint - most recently, running the market /competitive analysis group, and leading the certification effort of TippingPoint products by NSS & ICSA Labs.

Mr. Garg holds an MBA from University of Texas Austin, a Masters in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M University, and a bachelors in Electrical Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur. His interests are in network security and network performance testing arenas. His research work on mitigating Denial of Service attacks has been cited by several academic journals.

2007 Meetings

All 2007 Meetings

Chapter Leader Links

Well-written, well-referenced SQL injection article

Cool MS Ace Team Blog (this is a previous version of the 'How OWASP Works' page which contains some ideas about the future)

And finally, if you haven't seen this amazing page created by Sebastien a while back with descirptions and links to past OWASP presentations, you must check it out now:

Of particular interest: