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Chicago Suburbs

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OWASP Chicago Suburbs

Welcome to the Chicago Suburbs chapter homepage. The chapter leaders are Sam Curcio, Phillip VanDeman and Jay Schulman.


OWASP Foundation (Overview Slides) is a professional association of global members and is open to anyone interested in learning more about software security. Local chapters are run independently and guided by the Chapter_Leader_Handbook. As a 501(c)(3) non-profit professional association your support and sponsorship of any meeting venue and/or refreshments is tax-deductible. Financial contributions should only be made online using the authorized online chapter donation button. To be a SPEAKER at ANY OWASP Chapter in the world simply review the speaker agreement and then contact the local chapter leader with details of what OWASP PROJECT, independent research or related software security topic you would like to present on.


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Next Meeting

February 2014 Meeting:

What: An unbiased, practical, cost-effective gathering to discuss application security.

When:  Wednesday, February 19th @ 6pm CST

Where: US Foods, Glenview Farms Conference room, 11th floor, 6133 N. River Rd., Rosemont, IL

Cost: Absolutely Nothing!


6:00p: Food and soft drinks

6:30pm - 9pm: Presentations

Please register in advance so building security can let you in with your ID:

Abstracts & Bios:

Presentation 1: Healthcare Data Analytics by Daniel Fabbri

Recent U.S. legislation such as the Affordable Care Act, HIPAA and HITECH outline rules governing the appropriate use of personal health information (PHI). Unfortunately, current technologies do not meet the security requirements of these regulations. In particular, while electronic medical records (EMR) systems maintain detailed audit logs that record each access to PHI, the logs contain too many accesses for compliance officers to practically monitor, putting PHI at risk. In this talk I will present the explanation-based auditing system, which aims to filter appropriate accesses from the audit log so compliance officers can focus their efforts on suspicious behavior. The underlying premise of the system is that most appropriate accesses to medical records occur for valid clinical or operational reasons in the process of treating a patient, while inappropriate accesses do not. I will discuss how explanations for accesses (1) capture these clinical and operational reasons, (2) can be mined directly from the EMR database, (3) can be enhanced by filling-in frequently missing types of data, and (4) can drastically reduce the auditing burden.

Presentation 2: A Novel Approach to Solving SQL Injection by Karen Heart

Injection attacks, particularly SQL Injection, remains the top risk in software, despite extensive research on methods to prevent these attacks. All of the reported techniques for preventing or mitigating injection attacks work well to some extent, however, no approach so far has succeeded in preventing all of them precisely. A novel approach is proposed that would prevent injection attacks in all cases, including secondary injection, without raising any false positives. The technique is based on a simple algorithm, rather than on a particular technology. As such, the proposed solution would apply to all programming languages and databases, including NoSQL databases.

Karen has many years of programming experience, developing a variety of software using Java, C++, PHP, and other tools. She is primarily interested in computer security and privacy, and she focuses currently on approaches to increasing the safety of software through improved programming practices and tools. She holds an MS in Computer Science from DePaul University, a JD from the University of Texas, and she is presently a 2nd year PhD student in Computer Science at UIC.

Previous Meetings

December 2013 Meeting:

What: An unbiased, practical, cost-effective gathering to discuss application security.

When:  Wednesday, December 4th @ 6pm CST

Where: Crowe Horwath, One Mid America Plaza, Suite 700, Oak Brook Terrace, IL

Cost: Absolutely Nothing!


6:00p: Food and soft drinks

6:30pm - 9pm: Presentations

Please register in advance so building security can let you in with your ID:

Abstracts & Bios:

Presentation 1: Building an AppSec Program by Chris Pfoutz

Pen testing being the sexy part of Infosec, the first thing most companies want to do when starting an application security program is to scan everything. Unfortunately, learning from experience, this rarely leads to good results. Using my experience in building an application security program and the best practices used by other companies, I’ll show you how to start an effective application security program in your organization. This will include laying the groundwork to ensure proper coverage, using your resources effectively and ensuring proper follow through on remediation activities.

Chris Pfoutz has 10 years of experience in a broad breadth of information security fields, including access controls, risk assessments and spending the last three years focused in his passion, software security. He’s been employed or consulted for some of the largest financial services companies in the world and is currently working internally on the Global Application Security team for Deloitte, Touche, Tomatsu Ltd. Chris is certified as a CISSP and GIAC Certified Web Application Pen Tester by the SANS Institute.

Chris's presentation is available here: here.

Presentation 2: It Takes a Village to Secure our Network by Ben Ten

Abstract: With the myriad of tools that are available for purchase, our networks still seem to be desperately unprotected. In this talk I will show you how a community driven Windows based framework that uses Powershell will provide the potential for increased security, easier system maintenance, and will expand our ability to react to threats quickly. The best part is that its completely open sourced. Our security posture will be strengthened when its community driven.

October 2013 Inaugural Meeting:

What: An unbiased, practical, cost-effective gathering to discuss application security.

When:  Thursday, October 10 @ 6pm CDT

Where: Zurich Insurance, South Tower, 1400 American Lane, Schaumburg, IL

Repsheet: A Behavior Based Approach to Web Application Security

Traditional static approaches to web application security are failing us. The interaction before, during, and after authentication is largely ignored. We don't ask the right questions of actors attempting to access our web applications. How sure are you that the act or accessing your site is who they say they are?  How sure are you that you want them accessing your site at all?  Join Aaron as he walks you through asking the questions you should be asking of your users, and how to help prevent abuse, fraud,and otherwise unwanted activity on your web applications. You will learn how to ask the right questions without disrupting user experience.

Aaron Bedra is the Application Security Lead at Braintree Payments. He is the co-author of Programming Clojure, 2nd Edition as well as a frequent contributor to the Clojure language. Aaron is the creator of Repsheet, a reputation based intelligence and security tool for web applications.