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OWASP Newcastle

Welcome to the Newcastle chapter homepage. The chapter leaders are Connor Carr, Robin Fewster, Mike Goodwin, and Andi Pannell


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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Our next event will be held on 27th March 2018. 18:00 to 21:00 at Northumbria University, City Campus East, room CCE1-024.

Talk 1: Andi Pannell

The Internet of (broken) Things

Talk: This talk will focus on the internet of things, how we’re connecting everything to the internet now, because why not add a WiFi connection to your Fridge? And how security is unlikely to be a consideration when making these products. I’ll also talk about DefCon, as last year my company sent a team of us to DefCon 25 in Las Vegas, explaining what DefCon is, what happens there, and how we won the IoT Village 0-day contest and I'll conclude with a live hacking demo.

Talk 2: Colin Watson

An introduction to The OWASP Automated Threats to Web Applications

Talk: Web applications are subjected to unwanted automated usage – day in, day out. The vast majority of these events relate to misuse of inherent valid functionality, rather than the attempted exploitation of unmitigated vulnerabilities. Also, excessive misuse is often mistakenly reported as application denial-of-service (DoS) like HTTP-flooding, when in fact the DoS is a side-effect instead of the attacker’s primary intent.

This OWASP project researched these aspects in 2015 and created a new ontology of web application automation threats, and has been updated twice since with the most recent release in February 2018. This presentation will describe the need, how the threats were classified and names defined, and how they information can be used in the real world developing and operating web applications. Attendees to the OWASP Newcastle event will receive a printed copy of the handbook; the PDF handbook and all other outputs are free to download from the OWASP website. Project page | Handbook PDF file | Handbook print version | Newcastle PPT presentation

Keep updated and in touch using the chapter mailing list and/or Twitter @OWASP_Newcastle

2018 Dates

30/01/2018 from 18:00 to 21:00 at Northumbria University, City Campus East, room CCE01-008.


  • Neil Dixley: Code that fights back. Lessons from the gaming world on detecting and responding to attacks on software assets. An introduction to proactive software security including a philosophical look at how far we should go to protect our apps.
  • Luke Sadler: Practical demonstration of mobile software penetration. Luke Sadler walks us through hands on examples of cracking mobile technology.

2017 Dates

21/11/2017 from 18:00 to 21:00 at Northumbria University, City Campus East, room CCE1-024.


  • Lorenzo Grespan: Explain hacking in ten minutes. Bio: Lorenzo Grespan is a computer scientist currently working as an application security specialist for Secarma, Ltd. While his main interest has always been computer security, he also worked as a developer, systems administrator and project manager for a research effort in robotic surgery. His background is in computational neuroscience, neural networks and evolutionary systems and he likes to solve interesting problems at the intersection of people and technology. Talk (30 minutes): Recently I had to show a 10-minute  "live hack" to a non-technical audience. As an introvert and a geek my main effort was in maintaining technical accuracy, however what made the audience go "aha!" turned out to be what for me was the least significant detail of the entire demo. In this talk I will show the hack, share the lessons learned and discuss how to communicate security concerns to non technical stakeholders, higher management and end users. Media:OWASPNCL LG 21112017.pdf
  • Robin Sillem: Building a Development Environment That's 'Secure Enough'. This will be a discussion of how a team at DWP is using modern DevOps practices to create a dev/build/test platform secure enough for development of services handling large volumes of UK citizen data. Media:Modern_DevOps_and_security.pptx

19/09/2017 from 18:00 to 21:00 at Northumbria University, City Campus East, room CCE1-024.


  • Gareth Dixon: Running a security event using OWASP Security Shepherd. In this talk I will cover running a security event using OWASP Security Shepherd. The event to be discussed was staged to promote engagement in a security initiative, understanding of security vulnerabilities and the application of knowledge to production services and applications. This talk will cover the project planning stage, through execution to the project retrospective. Media:Security_Shepherd.pptx
  • Mike Goodwin: Enter the (Threat ) Dragon:Threat Modeling with OWASP Threat Dragon. Threat modelling is a great technique for hardening your application designs, but current tooling is a bit "crashy", limited to Windows or not free. OWASP Threat Dragon is an OWASP incubator project that aims to fix this and bring threat modeling to the masses. This talk is a tour round the tool, it's future road map and a look under it's hood. Mike the the project leader for Threat Dragon, so if you want to contribute, he would be very pleased to speak to you. Media:Owasp_threat_dragon_201709_.pptx

2016 Dates

23/08/2016 from 18:00 to 21:00 at The Auditorium - Bunker Coffee and Kitchen 9-11 Carliol Square, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, NE1 6UF.


  • Andrew Pannell: 50 Million Downloads and All I Got Was Malware. How is it a free Android application that has been downloaded more times than WhatsApp can turn your phone into malware, sending your private data to China and inserting adverts? I’ll be discussing my journey of researching mobile malware and how you can too. [1]
  • Colin Watson: OWASP Cornucopia. OWASP Cornucopia is a free open-source card game, referenced by a PCI DSS information supplement, that helps derive application security requirements during the software development life cycle. This session will use an example eCommerce application to demonstrate how to utilise the card game. After an introduction and explanation, we will split into smaller groups to play the game gaining insights into relevant web application threats. The game is best played in groups of 4-6 with people who have a good knowledge of the application being assessed, and who have a mixture of backgrounds/experience - architects, developers, product owners, project managers, testers, etc, and those with software security responsibilities. Bring your colleagues along. Cornucopia is suitable for people aged 10 to 110 (decimal). [2]

2015 Dates

24/11/2015 from 18:00 to 21:00 at Northumbria University Ellison Building EBA002


  • Ben Lee and Ross Dargan: The problems with proving identity. In this talk Ross (@rossdargan) and Ben (@bibbleq) will discuss the conundrum of proving (and more importantly verifying!) identity online. While both of these tasks might seem simple at first, they really aren't. This is a problem that people have grappled with since the beginning of communications (okay so not the online part!) and we still don't have all the answers. The talk will cover among other things; Twitter, wax seals (!), hashing, certificates and much more…* (*Talk may not be historically accurate! ;)) Media: OWASPNewcastle_the_problem_with_proving_identity.pptx
  • Colin Watson - Think about the Top 10 Controls, not the Top 10 Risks. The OWASP Top 10 is the most well-known OWASP project, but how can awareness of OWASP guidance for developers be improved? In this presentation Colin Watson will describe a board game that encourages developers to think and learn about the most important web application security controls, rather than risks or vulnerabilities. Take a copy of the game away with you - it is suitable for developers of all sizes. Media: Owaspnewcastle-snakesandladders.pptx
  • Michael Haselhurst - Automated Security Testing Using The ZAP API. This talk will show you how to integrate the OWASP ZAP API with automated test scripts using Sahi. Media: OWASPNewcastle_automated_security_testing_using_ZAP_API.pptx
  • Mike Goodwin - Real world defence in depth (part 1). Everyone should be aiming for defence in depth, but what does it actually mean to an application developer? This is the first of a series of short talks about real world scenarios where defence in depth is genuinely useful and easily achievable. It should help you turn defence in depth from an aspiration into practical reality. Media: Owaspnewcastle-real_world_defence_in_depth.pptx

29/09/2015 from 18:00 to 21:00 at Northumbria University Ellison Building EBA002


28/07/2015 from 18:00 to 21:00 at Northumbria University Ellison Building EBA102B.


29/05/2015 from 18:00 to 21:00 at Northumbria University Ellison Building EBA102B.


  • Neil Dixley: The Elevation of Privilege Threat Modelling Tool. An introduction to threat modelling and using the 'Elevation of Privilege' card game to facilitate and improve team threat modelling exercises. Media: Threat_Modeling_Presentation.pptx

24/03/2015 from 18:00 to 21:00 at Northumbria University Ellison Building EBA002.


  • Neil Dixley: Cognitive Bias and Security Vulnerabilities: The psychology of software engineering. An introduction to the psychology of cognitive bias and how human nature and cognitive biases are the key to user based security vulnerabilities. A look at how our brains trick us into feeling safe while giving our pin number to strangers on the phone plus a look at how we can use technology to disrupt cognitive bias and use these human traits to mitigate threats and strengthen application security. Media:Cognitive_Bias_and_Security_Vulnerabilities__Presentation.pptx
  • Andy Ward: Security Compliance for Developers - Are we Certified... or Certifiable?. Against a background of increasing threats and hacks, with more and more of our personal lives and business processes conducted online, it's never been more important to ensure our software is secure and robust. But how do you prove it? These days, reassuring your customers takes more than an SSL padlock, and some marketing spiel mentioning 'banking grade encryption'! After a quick reminder of "what's the worst that can happen...", Andy will introduce some of the security Compliance and Certification systems that help you 'walk the walk', and provide confidence that your system has its security in good hands, before looking at what it means for developers and engineering teams. Media: OWASP_Compliance_for_Devs.pptx

The chapter leaders are:

We are always happy to hear from people who want to contribute to the chapter as a leader.

OWASP Newcastle has a slack group which you're welcome to join and chat to us! You can join us Here

The Newcastle chapter is very grateful to Sage (platinum sponsor) for its generous support.


Chapter sponsorship helps pay for venue hire, pizzas, speaker travel expenses, pizzas, giveaway swag for meetings and pizzas. Also, a proportion of the sponsorship goes to support the OWASP global mission. If you would like to sponsor the chapter, please contact one of the chapter leaders. The corporate sponsorship costs are:

  • Platinum sponsor (£1200)
  • Gold sponsor (£600)
  • Silver sponsor (£300)

Any other donation is also gratefully received.

Other related organisations in the Newcastle area:

  • (ISC)2 North East Chapter - for information, contact the chapter secretary, Robin Fewster, the chapter president Ken Walls, the chapter membership officer Scott Wakeling or the chapter events and corporate sponsorship officer Katy Buller.

Please get in touch with one of the OWASP Newcastle chapter leaders to get your organisation listed here.

And feel free to use the Newcastle mailing list to publicise related events (this list is moderated).