It's a shampoo world anyway
Donnerstag, 29. November 2007

DeepSec 2007 Roundup

Last friday I had the honour of giving a talk at DeepSec2007 in Vienna. Due to other obligations I unfortunately could only attend the final day of the conference.

The day started with a keynote presentation by Jeff Moss, the founder of BlackHat. He gave a really entertaining talk on responsible disclosure using the Mike Lynn/ISS/CISCO-debacle of 2005 as an example. Jeff was followed by Halvar Flake who talked about (semi-)automatic malware classification using his tool BinDiff. BinDiff looks fantastic. I am always intrigued by tools that combine clever algorithms with a good looking and usable GUI. While I don't necessary completely agree with Halvar's assessment why his technique is significantly better than the competing approaches, I learned a lot from his presentation. Then I had to to some last minute refinements on my slides and meet some people, therefore I skipped most of the trailing presentations.

The next talk I attended was my own, which went fine. Once again (a probably for the last time) I presented on CSRF. This time I skipped most parts concerning our protection mechanisms and concentrated more on the various exploiting aspects using real life examples and demoing Justus's CSRF-exploit-o-mat, which allows the automatic creation of a working exploit in less the 5 seconds. I got some good questions and had a couple of nice conversations in the hallway.

The conference ended for me with Melanie Rieback's presentation on RFIDGuardian. The RFIDGuardian is a small wearable appliance which is able to intercept, alter, or block communication between RFID-readers and RFID-tags (e.g., your passport, tags in your clothing, or tags you didn't even know you had). The appropriate action which the guardian should execute can be selected on a per tag basis, thus allowing a rather fine-grained control. The feature I liked the most is, that the tool provides auditing/logging capabilities which enable the user to exactly establish when and where somebody tried to access RFID-tags during the day. Right now, only prototypes exist but Melanie's research group is trying to get some funding for mass production, which would result in a possible end-consumer price around 200 €. As all the basic information (software, hardware design) is open and free (GPL, CC) it is also possible to build your own device at home, provided you have a soldering iron and know what you are doing ( a note to my stundents: If anybody wants to do this as a part of his master's thesis, drop me a line).

In the evening fukami, Stefan Esser, and I attended Monochrome's fantastically entertaining Taugshow. The show's talk-guests on stage were (among others) Cory Doctorow, Tim Pritlove and Jeff Moss. The secret highlight of the show was a friendly american who almost chocked when he was trying to eat a dollar-bill (which he did to support the US economy).

In summary, DeepSec was a very pleasant and inspiring experience. My only regret is that my time was to limited so that I missed the first day and neither had the time to check out the Meta-Lab nor visit the Roböexotica-event.

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