2014 BASC Presentations

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Boston-Banner-468x60.gif 2014 BASC: Home Agenda Presentations Speakers

Platinum Sponsors

Akamai Cigital EMC Rapid7 Sonatype


Gold Sponsors

Accuvant bugcrowdContrast Security   NetSPI nVisium Veracode

Silver Sponsor

SWAMP - Software Assurance Marketplace


We kindly thank our sponsors for their support. All slots are full.
Please help us keep BASC free by viewing and visiting all of our sponsors.


We would like to thank our speakers for donating their time and effort to help make this conference successful.


AppSec: How It Fits into Digital Security

Presented by: Jared DeMott

Securing code is important. But history has shown us that we can never be certain that our code is 100% perfect. This becomes particularly true in rapidly evolving environments. As an industry we need to take a broader look. What security features are provided by the hardware, OS, language, compiler, and even application type? Join us bright and early as Dr. DeMott kicks off the 2014 Boston Application Security Conference with a Keynote you won’t forget.


Code Assisted PenTest for Mobile Applications

Presented by: Dinesh Shetty

The presentation focuses on problems of following bad Mobile development practice. During this session, you will learn how to perform a Code Assisted PenTest on Mobile applications and uncover some well-known and some other not so well known security issues. It is far easy to gain a practical knowledge of security vulnerabilities than it is to read about them. Watch as Dinesh walks you through custom created demo applications and source code review tools, to catch security flaws noted in the various hand-held devices. Expect to see a lot of demos, tools, hacking and a lot of fun.


Finding and Exploiting Access Control Vulnerabilities in Graphical User Interfaces

Presented by: Collin Mulliner

Graphical user interfaces (GUIs) contain a number of common visual elements or widgets such as labels, text fields, buttons, and lists. GUIs typically provide the ability to set attributes on these widgets to control their visibility, enabled status, and whether they are writable. While these attributes are extremely useful to provide visual cues to users to guide them through an application's GUI, they can also be misused for purposes they were not intended. In particular, in the context of GUI-based applications that include multiple privilege levels within the application, GUI element attributes are often misused as a mechanism for enforcing access control policies.

In this session, we introduce GEMs, or instances of GUI element misuse, as a novel class of access control vulnerabilities in GUI-based applications. We present a classification of different GEMs that can arise through misuse of widget attributes, and describe a general algorithm for identifying and confirming the presence of GEMs in vulnerable applications. We then present GEM Miner, an implementation of our GEM analysis for the Windows platform. We evaluate GEM Miner using real-world GUI-based applications that target the small business and enterprise markets, and demonstrate the efficacy of our analysis by finding numerous previously unknown access control vulnerabilities in these applications.


How a Hacker Views Your Web Site

Presented by: Patrick Laverty

As defenders, we have to be right 100% of the time where an attacker only needs to be right once. The attack surface of a modern web site is incredibly large and we need to be aware of all of it. Additionally, individual attacks may not always be effective but sometimes using them together can gain the desired effect. In this talk, we’ll take a look at the whole attack surface for a typical web site and the various ways that an attacker will use to compromise a site.


The Intersection of Application Architecture and Security Architecture

Presented by: Walt Williams

This presentation will look at the relationship between security architecture and application architecture, specifically on the impact on application security from recent proposed changes to the Clark-Wilson integrity model. I'll explore those changes in depth, discuss the implications for application design. I'll also discuss the implications of these changes to distributed application architectures such as service oriented architectures and other distributed models.

This presentation will be based upon my recent book: Security for Service Oriented Architectures, CRC press, and 10 years of experience working with application security architecture in various corporations.


Lean Security for Small or Medium Sized Business

Presented by: Anson Gomes and Jeremy Spencer

For a small or medium sized business (SMB) the fallout from a security or privacy incident can be at best a PR nightmare. At their worst it can cause irrecoverable damage and end your business by impacting sales or ad revenue. Your user base may take a hit. You may need to draft a blog post or email your customers describing the incident and asking them to change passwords. A key culprit is budget constraints – as a SMB you are allocating resources to innovating, creating, and improving your product. Security, while important, isn't always the primary objective.

Our talk will introduce a simple framework for SMBs to focus their security efforts. We will then discuss a common scenario applicable to most SMBs that employs our framework; and leverages it to introduce cheap and effective security mechanisms that provide prevention, limitation, detection, and response capabilities. The key take away will be the thought process and sample techniques that can enable a SMB to take their rag-tag security outfit and turn it into a business enabler.


Mobile First AppSec: Evolving AppSec for Mobile Applications

Presented by: Sagar Dongre

Development teams are embracing Mobile First Development. They are building native iOS and Android mobile apps, some are using PhoneGap, and others are using Appcelerator. Evolving AppSec from web applications to include mobile is where Mobile First AppSec comes in. Mobile First AppSec describes what application security teams must consider for successfully testing mobile applications. The heart of Mobile First AppSec is driving the security testing based on the mobile application’s architecture. This talk discusses the popular mobile application architectures and how the architecture drives risk. The talk then relates the different application architectures and development frameworks to differences in their threat model and the consequences on security tests and testing techniques.


Open Source Vulnerability Response

Presented by: EMC Product Security Response Center

Like all software vendors, EMC faces challenges when it comes to managing the response to security vulnerabilities reported on open source embedded components. We will share our experiences by taking OpenSSL Heartbleed and the Bash Bug ‘ShellShock’ as examples and walk through the various challenges we encountered while dealing with it and the processes we built to overcome some of those problems.


Securing The Android Apps On Your Wrist and Face

Presented by: Jack Mannino and Geller Bedoya

Android Wear and Google Glass introduce new ways of interacting with our apps and receiving timely, contextual information from the world around us. Smartphones and tablets are becoming the central point for sending and receiving data from wearables and sensors. Building apps for a wearable world introduces new risks as well as shifts the responsibilities for implementing security controls to other layers.

Many of the same issues we’re familiar with from past Android experiences are still relevant, while some issues are less impactful or not (currently) possible within existing wearables. At the same time, extending the app’s trust boundaries introduces new points of exposure for developers to be aware of in order to proactively defend against attacks. We want to highlight these areas, which developers may not be aware of when adding a wearable component to an existing app.

In this presentation, we will explore how Android Wear and Glass work underneath the hood. We will examine their methods of communication, data replication, and persistence options. We will examine how they fit into the Android development ecosystem and the new risks to privacy and security that need to be considered. Our goal isn’t to deter developers from building wearable apps, but to enable them to make strong security decisions throughout development.


Securing Native Big Data Deployments

Presented by: Steve Markey

This session will provide thought leadership and use cases on securing Big Data technologies through stateless tokenization. We will cover: an overview of what native Big Data consists of, Big Data architectures, stateless tokenization use, and finally how to implement and secure Big Data architectures through stateless tokenization deployments.

Specific focal points include:

  • What Big Data is and how it is used
  • An overview of Big Data architectures in the enterprise
  • What stateless tokenization is and how it is used
  • Secure Big Data deployments through stateless tokenization


Using the OCTAVE Allegro Framework to Model Application Risks and Countermeasures

Presented by: George Ehrhorn

Effective Risk Assessment is an incredible tool available to the Information Security professional. A defensible risk assessment ensures that you’ll analyze the most risky aspects of your most risky applications. It lets you develop countermeasures that have the biggest impact. In a real world scenario a properly conducted risk assessment can help you work in the most efficient way. This talk is about how MathWorks uses the OCTAVE Allegro Framework to model application risks and develop countermeasures.


Why is CSP Failing? Trends and Challenges in CSP Adoption

Presented by: Michael Weissbacher

Content Security Policy (CSP) has been proposed as a principled and robust browser security mechanism against content injection attacks such as XSS. When configured correctly, CSP renders malicious code injection and data exfiltration exceedingly difficult for attackers. However, despite the promise of these security benefits and being implemented in almost all major browsers, CSP adoption is minuscule-our measurements show that CSP is deployed in enforcement mode on only 1% of the Alexa Top 100.

In this paper, we present the results of a long-term study to determine challenges in CSP deployments that can prevent wide adoption. We performed weekly crawls of the Alexa Top 1M to measure adoption of web security headers, and find that CSP both significantly lags other security headers, and that the policies in use are often ineffective at actually preventing content injection. In addition, we evaluate the feasibility of deploying CSP from the perspective of a security-conscious website operator. We used an incremental deployment approach through CSP's report-only mode on four websites, collecting over 10M reports. Furthermore, we used semi-automated policy generation through web application crawling on a set of popular websites. We found both that automated methods do not suffice and that significant barriers exist to producing accurate results.

Finally, based on our observations, we suggest several improvements to CSP that could help to ease its adoption by the web community.


Why Your AppSec Experts Are Killing You

Presented by: Jeff Williams

Software development has been transformed by practices like Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery, while application security has remained trapped in expert-based waterfall mode. In this talk, Jeff will show you how you can evolve into a “Continuous Application Security” organization that generates assurance automatically across an entire application security portfolio. Jeff will show you how to bootstrap the “sensor-model-dashboard” feedback loop that makes real time, continuous application security possible. He will demonstrate the approach with a new *free* tool called "Contrast for Eclipse" that brings the power of instrumentation-based application security testing directly into the popular IDE. Check out “Application Security at DevOps Speed and Portfolio Scale” for some background.


You can find out more about this conference at basc2014.org
Conference Organizer: Jim Weiler