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OWASP Seattle

Welcome to the Seattle chapter homepage. The chapter leaders are Mike de Libero and Scott Stender


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 Event 12 June (Thursday)

Location: Bellevue Las Margaritas

437 108th Ave NE

Bellevue, WA 98004

(425) 453-0535

Date: 06/12/2008

Time: 6:30PM


Speaker: Taylor McKinley

Dynamic Taint Propagation: Finding Vulnerabilities Without Attacking

Dynamic taint propagation allows testers to find vulnerabilities without modifying existing functional tests. It enables true security testing inside a QA organization because it allows tight integration with existing QA infrastructure and solid usability for non-security experts. This talk will:

  • Explain how dynamic taint propagation works.
  • Show how to retrofit an existing executable to perform dynamic taint propagation.
  • Demonstrate how a tester can use a typical suite of functional tests to find vulnerabilities, without the need for malicious input or security expertise.
  • Compare this approach with the effectiveness of popular penetration testing tools--particularly those acquired by IBM and HP in 2007--when deployed in a QA environment.

The talk will conclude with a look towards the future of security testing in the QA environment and an overview of how multiple analysis techniques, both static and dynamic, can work together to provide better software assurance.

Taylor McKinley, Product Manager, Fortify Software

Mr. McKinley brings a rich business and technology background to Fortify Software, including strategic advisory roles at Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, New England Capital Partners and as a Principal at The Parthenon Group. Mr. McKinley has a BA from Williams College and an MBA from Stanford Business School.

Speaker: Scott Stender

Concurrency Attacks in Web Applications

Modern web application frameworks are designed for developer productivity and performance. They are highly scalable, object-oriented, and can be used to create a usable web site in a matter of minutes.

Highly parallelized, object-oriented web application frameworks encourage programming practices that make managing state difficult for a typical programmer. In order to have a web application that is robust in a multi-threaded environment, the developer must carefully manage access to all resources that can shared by threads. Global variables, session variables, database access, and back-end systems are common examples of such resources, not to mention application-specific resources.

Concurrency flaws result when security-sensitive resources are not managed properly. As we have seen with almost every other prevalent class of security flaws, mistakes happen often when doing the right thing is difficult. To make things worse, concurrency flaws are often subtle and are identified only through difficult targeted testing.

This presentation will provide brief technical background against this class of flaw and enumerate testing techniques that help identify when flaws are present.

Scott Stender is a founding partner of iSEC Partners, a strategic digital security organization. Scott brings with him several years of experience in large-scale software development and security consulting, having worked at companies such as @stake and Microsoft. Scott is a noted researcher who focuses on secure software engineering and security analysis of core technologies. He holds a BS in Computer Engineering from the University of Notre Dame.

Previous Event 4 March (Tuesday)

Location: Bellevue Las Margaritas

437 108th Ave NE

Bellevue, WA 98004

(425) 453-0535

Date: 03/04/2008

Time: 6:30PM


Speaker: Billy Rios

Bad Sushi - Beating Phishers at Their Own Game

This talk will expose tactics and tools used by phishers, show how easy it is to hack into servers that are used to perform phishing, demonstrate how easy it is so follow a phsisher's trail to find out how they share information on US Citizens including SSNs, bank account numbers, credit card numbers, ATM PINs, you name it.

Phishers usually setup their sites on servers they have compromised. In other words, the phishers have already done the hard work and it is easy to gain access to these servers. Due to the sheer volume of sites that need to be setup to perform a successful phish, phishers tend to be sloppy and leave traces everywhere.

This talk will expose some of the tactics and tools used by phishers. Actual walk-through of how compromised hosts were accessed to gain information about the phishers will be presented.

This talk will also show how easy it is to construct a trail from a compromised host to obtain information about individuals that is spewed on hacker message boards located outside the United States.

Billy Rios lives in a phish bowl and is constantly being sent emails from acquaintances all over the world. Billy has won the Internet lotto several times, is expecting large sums of abandoned money from a long lost relative in the Congo, and has received checks accidentally made out for 30,000 instead of 30 US dollars.

Speaker: Jon McClintock

Session management is one of the most overlooked areas of web application security, and yet it can also be the most challenging feature to get right in your web application. This talk will provide a brief overview of web session management, followed by an exposition into how several common web application frameworks implement session management, finishing with a discussion of several classes of vulnerabilities that can arise through poor session management.

Jon McClintock is a Senior Consultant for Leviathan Security Group, where he specializes in application security from design through implementation and into deployment. Prior to Leviathan, Jon was a Senior Software Engineer on's Information Security team, where he worked with software teams to define security requirements, assess application security, and educate developers about security software best practices.

Past Events

1/23/2008 @ $65/hour


Waqas Nazir, DigitSec


Waqas Nazir has been working as an Information Security Consultant for clients such as Microsoft where he has delivered services in various arenas of information security. These include code reviews, black box assessments, product reviews, custom tools development for complex security problems, policy and process development. He has also worked with Microsoft Research (MSR) to develop a code analysis tool used for identifying areas of vulnerabilities in code. He has also been featured in Microsoft's Information Security Newsletter.

Presentation Title: Emerging threats in Web 2.0

Web 2.0 applications provide many rich features today such as hosting third party RSS Feeds, hosting third party web pages, translation services, and cross domain communication. While these rich features provide great functionality to end users, they can have serious security implications if not designed properly. Moreover, implementation flaws plague many of these features. This presentation will focus on some new emerging threats to Web 2.0 applications from a design and implementation perspective, leaving out the often covered Web 2.0 Vulnerabilities (Ajax, XSRF, etc).

Chris Clark, iSEC Partners

Chris Clark is a Senior Security Consultant at iSEC Partners, Inc. He possesses several years of experience in secure application design, penetration testing, and security process management. Most recently Chris worked for Microsoft performing security analysis and verification on enterprise management software and was previously responsible for the security of a web-based payment platform processing over 20 million credit card transactions per day. Chris has extensive experience in developing and delivering security trainings for large organizations, software engineering utilizing Win32 and the .Net Framework, and analyzing threats to large scale distributed systems. At Microsoft, Chris was responsible for the coordination of multiple product groups following the Microsoft Secure Development Lifecycle.

Presentation Title: Ruby on Rails Security

Ruby on Rails has been hailed for its ability to increase developer productivity by making web development easier. Though Ruby on Rails may help developers create sites more quickly, it is no more immune to security threats than other web development frameworks. Chris Clark will present the means by which the OWASP Top Ten manifest themselves in a Ruby on Rails environment, provide best practices for preventing these attacks, and discuss his ongoing research in Ruby-specific security concerns.

11/29/2007 @ 6:30PM PST - Seattle chapter meeting

Location: Bellevue Las Margaritas

437 108th Ave NE

Bellevue, WA 98004

(425) 453-0535

Date: 11/29/2007

Time: 6PM


Tom Gallagher has been intrigued with both physical and computer security from a young age. He is currently the lead of the Microsoft Office Security Test team. This team is primarily focused on penetration testing, writing security testing tools, and educating program managers, developers, and testers about security issues. Tom recently co-authored the MSPress title "Hunting Security Bugs".

Presentation Title: Hunting security bugs in your code

Description: Finding security bugs is often regarded as an activity requiring secret powers or extremely specialized knowledge. Some security bugs are difficult to uncover and require deep knowledge. However, with basic knowledge many areas can be tested without much effort. This presentation will show how to perform basic security testing using simple tools and the difference in effort between finding a bug and exploiting it.

David E Stevens III, Senior ROI Analyst, Symplified Inc.

In 2006, Symplified recruited Stevens for his expertise and ability to clearly explain concepts like Return On Investment (ROI) and Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). Over the past 5 years Stevens has given dozens of presentations regarding ROI, and is a confident and charismatic speaker. Stevens is touring the U.S. representing Symplified and teaching how ROI can be applied to security and Identity investments to technical security user groups.

Synopsis of "Understanding ROI, TCO and other key financial aspects of IT Security"

In this presentation, Stevens teaches how security and IT professionals can obtain financing for important security initiatives using accounting principles such as Return On Investment (ROI) and Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). In this 30-minute presentation, the group learns what these terms mean and how they can be used to show the value of security software purchases. He concludes by sharing other tips on how the technology professional can better communicate with their business counterparts. This non-sales presentation is intended to equip attendees with useful tools that articulate the benefits of investing in IT security. Learn from Symplified's more than 30 years combined experience in Identity Management at hundreds of Fortune 500 organizations worldwide. Attendees receive a useful ROI calculator for IDM investments. This is a must attend presentation for anyone who has ever had trouble getting the funding they needed for a security software investment!

09/06/2007 @ 6PM PST - Seattle chapter meeting

Details: Location: Bellevue Las Margaritas 437 108th Ave NE Bellevue, WA 98004 (425) 453-0535

Time: 6 o'clock


  • Rob Rachwald - Rob is a 10-year veteran of the high tech industry. Rob started his tech career at Intel, where he worked on automating their complex supply chain. Rob managed US product marketing for Commerce One and managed their marketing efforts in Asia Pacific. Rob, then, managed marketing for Coverity and joined Fortify as the Director of Product Marketing focusing on security and financial services.
    • Online Banking - Abstract: Banks, often the biggest target of cyber attacks, have set an example for responsible security strategies. How do the world's leading financial institutions balance risk against the pressures of delivering software to customers quickly? How are developers trained to write code securely? How are software security tools, such as dynamic and static analysis, deployed for optimal use?
  • Damon Cortesi - Damon has worked in network and application security risk management for nearly a decade, beginning with his work as Systems and Security Administrator at his alma mater. Following school, he entered the professional arena as an Information Security Consultant for one of the top 10 CPA firms serving financial institutions including banks, credit unions, and event the major credit reporting bureaus. Most recently at IOActive, Mr. Cortesi has been serving the specialized needs of top technology companies in addition to standard penetration testing, web application security assessments, source code reviews, and PCI assessments.
    • Web Hacking 101 introduces the basic concepts of web application security including SQL Injection, Cross-Site Scripting (XSS), and typical application logic flaws found in an ASP-based web application. These concepts are then put to use in a live demonstration that illustrates the all-too-common ways of attacking a web application and gaining unauthorized access to sensitive information or restricted areas of a website. Demos will included manual SQL Injection techniques as well as the use of free/open-source tools used to expedite the extraction process, examples of both reflected and stored XSS that can be used to elevate the privileges of a user, and standard authorization bypass issues that developers often ignore. Finally, basic mitigation techniques will be discussed that can be put into place by developers to prevent these common hacking techniques.

Update: - Rob's slides can be downloaded from here. Update #2: - Damon's slides can be found here.

2/28/2007 @ 6PM PST - Seattle chapter meeting


Location: Bellevue Las Margaritas (

Time: 6 o’clock.


  • Dinis Cruz (Chief OWASP Evangelist) - Directly from London, Dinis will be doing two presentations at this event:
    • Buffer Overflows on .Net and Asp.Net - One of the common myths about the .Net Framework is that it is immune to Buffer Overflows. Although this might be correct in pure managed and verifiable .Net code, large percentage of .Net and Asp.Net applications code is unmanaged code. In this talk Dinis will show the areas in .Net and Asp.Net applications that are vulnerable to Buffer Overflows (including the demo of a .Net Buffer Overflow Fuzzer).
    • OWASP, the Open Web Application Security Project - The Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) is an open community dedicated to enabling organizations to develop, purchase, and maintain applications that can be trusted. All of the OWASP tools, documents, blogs, and chapters are free and open to anyone interested in improving application security. In this presentation Dinis will show the latest guides and tools from OWASP which should be part of every company's security efforts.
    • 0wning Vista's userland - The CAS / UAC missed opportunity, and what I think MS should had done - In this presentation Dinis will explore the missed opportunity by Microsoft to use technologies like .Net's CAS (Code Access Security) and Vista's UAC (User Access Control) to create secure and trustworthy userland environments that protect the user's assets. In the hope that might make a small difference, ideas and solutions for the future will also be presented.
  • Brad Hill (Senior Security Consultant with iSEC Partners), will be speaking on:
    • XML Digital Signature and Encryption: Use and Abuse - The WS-Security set of standards is on the threshold of ubiquitous deployment and XML applications have already taken over the world. This presentation looks at two underlying technologies, XML Digital Signature (XMLDSIG) and XML Encryption (XMLENC), their place in the Web Services stack and their applicability to non-SOAP XML applications. Beginning with a basic overview of the standards, we will uncover some surprising caveats and risks in the use of these technologies.

Past Meetings

1/8/2007 @ 6 o'clock - Seattle chapter meeting.

Details: Location: Bellevue Las Margaritas ( Time: 6 o’clock.


Ward Spagenberg of IOActive on the topic "Unraveling PCI".

Since there will be free food, beer and pop please let Mike de Libero know so we know how much to order. We look forward to seeing you all there!