sábado, 20 de marzo de 2010

BlueHat Security Forum 2010 - Argentina

Dear diary,
I'm finally back into blog writing. The main reason why I stop is pretty much everyone else reason: lack of time. Although time is still a precious asset, i found some time to write this entry.
Two days ago, Microsoft finally made BlueHat for the very first time in Argentina. It is a great honour as an Argentinian still living in the country, to have Microsoft decide that we are a strategic point to extend the conference outside the US. Andrew Cushman told me its the second time they do it outside Redmond, they have a first experience in Brussels which was a bittersweet experience, but he said they learn from that experience and they renew the hopes in Argentina.
Their strategy this time was to blend the latinamerican CSO/CTO with the researchers community. Spotting who was who, was just a simple visual exercise: Suits vs tshirt.

The kicking point to archive this almost impossible objective (The Microsoft Security team has a past of choosing high objective that they commonly archive) was a round table lead by Andrew which a bunch of well-known researchers (FX, Damian Hasse, Manuel Caballero, Rodrigo Rubira Branco, Ivan Arce, Luiz Eduardo and me) with the title "Hackers and You". The idea was great, sadly, we run out of time to discuss and expose all the different flavours from such a broad topic.
I believe there are four main points made, not only in the round table but in BlueHat in general.

o Offensive security is a key part of enterprise security. Microsoft understood this looong time ago and act greatly upon it. No matter the size of your bussiness, If you ever stop considering the offensive part of the security, you will end up without strategy and simply relying on your IDS/IPS/Firewall/AV devices, that quoting FX presentation "its a very very very *bad* idea".
o Security needs to be consider in every step of your business cycle. The Microsoft presentation were very clear on that subject.
o Hire researchers for your team and make them happy. Certifying them with theoretical exams (study/take the test/immediately forget) won't make them either happy or help them secure your network. Talk to them, research on practical training and let their creative spirit fly a bit (on controlled environments).
o Prevention is prediction. This subject briefly came from a very smart question of a conference attendee to the panel, she said "having all this new technique and tricks, seems that prevention gets old". Ivan have enough time to reply saying that prevention models can be correctly designed, which i totally agree. Prevention models became prediction models. Prediction needs not to be understand as the result of a lucky cookie but rather how the philosopher Ricoeur understand the term futurology (bad translation of the term from my part): Understanding and trying to win yards on randomness. And this is where in my opinion, offensive security help you go the extra mile along with the great researchers we have on that area, they know how to hack and help you understand current and future out of the box risks.

Finally, there was an interesting presentation by Kristen Dennesen and Anchises de Paula on the Latin American vulnerability market. I had high expectation about this presentation, because i want to see how they focus this subject having to face a more executive crowd (Pedram did a great job at the ekoparty, but that was more focused on researchers).
They did a very nice job, i have the feeling that they have at least three presentations in one, so as an attendee i was thirsty for more information on the each of them but due the lack of time they couldn't go where i want. But again, this was an executive crowd. The subject in my understanding of their presentation were: Vulnerability Market in Latin America, New security legislation and their impact on the security scene and the security threats in latinamerica.
Luckily Bluehat encourage the corridor and bar discussion, which usually allows you to talk with the presenters, exchange opinion and get the backstage information.

In summary, great conference, glad too get together with old and new friends. Kudos to Celene, Katie, Mike, Mark, Damian and Andrew for putting together such a great conference. I'll be looking for more next year.

PS: My favourite presentation was Hernan Ochoas "5 minutes to explain the 14-year old unpatched SMB bug", which was fast, fun and with great content.

PS2: Fede present a very nice draft of what is going to be our future Hackerspace in Buenos Aires, i'm in the group that is trying to push this project and we hope we can gave the big news soon.