In March of this year I relocated to San Francisco to join OpenDNS. Much to my satisfaction, I soon found that this city and the surrounding Bay Area has a substantial security community, comprised of researchers, administrators and generally invested individuals. The only thing missing, it seemed, was a way to bring all of these people together.
It’s for exactly this reason that we hosted the first ever S4: the San Francisco Summer Security Series.
S4 brings together security-focused individuals from around the greater Bay Area to share research, discuss the threat landscape and new methodologies to eradicate attacks. Spanning the two S4 events held at OpenDNS headquarters over the summer, attendees included a great mix of security researchers from security-specific companies and folks who run security groups within their organizations. Expertise ranged from low-level reverse engineering to mobile malware research to knowledge of how to use big data for security and machine learning. Just a few of the notable companies represented include eBay, Google, PayPal, Symantec, Twitter, Facebook, Lookout Mobile and, of course, OpenDNS.
I measure the success of events like these in two ways: One, were people happy with the event talks and presentations? (Unanimous yes.) And two, and more importantly, was there networking and discussion that happened outside of the talks? (Unanimous yes.)
Below’s a sample of some of the S4 talks this summer and some photos of the events.
Missed S4 this summer? We plan to host these events quarterly going forward, with a bigger and better event coming this fall. Have a speaking session topic idea? Email me at
dan at OpenDNS dot com.
Morgan Marquis-Boire, Google: CuteCats.exe: Targeted Malware and the Arab Spring.
Ping Yan, Jesse Davidson, Dhia Mahjoub, OpenDNS: Security Visualization Techniques.
Sharon Huffner, SocialIQ Networks: Identifying Twitter users via Machine Learning.
Parth Patel, Qualys: Introducing “Android Security Evaluation Framework” – A S E F.
Dan Hubbard, OpenDNS: Training the Machine and Building Security Communities.
Saeed Abu-Nimeh, eBay: Linking malware and fraud.
Paul Vixie, ISC: Building DNS firewalls with RPZ.
Tim Strazzere, Lookout Mobile: Practicing Safe Dex
Rick Wesson, CEO, Support Intelligence: Cyber Peace