At Source Seattle, Andrew Hay, Director of Research at OpenDNS, delivered a keynote on how organizations might be raising their internet assets in a bad “neighborhood”. Using the analysis of malicious domains and statistical data seen by OpenDNS and other sources, he explained how business owners frequently overlook the internet neighborhood in which they provision their networks and the kind of issues that might cause.
I presented my recent and ongoing research into building a more intelligent honeypot network to provide actionable intelligence for threat analysis.
Jeremiah O’Connor, Security Researcher at OpenDNS, presented his research on detecting typo-squatting activity in a network using natural language processing techniques.
Many of the other presentations were informative and interesting, ranging from topics of privacy, threat management, and learning how to teach and talk security to the uninitiated.
Rob Cheyne of Big Brain Security (and an organizer for Source Seattle, Boston and Dublin) delivered an inspirational talk on teaching and speaking security. His presentation was a 50 minute version of what he typically teaches in a workshop, but it was not lacking in content or amazing ideas on how to communicate security concepts.
Ian Amit, Vice President of ZeroFox, delivered a presentation on Actionable Threat Intelligence and how he works through threat information to deliver better clarity and take faster, more intelligent action on threats against an organization.
On day 2 of Source Seattle, Tim Newberry, of the White Canvas Group, delivered the second keynote on ‘Twitter, ISIL, and Tech’, speaking about classifying tweets with text classification techniques.
Andrew Furtak and Oleksanr Bazhaniak from Intel delivered a technical talk on virtual machine fingerprinting and obfuscation techniques, which are useful for malware reverse engineering (or malware creation).
Source Seattle included several activities to bring participants together for networking. There was also a round of lightning talks, where anyone could climb on stage to present on topics they were passionate about.
The Source conferences are consistently producing quality content and results. We highly recommend attending them next year if you are serious about information security.
BSides LA occurred at the same time as Source Seattle, with an overlap of one day. I flew down to present a slightly different variation of the Honeypot Network talk; Kevin Bottomley, Security Analyst with OpenDNS, presented his research on phishing.
Kevin demonstrated how he was able to anonymously acquire a pre-paid credit card to register approximately 30 domains and send a convincing phishing email that looked like it came from BSides LA.
Dan Tentler, from Carbon Dynamics, presented his ongoing research involving scanning the internet for remote desktop connections and ‘internet of things’ devices that are publicly available to demonstrate various failures in security for organizations around the world.
Dr. Amade Nyirak discussed the psychology of social engineering and motivation, explaining how specific attempts could be used against you or your organization to acquire information or access.
Brandon Brown presented his research on hacking within the K-12 school system, discussing student motives for hacking as well as information on groups and conferences that encourage hacking-related activity for positive learning.
BSides LA was yet another quality B Sides event that has added to the ongoing grass roots organization of the security community, and we really enjoyed presenting and attending. If you haven’t made it to a BSides conference, keep watch in your local area since they’re happening everywhere and often!