Updated on July 4, 2016
For a copy of the slide deck for this presentation see my follow-up post, OWASP Security Logging Project Presentation – Slide Deck.
Thursday June 30, 2016 4:15pm I am presenting a Lightning Training Session, How to Use OWASP Security Logging with August Detlefsen, Sytze van Koningsveld. The training session will be a mixed format of presentation with hands-on lab exercises.
Attendees will learn about the OWASP Security Logging Project, background and why we need security logging, it’s benefits, how to include it in new projects, upgrading your legacy projects, and much more. In the session we cover each feature and answer audience questions. Bring your laptop and participate in our exercises. Learn first-hand how apply security logging to your projects.
So why would you be interested in our logging project? A brief rundown on the benefits,
Diagnostics/Forensics, for problem determination is often useful to have a history of system state recorded in logs that you can refer to when their problems. Security logging provides some features that log command line arguments, system environment variables, and Java system properties on startup. Security logging also provides an interval logging feature to log key system and user specified metrics every 15-secs. SIEM tools can be integrated to alert on memory problems, etc
Security Focus, door open/closed, user logged in/out, resource allocation, information classification of log messages, a desirable feature for government agencies or government contractors
Compliance, sign log messages, log messages remotely, discourage tampering
Automation Across Several Use-Cases, the project provides automation benefits for standalone or desktop applications as well as up the application stack like Servlets/J2EE. For example, in the application layer provide facilities to pull user id from the HTTPSession and insert it into log4j/logback Mapped Diagnostic Context(MDC) so that users can easily correlate ever log message with the current user that’s logged into the system.
Support for Popular Platforms, are you using Java logging, log4j, logj4 2, or logback? If so, your ready to go since security logging is written to the SLF4J logging interface.
Large Base of Developer Knowledge, security logging is compatible with populator loggers so you can get running quickly.
Legacy Support, security logging includes support to capture streams from your old console logging applications (e.g., System.out/System.err). Alternatively, you may have old commercial code that logs to consoles where you don’t have the source code. In these use cases there are some benefits for intercepting these streams and redirecting them to security logging. You will not realize the full benefits of native logging (e.g., logger inheritance); however, you still receive some ancillary benefits like remote logging, ability to mark messages with an information classification, etc.
There is a lot of cover with the platform. Hope to see you in Rome at our session, seats are filling up fast, register quickly. Usually OWASP provides the session content after the conference so if you can’t attend you still have an opportunity to learn more about the platform.
UPDATE, March 10, 2018: computing technology update, Google’s Bristlecone Quantum Processor.
Throughout the week of April 11th, 2016 Stanford held is annual affiliates Computer Forum on the campus. Participation in the forum is available to affiliate members. If your interested to be an affiliate send a note to me, see About page. Stanford security forum is a great place to unplug from the day-to-day business and consider broader security challenges. The campus is beautiful and the projects are interesting. Attending the forum is always uplifting, I usually meet leaders from industry I know, university staff, and I always learn something new from their research.
The forum is a week long but attendees can sign up for individual days depending up interests. I attended 2 days of the week long forum. Monday was dedicated to security. Thursday was dedicated to IoT. Research projects and themes change from year to year. This year cryptography and IoT where the broad themes. Full media from the week long forum trails the post.
A Few Thoughts or Impressions
Following are some of the more important points I learned or points that captured my interests, not in any particular order of importance.
Why are quantum computers fast?
Traditional computers process information in bits. A bit is either “on” or “off”, a 1 or a 0 respectively but quantum computers also provide an Amplitude property associated with each quantum bit. Remember Schrödinger’s Cat? The cat was in a Superposition of States where the cat is both alive and dead. Amplitude is the measurement of the superposition which is the probability the cat is in one state or the other. A point of some utility is that amplitude is not a simple percentage but instead is a complex number. The the value combined with the amplitude of the bit form a quantum computational unit known as the Qubit. In a traditional computer, increasing the number of bits increases the computers word size and address space which increases the processing power in polynomial time. Increasing the number of qubits in a quantum computer increases processing power in exponential time. Unlike a traditional computer, doubling the size of a quantum more than doubles computational power. The increase in computational power is due to two major factors, 1) unique superposition properties of the qubit, 2) higher dimensional algorithms applicable specific problem spaces. Quantum computers provide a different operational computing model when compared to a traditional computer. Rather than serialized approach to computing using logic gates, lasers and radio waves interfere with each other and operate across many qubits simultaneously. In some qubits, interference is constructive and in others interference is destructive. The design of the quantum computer and algorithms seek to reinforce constructive interference patterns that produce the desired results. I realize this answer is not satisfactory for everyone. Take a look at the presentation materials in the links at the of the post. Also take a look at, The Limits of Quantum article.
Quantum computers not likely to replace traditional computer
Quantum computers are fast at solving specific problems where an algorithm exists. Quantum computers are not necessarily fast at solving all problems. It’s unlikely a quantum computer will replace your desktop; however, if a quantum computer could be made small enough it could make an addition to your desktop for specialized functions (e.g., 3D graphics).
Implications for web browser security
A quantum algorithm exists for finding large prime numbers, Shore’s Algorithm. Web browser security is predicated on the fact that large prime numbers are difficult to factor. A quantum computer along with Shore’s Algorithm can factor primes fast. However, the state of the art in quantum computers today is about 9-qubits. According to Professor Dan Boneh, we don’t need to be concerned about quantum computers cracking browser security until quantum computers reach around 100-qubits.
Browser security in a post-quantum computing world
Professor Boneh elaborated, post-quantum computing encryption algorithms remain an area of interest. Algorithms that are useful in a post-quantum world favor smaller primes within higher dimensional number spaces(>1024). A research paper, Post-Quantum Key Exchange – A New Hope provides details.
TLS-RAR for auditing/monitoring SSL/TLS connections
A new protocol has been developed to monitor SSL/TLS. TLS-RAR does not require terminating the SSL/TLS connection and establishing a new connection to the end-point. Instead TLS-RAR works by dividing TLS connections into multiple epochs. As a new epoch is established, between client and server, a new TLS session key is negotiated. Meanwhile, the TLS session key for old epochs is provided to the observer which may be an auditor or monitoring tool. In this way the observer has access to view old TLS epoch information. The observer cannot view or alter information from the current epoch. Data integrity and confidentiality between client and server is maintained. Some of the advantages, no changes to the client are required(no new roots to add), and support for current TLS/SSL libraries. This means TLS-RAR is compatible with a host of IoT technologies and components already deployed.
Session Media from the Forum
The following links provide access to session materials throughout the form.
Did you know Oracle’s JavaOne Java developers conference has a full security track? In “JavaOne Track Highlights: Java and Security” Yolande Poirier and David Lopez describe some of the track sessions and various links. Disclosure, I lead the security track. If you see any links on the track feel free to share and I will post. See you at JavaOne.
DEFCON 23 was an outstanding event this year. I was not originally planning to attend Black Hat or DEFCON this year. As it usually happens, the event begins to draw near, I start receiving the vendor invites. Then my friends start making arrangements to meet. At the last minute, I cave in, make reservations, book a flight, and I’m on my way. I should know better by now and plan on attending Black HatDEFCON and RSA every year.
This is the first time I purchased tickets directly at DEFCON as opposed to purchasing them at Black Hat electronically. When you purchase tickets at the event you must wait in line and it’s cash only. The line took me about 1.5 hours or so. I was surprised the line went so efficiently since there were about 14,000 attendees. I also made a few friends in line. Always love to talk to people and learn what interests them, listen to their security war stories.
The start of the conference was chaotic. The halls were super crowed. Goons (crowd control) were screaming at the top of their lungs to establish rules of the road for the hall ways, stay to the right, pass to the left. Although within a short amount of time order was established and the crowds moved efficiently between sessions. In previous years the event was held at the Rio. This year DEFCON was held at Bally’s and Paris. I expected some confusion but the event was very efficient given the changes and number of people. The Caesars venue would be better but it would be tough to keep the prices of the tickets down. A DEFCON 23 ticket this year sets you back $230 US, a bargain for a technology conference these days.
Most of the value of the conference to me is spending time with my friends. I follow the news and current events pretty closely so there’s not a lot that surprises me at conferences these days. However, I’m always learning new things from my colleagues. If you ever think your an expert, and you may be, you will be humbled when you meet other experts in their field at these events. This was the case for me when I got to meet Renderman this year. Renderman presented on ADS-B, an air traffic telemetry protocol, in a DEFCON 20 session entitled, “DEFCON 20: Hacker + Airplanes = No Good Can Come Of This”. His work was particularly interesting to me since I did a similar project on the Raspberry PI platform, “Tracking Aircraft on the Raspberry PI”. At the time I did my project I didn’t know about Renderman’s project. Anyway, I got to meet Renderman and he introduced me to his friends. I was shit tons of fun to hang at his table for a few mins and meet his friends. That’s what DEFCON’s all about to me. Meeting old friends, making new friends, and learning some new stuff. I made another new friend purely by chance, Adam Shostack, Photo 2.
I also meet several vendors like Whitehat, Denim, and Cigital, and more. Robert Hansen, Photo 3, works for Whitehat these days but I’ve know him for years. Interesting to learn about the projects and challenges everyone’s working on. In a conversation with another unnamed researcher, I mentioned how I didn’t appreciate the US government using security conferences as a platform to push their political security agendas. The researcher mentioned that he understood but said that many of the researchers are working or have worked for the government. In fact, darktangent, the conference founder works for DARPA a government group. Also that the government is comprised of many different agencies, each with different viewpoints and moral compasses. There really is no single point of view. He makes a good point but I’m not sure I subscribe. Still we can’t give up on our government and we can’t acquiesce. Security and privacy is one of the largest unrecognized social concerns of today.
As I mentioned I did not attend Black Hat this year but I did find the keynote online. Interesting listening to darktangent and Jennifer Granick talk about the larger social issues around security and privacy.
There also a DEFCON documentary you may want to see. Next, is probably the worlds shittest horror movie ever. After returning from the conference I turned on the TV. Purely by chance my TV was tuned to Chiller Tv and Feast 3: The Happy Finish (jump to 26:00mins) was playing. How do you unwatch something? Please tell me. ;o)