27 February 2015

Register Today for OWASP AppSec EU 2015 in Amsterdam

The leading application security training and conference event is being held in Amsterdam from 19th to 22nd May 2015. Register today.

Photograph of houses overlooking boats on a canal in Amsterdam - the location for OWASP AppSec EU 2015

OWASP AppSec EU 2015 is being held in the Amsterdam RAI Convention Centre just a single train stop from both Schiphol Airport in one direction, and central station in the other.

AppSec EU 2015 comprises:

It looks like it will be a superb event. Thanks to the event team for their work to date.

And of course, there is everything else Amsterdam has to offer.

Registration is open, but the price increases on 1st March (this Sunday), and there is another higher charge for tickets bought at the door. Amsterdam RAI Hotel and Travel Service is the official accommodation partner of OWASP AppSec EU 2015. Lastly, there are still a few sponsorship packages available.

Posted on: 27 February 2015 at 09:32 hrs

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24 February 2015

Report on an Evaluation of Application Security Assessment Vendors

Forrester Research published an evaluation of a dozen application security vendors in December.

Figure 1 Evaluated Vendors: Product Information from the The Forrester Wave Application Security, Q4 2014, listing Beyond Security, Checkmarx, Contrast Security, Coverity, HP Fortify, IBM, Qualys, Quotium, Trend Micro, Veracode, Virtual Forge and WhiteHat Security

The researchers reviewed the market to identify application security assessment vendors that offer multiple capabilities, provide easy deployment and integration, are used by other Forrester clients and have competitive offerings.

Their selection was Beyond Security, Checkmarx, Contrast Security, Coverity, HP Fortify, IBM, Qualys, Quotium, Trend Micro, Veracode, Virtual Forge and WhiteHat Security.

The vendors offer mixed approaches in static analysis (SAST), dynamic analysis (DAST), and instrumented/ interactive technologies (IAST) techniques in order to detect weaknesses and vulnerabilities in general code, web applications, mobile applications, and commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) products. Their current product offerings, strategy and size of market presence were compared.

The brief report is available for an eye-watering $2,495 if you are not an existing client of Forrester. Alternatively, you can request a free copy from either IBM or WhiteHat Security (business details required).

Posted on: 24 February 2015 at 08:05 hrs

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20 February 2015

Two Factor Authentication for Many UK Domain Registrants

UK domain registry Nominet is offering increased identity authentication measures for access to its online services.

Partial screen capture of Nominet's online portal for authenticated registrants showing the domain listing that includes clerkendweller.co.uk and clerkendweller.uk

Nominet has enabled optional two-factor authentication (2FA) for online log in. Some organisations have had their web site availability affected by compromise of the domain name, rather than the application or host systems. If your company owns any domains administered by Nominet, you probably have at least one online account.

Nominet Online Services is a system that allows registrants to manage their domain name register entries, including transferring or cancelling a registration, notifying Nominet of a change of details, and moving a domain name to a new registrar. Check all the email addresses used across your domain portfolio, and log in or create accounts. Then enable 2FA. Ensure these credentials are managed by the company and not individuals, or third parties for that matter.

Nominet is responsible for:

  • Top level domains (TLD)
    • cymru
    • wales
    • uk
    • (but not .scot)
  • .uk second level domains (SLDs)
    • co.uk
    • ltd.uk
    • me.uk
    • net.uk
    • org.uk
    • plc.uk
  • .uk restricted
    • .nic.uk
    • .sch.uk

Nominet has also published a short guide to the process. You will also need to manage credentials in domain acquisition processes, employee starters and leavers processes, and in handling security incident events when a 2FA device is lost or stolen.

Of course, you should make sure the designated email accounts are also protected with strong passwords that are changed regularly, and also have two-factor authentication implemented themselves.

Posted on: 20 February 2015 at 13:10 hrs

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20 February 2015

Software Assurance Maturity Model Practitioner Workshop

The OWASP Open Software Assurance Maturity Model (Open SAMM) team are holding a summit in Dublin at the end of March.

Extract from the Open Software Assurance Maturity Model (Open SAMM) document that describes the four business functions - governance, construction, verification, and deployment

As part of the two-day Open SAMM Summit 2015 a full day is being allocated to software assurance practitioners and those who want to learn about using the vendor-neutral and free Open SAMM to help measure, build and maintain security throughout the software development lifecycle.

Open SAMM helps organisations formulate and implement a strategy for software security that is tailored to the specific risks facing the organisation. The resources provided by SAMM assist:

  • Evaluating an organisation's existing software security practices
  • Building a balanced software security programme in well-defined iterations
  • Demonstrating concrete improvements to a security assurance program
  • Defining and measuring security-related activities within an organisation.

There seems to be plenty activity in the project. Keep up-to-date by following or joining the mailing list.

The users day, on Friday 27th March, is a combination of presentations, workshops and round-table discussions to help explain the approach, to make best use of a maturity model, to show how SAMM is being used by other companies, and to describe some upcoming project initiatives. The user day runs from 08:00 for 09:00 hrs through to 17:00 hrs, and is followed in the evening by an optional social event. Attendance is limited to the first 40 people who register and costs 150 EUR + VAT (21%). Travel, accommodation, subsistence at your own cost.

The following day, the SAMM project team, and any other volunteers who want to participate, will be working on creating outputs for the project.

The event is being held at The Gibson Hotel at Point Village Dublin 1, Ireland.

Posted on: 20 February 2015 at 09:59 hrs

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19 February 2015

Is clerkendweller.uk Really 45 Years Old?

Some spam to my inbox was promoting another of those web site information resources.

Partial screen capture from the information site showing the domain created, updated and expires dates are all 1st January 1970

Apart from the unusual grammar, amusingly the page tells me that this web site is 45 years old. This blog has been running a few years (if including the use of the .com domain name) but no, not quite that old. Possibly something to do with the 1970 dates?

Default values? Input and output data validation?

Posted on: 19 February 2015 at 11:39 hrs

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17 February 2015

AppSensor Now A Flagship OWASP Project

I was extremely pleased at the release of the v2 AppSensor reference implementation inJanuary. Now I am excited that the Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) has elevated the project's status.

Photograph of a green pendant flag flying against a blue sky

The completely voluntary OWASP project task force, led by Johanna Curiel, has been working through a backlog of project reviews. Over the last couple of years OWASP AppSensor Project has delivered significant steps in the coverage, quality, and depth of outputs. In fact it is also the only OWASP project that is both a documentation type of project, and a code one.

OWASP has promoted the project to the highest level - Flagship status. As co-leader with John Melton and Dennis Groves, and project founder Michael Coates, I am thrilled with this recognition.

OWASP's project inventory includes nine other Flagship projects and defines flagship status as:

The goal of OWASP Flagship projects is to identify, highlight, and support mainstream OWASP projects that make up a complete application security product of high quality and value to the software security industry. These projects are selected for their strategic value to OWASP and application security as a whole.

OWASP Flagship projects represent projects that are not only mature, but are also projects that OWASP as an organization provides direct support to maintaining. The core mission of OWASP is to make application security visible and so as an organization, OWASP has a vested interest in the success of its Flagship projects. Since Flagship projects have such high visibility, these projects are expected to uphold the most stringent requirements of all OWASP Projects.

It is important to remember all the people who have volunteered their time and effort to reach this stage. So many good and generous people.

Mark Miller has just interviewed John Melton about the OWASP AppSensor Project as part of the OWASP 24/7 podcast series. He provides an overview of application-specific attack detection and response, discusses what is new in version 2.0.0, explains the architectural options, describes the process flow, and mentions what else is on the roadmap.

AppSensor will be participating in this year's AppSec EU application security conference in Amsterdam, from 19th to 22nd May 2015. I hope you can make it.

Posted on: 17 February 2015 at 07:55 hrs

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13 February 2015

Security Information Sharing Standards and Tools

European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA) has published a summary of security information sharing formats, at the same time of the release of its good practice guide on Actionable Information for Security Incident Response.

Diagram from the ENISA report 'Standards and Tools for Exchange and Processing of Actionable Information' illustrating the relationships between standards for sharing of security information

Actionable security information is accurate and timely information that may help incident handlers reduce the number of infections, or address vulnerabilities before they are exploited.

The companion to the good practice guide is Standards and Tools for Exchange and Processing of Actionable Information which describes 53 different information sharing standards that are a mix of formats, protocols, technical approaches and frameworks in common use. These span:

  • Information sharing formats
    • Formats for low level data
    • Actionable observables
    • Enumerations
    • Scoring and measurement frameworks
    • Reporting formats
    • High-level frameworks
  • Transport and serialization
    • Transport methods
    • Serialization methods.

In addition, the report highlights 16, primarily open source, information sharing tools and platforms for the exchange and processing of actionable information, spanning automated distribution of data, supporting analytics, general purpose log management and handling high-level information.

Very useful - thank you ENISA.

Posted on: 13 February 2015 at 11:10 hrs

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10 February 2015

NIST SP 800-163 Vetting the Security of Mobile Applications

In the last of my run of three mobile app related posts, US standards body National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has released Special Publication (SP) 800-163 Vetting the Security of Mobile Applications.

One of the tables from NIST SP 800-163 'Vetting the Security of Mobile Applications' showing top level general categories of iOS app vulnerabilities

SP 800-163 is for organisations that plan to implement a mobile app vetting process or consume app vetting results from other parties. It is also intended for developers that are interested in understanding the types of software vulnerabilities that may arise in their apps during the software development life cycle (SDLC). The report is grouped into planning, testing and app approval/rejection sections:

  • Planning
    • Security requirements
    • Understanding vetting limitations
    • Budget and staffing
  • Testing
    • General app security requirements
    • Testing approaches
    • Sharing results
  • App approval/rejection
    • Report and risk auditing
    • Organisation-specific vetting criteria
    • Final approval/rejection.

The guidance is practical and highlights risks that are mobile app specific as well as general application security risks. Appendices B & C provide helpful categorised lists of Android and iOS mobile app vulnerability types respectively.

Posted on: 10 February 2015 at 07:48 hrs

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06 February 2015

Mobile Password Entry Form Usability and Security

Luke Wroblewski has updated his briefing on why and how to show passwords on login forms.

Partial screen capture showing one of the illustrations from Luke Wroblewski's blog post'Showing Passwords on Log-In Screens'

Showing Passwords on Log-In Screens is an updated compendium of why passwords should be shown to users, techniques and design patterns in use currently and upcoming methods.

The article describes:

  • Fully masked
  • Hide option
  • Show option
  • Web vs. native
  • Password-less authentication.

Posted on: 06 February 2015 at 08:05 hrs

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03 February 2015

Mobile Payment Initiatives

The European Payments Council (EPC), coordination and decision-making body of the European banking industry in relation to payments, has released an updated overview of mobile payments initiatives in the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) and beyond.

Title page from the European Payments Council report 'EPC Overview on Mobile Payments Initiatives'

EPC Overview on Mobile Payments Initiatives is a handy reference that includes details of new initiatives right up to October 2014.

The overview covers developments by banks, payment card companies, payment service providers, telecommunications networks, mobile phone manufacturers, retailers and other commercial bodies in SEPA and around the world:

  • Mobile Contactless Payments (MCP)
  • Mobile Remote Payments (MRP)
  • M-Wallet
  • Mobile POS (mPOS)
  • Other wearable payment devices

If you are developing products in this area, the report will be invaluable.

Posted on: 03 February 2015 at 07:54 hrs

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