Saturday, November 21, 2009

The SecurityByte and OWASP AppSec Asia 2009 hangover

Got back from India's biggest security conference and I have to say it was nothing like what I had expected. The scale was huge, the venue was grand, the talks were informative, the food was excellent, the speakers were great and the crowd was enthusiastic. All of this I expected, I will come to the unexpected part in just a bit. A little about my talk first, there were three parallel tracks and my talk was slotted on the first day with two other very interesting talks by bigger guys (wanted to attend those talks myself but couldn't). Being a relatively lesser-known speaker, I was a little skeptical about attracting enough folks over to my talk. But surprisingly there were quite a lot of people, I think the confusingly framed title of my talk worked in my favor ;). The talk went well, there were a lot of questions. Folks were generally impressed with Imposter and were looking forward to getting their hands on it. I attended most of the talks on the first day, hip-hopping from one to another. The talk from MSRC was very interesting. On the second day, myself and Venky were busy getting things set-up for WWIII, India's first Web Application CTF event. It was scheduled to happen after lunch but we weren’t getting the kind of participation we expected. Probably because most folks were very new to Security Conferences and CTFs. After sometime, we packed up WWIII and both of us headed out to attend the talks. Fyodor's 'From Russia With Love' was very interesting, he has a nice way of presenting things. Also attended the SANS training on Secure J2EE coding, Frank handled the subject extremely well and it was easily one of the best training programs I have taken part so far. Though most of the content was already familiar to me there were a few points to take home. Coming to the unexpected part, naively I was expecting the conference to be a serious affair and speakers to be serious folks. Couldn’t have been more wrong, without revealing too much, I would say that the post conference 'activities' were more fun than the conference itself. Overall it was a great event, I have to congratulate the organizers Nish, Puneet, Dhruv and Bithal on the excellent work done. Nish says it’s going to be bigger in 2010, I can hardly wait!

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