2012 SOURCE Boston kicked off the first of three days with an opening talk on hacktivism and the Anonymous movement, Costin Raiu and Vitaly Kamluk presented the latest in Duqu C2 research, and Vercode's Shyama Rose talked about designing and building out strategic programs for complex organizations. It's a difficult subject to get right, finding the right fit, the right competence, avoiding hype, and getting these folks to work together to build the right implementation requires all sorts of magic that fly over the heads of many technical solution focused folks.
There were many others, but I thought that the most interesting talks included the full assessment of the ~Duqu operators' C2 infrastructure and a review of the comical mistakes and activities of this group of humans working under pressure. Kaspersky's Vitaly Kamluk included a review of the ~Duqu targets and delivery, and binaries. Hard to pick, but I suppose that the most interesting thing here is the visualization providing more proof that ~Duqu is the 2008 precursor to ~Stuxnet, found in Iran, Sudan, and a few European countries. Costin Raiu focused on the C2 and infrastructure itself. Because Kaspersky Lab was able to gain access to 6 of the 10 C2 servers, our research team was able to comb through the trail of bits on these hard drives. Implications of the data left behind led to statements about login times, informed speculation of the location and workday schedule of the attackers, the (sometimes lack of) experience of the operators, and tools used to assess the data were all provided. If you haven't seen this one, it's really good. And who knew full on nation state cyber-conflict C2 operations could be so comical? The whole room was laughing along at the unexpected junior operator mistakes that turned up during the sensitive Duqu operation.
Also very interesting was the Shyama Rose presentation on strategically building a successful security program. It's not often that security conference speakers include real world operational talks that discuss culture and fit within development and security teams. And it is operations that can break defender successes quickly. She discussed distributed vs. centralized security team models and their application, significant buy-in from executives and development teams, and how to get these strategic security programs done successfully.
I personally am most excited that Dan Geer is speaking tomorrow for the conference second day keynote. The guy developed a bit of a following on the DailyDave list with incredibly insightful comments on the world of technical and operational security that you don't get anywhere else. He's a wicked good thinker and speaker. We'll have more later.