[ISN] Hacking, Iron Chef Style

From: InfoSec News (alerts@private)
Date: Tue Jul 17 2007 - 22:29:46 PDT


[I wonder if there will be a Chairman Kaga lookalike? ;)  - WK]

By Kelly Jackson Higgins,
Senior Editor
Dark Reading
July 16, 2007 

Analyzing code never looked so appetizing: Engineers from Fortify and 
challengers from the audience will face off next month at the Black Hat 
conference in an "Iron Chef"-style competition to see how many 
vulnerabilities they can find in a piece of mystery code.

A random panel of judges will get to decide just who came up with the 
best "dish" on the code -- and, as with the popular Food Network show, 
presentation counts.

Brian Chess, founder and chief scientist at Fortify, says the session on 
August 2 will pit Fortify's top source-code analysis engineer against 
its top runtime tool engineer to see how static analysis (source-code 
analysis) does against runtime, such as fuzzing-type techniques, in 
finding bugs. "We'll see who can find the most and best vulnerabilities 
on a ridiculously tight budget... I'll give them 40 minutes." They can 
use tools they have written, as well as Fortify's own products, to find 
the bugs, he says.

Audience members will get a chance to compete in the contest.

He wouldn't divulge details on the secret ingredient in the code, but he 
says it will likely be a Web-based application. "We're going to pick 
something the audience will care about that's relevant to the coding 
problems people run into and the typical application assessments we 
see," says Chess, whose company sells static-code analysis tools.

So why the Food Network parody? "In the past, we've felt like we've 
characterized this area by saying source-code analysis is good, and the 
other ways of finding vulnerabilities are bad. But any way you can find 
vulnerabilities when building software is good," he says. "And this 
[contest] is a little more like judging food than you think... It's not 
just how much stuff you can find. They are going to have at least 
different conclusions about the same piece of code.

"It's more [about] can you convince people that the coding process ought 
to change," he says.

The grand prize is still under consideration, but it could be a free 
dinner at one of Las Vegas' new wave of top-chef restaurants. Bon 

Attend Black Hat USA, July 28-August 2 in Las Vegas, 
the world's premier technical event for ICT security 
experts. Featuring 30 hands-on training courses and 
90 Briefings presentations with lots of new content 
and new tools. Network with 4,000 delegates from 
70 nations.   Visit product displays by 30 top
sponsors in a relaxed setting. Rates increase on 
June 1 so register today. http://www.blackhat.com

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