[Owasp-board] OWASP & Industry Vendors - Discussion

Dinis Cruz dinis at ddplus.net
Fri Aug 24 12:46:31 UTC 2007


Justin

You are raising very important (if not critical) issues here which I want to
fully clarify and sort out.

I will reply in detail to your email, but before I do just one question:
"How much of this are you willing to go 'on the record', that is put your
name to it?". It doesn't mean that we will post all this to everybody in
OWASP but (for example) I want to clarify with the Taiwan chapter leader
these issues, and it will be easier if I can directly quote you (and others
(if you know other people who share your feelings please put them in touch))

My objective is to turn this into a positive event, with lessons learned for
all parties involved (assuming of course that we are able to amicably solve
the current 'brand abuse' issues)


Dinis Cruz
Chief OWASP Evangelist
http://www.owasp.org


On 8/23/07, Justin Derry <JDerry at b-sec.com> wrote:
>
>  Guys,
>
> Firstly i think i have meet everyone on the CC/To list and there is a good
> reason why this email has not been forwarded to the
> owasp-leaders at owasp.org mailing list.
>
> Anyhow as most of you know i have been involved in owasp (lately more due
> to availability and effort during business hours) but are currently trying
> to setup some conferences in Asia etc.
>
>
>
> The reason for this selective email is simply due to the fact that it
> reflects directly on some of the people on the owasp-leaders list.
>
>
>
> Recently A chapter leader approached OWASP in regards to converting his
> 350+ people conference to an OWASP Asia Pacific Conference 2007, he is
> currently running it as a "Taiwan Chapter" conference.
>
> I spent some time with the person discussing some of the common goals of a
> conference and ensure that the appropriate messages (i.e vendor
> independence etc) being careful of how to approach these things.
>
> He agreed and has forwarded to Dave Wichers etc for approval in which he
> got. He proceeded with 48 hours of that to approach a Customer in Taiwan and
> immediately tell them Amorize is the only sponsor of the OWASP 2007 Asia
> Pacific conference and OWASP fully supports and backs Amorize. Which is
> obviously so far from the truth it's not funny. (They don't even sponsor
> OWASP Corporately)
>
> This statement came from two different sources about the OWASP and Amorize
> (not vendors but customer sources).
>
>
>
> Anyhow the reason for the email is, this is a big problem. We all work for
> companies that typically have an invested interest in the Application
> Security space, but i think by most everyone plays by the rules. Obviously
> there are people that don't and are abusing the OWASP name and using the
> hard work of Mark, Andrew, Dave and everyone else. Recently as a company we
> invested in OWASP and are also as most of you aware investing business hours
> and effort in increasing the OWASP project because i believe in it. The
> collective thinking is powerful and i believe the people involved are
> excellent. However we currently i believe have a serious problem with a
> selective few people abusing the system.
>
>
>
> I agree with Mark C's comments in regards to the direction and the
> comments about financial sides of OWASP and the approach that OWASP should
> take moving forward. However i think we need to seriously address the misuse
> immediately of the OWASP brand and approach some chapters etc are taking.
> This can be achieved reasonably easily i think by completing a few tasks.
> Some of which i have included below.
>
>
>
> Why doesn't OWASP consider (if we have the $$) employing a administrative
> person to simply monitor the activity of OWASP chapters follow up on
> presentations etc. This would be perfect as if each chapter leader new that
> they would be asked for their presentation notes to be published online, if
> there was anything inappropriate this would hopefully reduce. (or maybe
> approval prior??). Yes there is alot of chapters but with a single person
> review and posting presentations i think overall someone would have an idea
> on what was being presented. Also would mean we would have a great
> collection point? Surely this wouldn't cost that much? An admin person here
> in OZ is only around 30,000 USD a year?
>
>
>
> Secondly vendor involvement. I like it, and i think OWASP needs it for the
> future, however there should be some hard and fast rules about it. I.e(maybe no chapter leads from vendors?? Too much temptation). Maybe we set
> some strict guidelines about how they can get involved, ie. At conferences
> etc. Maybe we allow them to place sponsorship on the web site only and
> provide a facility. ?? Most chapter leads i believe are good but i haven't
> been too many. I do look through the wiki and see alot of "vendor" names
> poping up. Not a lot of consulting firms but lots of vendor names..
>
>
>
> Conferences, As you know i am trying to work on a Big OWASP Asia
> conference. I see the rules being Vendors (all of them) get an invite,
> allowed to provide a booth, and if the numbers allow it maybe a separate
> speaking stream where they can present. Thats all still thought process, but
> using the vendor money to increase awareness is actually quite good.
>
>
>
> I don't know if this email is going down to one? Maybe these are just my
> feelings, but for a person willing to put alot of effort into the OWASP
> cause i am horrified to hear about this instance in Taiwan. This is backed
> up by the fact he has even written in an email to me that he doesn't want to
> invite any vendors and is happy for his company to pay for the lot. Really i
> don't think this is the way to approach it, simply as he is using the
> conference purely as a springboard for his new company. The other problem
> with this, is how do the other vendors who put in $$$$ to support owasp and
> they have another company not even supporting OWASP doing this. I am sure
> that they wouldn't be happy as were is their money going.
>
>
>
> So i suppose in summary why not look at an administrative person to
> oversee presentations etc, and we set some specific guidelines (more
> detailed) then the chapter rules for each chapter. We also place a wide
> advice to all vendors advising them of our position and maybe even ask them
> to put up money if they wish to continue referencing the OWASP guides etc.
> They are all getting valuable effort without any $$ or input. I even saw a
> vendor at Blackhat this year using and promoting the OWASP WebGoat tool to
> promote their own tools. This was insane?
>
>
>
> Anyhow hopefully my rant hasn't been received poorly, sounds like a few
> people are making some interesting comments in the past 24 hours, and
> hopefully this all goes into a bucket to better OWASP?
>
> If not then please kill me now.. J
>
>
>
> BTW Dave W you probably get the feeling i am recommending that we don't
> allow Taiwan to run their conference as the OWASP ASIA conference and
> further probably not as a conference at all. There is alot of material on
> the WIKI about his conference.
>
>
>
> Anyhow thanks for reading that big email guys...
>
> Cheers
>
> Justin
>
>
>
> Justin Derry
>
> Application Security
>
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