[Owasp-cert] Is this an evil thought?

Christian Wenz chw at hauser-wenz.de
Mon Jul 28 01:38:45 EDT 2008

I hate "me too" mails, but . I agree :-)






I don't think the two ideas (protect exam content and have non-U.S. people
see it) are mutually exclusive but I believe David and James seem to be
talking about two different things: one is protecting the exam content, i.e.
not making it available to anyone and everyone, and the other is the
assumption that we can't protect content given to anyone outside the U.S.,
which I don't think is true.


Who here agrees with the following, or if not why not--I'm not 100% sold on
my own ideas, heh:

1. The exam content should be revised and selected (and known/accessible in
all or in significant part) by only a select few people, call them a peer
review board (not a board like OWASP's board), rather than open to the
public. The people and the number thereof are not set/known now. Maybe it
will be all the people currently subscribed to this list.

2. The people on this content peer review board should not be purposely
limited to be persons only in the U.S., although it might work out that way
naturally because they're all volunteers.

3. Accountability for protecting (i.e. not disseminating, discussing,
divulging, etc.) the exam content made available to the people on this board
should be compulsory and some effort should be made to make this obligation
legally binding to protect OWASP and the reputation/value of the cert. This
might mean signing an NDA-style agreement, license, etc. Taking someone's
word for it probably isn't enough.

4. The people on this board should know and accept that they themselves
might not be able to get the certification(s) due to their privileges.

5. All other aspects of this project should be open to the public and all of
OWASP just like any other OWASP project. This means exam content, once
defined/structured, can come from anywhere, even if it's submitted in a
public way--like posting to this very mail list--but the final product (an
actual exam's content) may not necessarily contain the submitted content at
all or exactly as submitted, and the review board might (and probably
should) come up with its own content that is never seen outside that group
of people (unless you take the exam of course).


This way exam content isn't solely one single person's responsibility, which
has its own drawbacks, yet it isn't open to the public such that anyone
could aggregate all the exam content and come up with a pretty good cram
guide or crib sheet...BUT the rest of the project is still completely public
and transparent. The actual OWASP board might act as an oversight committee
in case there's any complaint about exam content and how it is chosen, since
that part's not completely open. (This isn't necessarily the same as the
exam taker's challenge process.)




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