[Owasp-leaders] [Owasp-board] OWASP Board decision that I don't agree with

psiinon psiinon at gmail.com
Wed Jan 15 12:35:32 UTC 2014


I've just closed the poll "Should OWASP give developer training at RSA?".
It was somewhat overtaken by events, but I still think it was useful.

A couple of points to note:

The stats I've published on https://www.owasp.org/index.php/Polls are
different to those on the Google Poll summary.
This is because I've removed duplicate votes - unfortunately Google Polls
dont prevent duplicate votes and the summary isnt updated if you remove the
duplicates. Please let me know if I've made a mistake anywhere. FYI I just
counted individuals latest votes.

While I think the poll was useful it has shown up some significant
disadvantages of using Google Polls for this sort of thing.
We have to make the polls either open to everyone or restricted to those
people with OWASP email accounts.
I didnt want to do the former as I thought it was important to find out
what OWASP members thought, not the internet as a whole.
What I didnt realize at the time was that OWASP email addresses are
reserved for chapter/project leaders, which meant that most OWASP members
were not able to vote :(
Sorry about that.

I'm going to let the other poll run its course, but I'm not planning on
starting any new polls using Google Polls as I think they dont give us what
we need.
Hopefully we'll have a better solution before too long that will allow us
to easily canvas the opinions of all OWASP members - I think thats
something that will be very beneficial to the organization.

Simon


On Thu, Jan 9, 2014 at 5:15 PM, Dirk Wetter <dirk at owasp.org> wrote:

> Am 01/05/2014 12:47 PM, schrieb Rory McCune:
> > Hi all,
> >
> > Long thread is long.  I'd make a couple of point on this.
> >
> > 1. I'm not sure I'd say that RSA completely denies what's been said, to
> me their statement was written very "carefully", not to deny that the NSA
> paid them $10 million to make Dual_EC_DRBG the default RNG in BSAFE.  All
> you need to have for RSAs statement to be true and the allegations to be
> true is that they didn't have the "intention" of weakening their product
> i.e. they did take the money they did set the default algorithm but it
> wasn't their intention to weaken their security.
> >
> > If they had wanted to deny the allegations they could just have said
> "the NSA did not pay us $10 million to make that the default RNG" would
> have been clear and unambiguous, the fact they didn't makes a reasonably
> strong implication that they did.
>
> thx, for this point. One should definitely read those statements very
> carefully. There
> pops another example up in my head but that's too far off to mention here.
> Completely
> denying would also sound different to me. The term INTENTION is not
> appropriate the way
> it's being used at least.
>
> But also the response from RSA in September 2013 is remarkable: "RSA
> determined it appropriate
> to issue an advisory to all our RSA BSAFE [..]  customers recommending
> they choose one of
> the different cryptographic Pseudo-Random Number Generators (PRNG) built
> into the RSA BSAFE
> toolkit". Acknowledged it's broken, but all RSA does is a recommendation
> -- what?
>
> To keep in mind: Since a long time Dual_EC_DRBG crypto community knew it's
> broken! Read this
> from almighty Bruce ;-) in 2007:
> https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2007/11/the_strange_sto.html
> "But today there's an even bigger stink brewing around Dual_EC_DRBG. In an
> informal presentation (.pdf)
> at the CRYPTO 2007 conference in August, Dan Shumow and Niels Ferguson
> showed that the algorithm
> contains a weakness that can only be described as a backdoor.". That was
> no reason for BSAFE after
> that to ship DUAL_EC_DRBG other than .... you do the math.
>
>
> Cheers,
>
> Dirk
>
> >
> > 2. A point from earlier in the thread that not attending would only be
> noticed in the Infosec community.  Not sure that's the case. Definitely on
> developer heavy sites like news.ycombinator.com <
> http://news.ycombinator.com> the NSA/RSA/Snowden piece has been heavily
> played and indeed last night when this thread kicked off Errata security's
> piece on boycotting RSA was the top post on the site.
> >
> > 3. An alternative to training at RSA that's been mentioned a couple of
> times, i.e. doing it at a different venue, seems plausible.  Would it maybe
> be possible to do it as B-Sides SF which happens at the same time ?
> >
> > 4. A good point earlier about the DHS grants.  If we're happy with that,
> then it seems tricky to say that we're not happy with this.
> >
> > Cheers
> >
> > Rory
> >
> >
> > On Sun, Jan 5, 2014 at 8:45 AM, Jim Manico <jim.manico at owasp.org<mailto:
> jim.manico at owasp.org>> wrote:
> >
> >     By the way everyone, RSA completely denies these allegations.
> >
> >
> >
> >     …“we also categorically state that we have never entered into any
> contract or engaged in any project with the intention of weakening RSA’s
> products, or introducing potential ‘backdoors’ into our products for
> anyone’s use.” - https://blogs.rsa.com/news-media-2/rsa-response/
> >
>
> >
> >
> >
> >     It’s tough to know who to trust these days, but I do want to put
> RSA’s official comment on the table for consideration.
> >
> >
> >
> >     Cheers,
> >
> >     -          Jim
> >
> >
> >
> >     *From:*Josh Sokol [mailto:josh.sokol at owasp.org <mailto:
> josh.sokol at owasp.org>]
> >     *Sent:* Saturday, January 04, 2014 5:04 PM
> >     *To:* Eoin Keary
> >     *Cc:* Jim Manico; Abbas Naderi; Kanwal Singh (WebMentors); Nishant
> Johar (EMOBX); OWASP Foundation Board List; Ravdeep Sodhi; OWASP Leaders
> >     *Subject:* Re: [Owasp-board] [Owasp-leaders] OWASP Board decision
> that I don't agree with
> >
> >
> >
> >     My apologies in the delay in responding to this.  I've been on the
> road all day today and will be slow to respond tomorrow as well.
> >
> >     First off, let me admit that while my term hadn't officially begun
> yet, I am one of the Board members who encouraged Jim and Eoin to move
> forward with the training.  My rationale for this was simple; OWASP's
> mission is to make software security visible, so that individuals and
> organizations worldwide can make informed decisions about true software
> security risks.  The core of this statement being VISBILITY.  We need to
> find and take advantage of as many ways as possible to raise the visibility
> of security risks.  Our mission says nothing about making political
> statements.  It says nothing about ethical business practices.  Our mission
> can certainly be amended to reflect other imperatives, if so desired by our
> membership, but until that day we need to prevent mission scope creep.
> >
> >     Now, since our mission is making software security visible, we
> simply have to ask ourselves if we better serve this mission by:
> >
> >     1) Performing a free training at a major conference, thereby
> increasing our exposure to people who haven't heard of OWASP before and
> enlightening them to software security risks that they likely were not
> aware of before.
> >
> >     2) Taking a stance against a company where some evidence may imply
> that they took a bribe to sacrifice security in one of their products.
> >
> >     Let me be clear on #2.  I don't agree that what RSA did is right, if
> it is true.  In fact, I have made the explicit decision to not do business
> with RSA in my day job because there are many other options out there and
> it's just not worth the risk.  But my passive decision to not purchase from
> RSA is very different than OWASP reneging on our agreement and making a
> public statement about their ethics.
> >
> >     So, given these two options, my gut is that OWASP's mission will be
> best served by #1.  It doesn't mean that we're supporting RSA.  It doesn't
> mean that we agree with unethical business practices.  It just means that
> we are doing the best we can to make application security visible.  If that
> means piggy-backing on the massive marketing effort they put into the
> conference or the infrastructure that supports it, I'm ok with that.  I
> understand that others may object to this on ethical grounds, and that's
> fine, but as a non-profit organization, we have a mandate to stay true to
> our mission, not to speak out against whatever the latest security headline
> is.
> >
> >     I do have one question about this training for clarification.  The
> training is FREE for anyone who would like to attend and not just for RSA
> attendees, correct?  My assumption is the former, but if the latter, this
> changes things significantly in my opinion.
> >
> >     ~josh
> >
> >
> >
> >     On Sat, Jan 4, 2014 at 5:40 PM, Eoin Keary <eoin.keary at owasp.org<mailto:
> eoin.keary at owasp.org>> wrote:
> >
> >         Good point.
> >         Bottom line is we want people to build secure code. Delivering
> this message under the same roof as RSA does not dilute the quality of the
> class delivered.
> >         There is no black and white, only shades of grey :)
> >
> >
> >
> >         Eoin Keary
> >         Owasp Global Board
> >         +353 87 977 2988 <tel:%2B353%2087%20977%202988>
> >
> >         On 4 Jan 2014, at 23:36, Jim Manico <jim.manico at owasp.org<mailto:
> jim.manico at owasp.org>> wrote:
> >
> >         > Another issue that is tangential.
> >         >
> >         > We are applying for several big money DHS grants. These help
> keep the foundation running.
> >         >
> >         > Should be reject all of these grants because of the Snowden
> affair? It we abort RSA but continue to take DHS money, then we send a
> mixed message.
> >         >
> >         > Aloha,
> >         > Jim
> >         >
> >         >> I strongly support Sastry on this one.
> >         >>
> >         >> You might be participating as individuals, but people see you
> guys as the OWASP Board, and that’s something that many of us don’t like to
> be the image of OWASP.
> >         >>
> >         >> Thanks
> >         >> -Abbas
> >         >> On Jan 4, 2014, at 1:18 PM, Eoin Keary <eoin.keary at owasp.org<mailto:
> eoin.keary at owasp.org>> wrote:
> >         >>
> >         >>> To be clear, there was no recorded vote on this but a debate.
> >         >>>
> >         >>> I started the debate after reading about Mikko. (Even though
> I was delivering the training with Jim and it is my material).
> >         >>>
> >         >>> The majority of board of OWASP feels getting involved in
> politics is wrong and wanted to push ahead with the training.
> >         >>>
> >         >>> So if feelings are strong we need to vote on this ASAP? as
> leaders of OWASP. A formal board vote? Executive decision from Sarah, our
> executive director.
> >         >>>
> >         >>>
> >         >>>
> >         >>> Eoin Keary
> >         >>> Owasp Global Board
> >         >>> +353 87 977 2988 <tel:%2B353%2087%20977%202988>
> >         >>>
> >         >>>
> >         >>> On 4 Jan 2014, at 16:48, Sastry Tumuluri <
> sastry.tumuluri at owasp.org <mailto:sastry.tumuluri at owasp.org>> wrote:
> >         >>>
> >         >>>> Friends,
> >         >>>>
> >         >>>> Please see the following full conversation on twitter:
> >         >>>> https://twitter.com/EoinKeary/status/419111748424454145
> >         >>>>
> >         >>>> Eoin Keary and Jim Manico (both OWASP board members) will
> be presenting/conducting 4 hrs of free-of-cost AppSec training at the RSA
> Conference, 2014. Michael Coates, Chairman of the OWASP Board is also said
> to be present. Apparently, this was discussed at the OWASP board level; and
> the board has decided to go ahead, keeping in mind the benefit to the
> attending developers.
> >         >>>>
> >         >>>> As you are aware, RSA is strongly suspected (we'll never be
> 100% sure, I'm afraid) of being complicit with NSA in enabling fatal
> weakening of crypto products. RSA has issued a sort of a denial that only
> deepens the mistrust. As a protest, many leading speakers are cancelling
> their talks at the upcoming RSAC 2014. Among them are (to my knowledge)
> Mikko Hypponen, Jeffrey Carr and Josh Thomas.
> >         >>>>
> >         >>>> At such a time, I am saddened by the OWASP board decision
> to support RSAC by their presence. At a time when they had the opportunity
> to let the world know how much they care for the Information Security
> profession (esp., against weakening crypto); and how much they care about
> the privacy of people (against NSA's unabashed spying on Americans &
> non-Americans alike), the board has copped out using a flimsy
> rationalization ("benefit of (a few) developers", many of who would rethink
> their attendance had OWASP and more organizations didn't blink!").
> >         >>>>
> >         >>>> I'm sure there was a heated debate. I'm sure all angles
> were considered. However, this goes too deep for me to take it as "better
> men than me have considered and decided". As a matter of my personal
> values, if the situation doesn't change, I would no longer wish to continue
> as the OWASP Chapter Lead. Please let me know if any of you would like to
> take over from me.
> >         >>>>
> >         >>>> I will also share my feelings with fellow chapter members
> at our next chapter meeting on Jan 21st. Needless to say, no matter how
> things go, I remain committed to the principles of our open and open-source
> infosec community.
> >         >>>>
> >         >>>> Best regards,
> >         >>>>
> >         >>>> ==Sas3==
> >         >>> _______________________________________________
>
> _______________________________________________
> OWASP-Leaders mailing list
> OWASP-Leaders at lists.owasp.org
> https://lists.owasp.org/mailman/listinfo/owasp-leaders
>



-- 
OWASP ZAP <https://www.owasp.org/index.php/ZAP> Project leader
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