[Owasp-leaders] [OWASP ASVS] Obfuscation?

Steven van der Baan steven.van.der.baan at owasp.org
Thu Nov 6 23:44:55 UTC 2014

I agree with Yvan that at least the leaders list had to be informed of
this decision, and with that I mean that an addition message had to be
sent besides the mention in the meeting minutes. Although the Operations
Team is capable in handling sensitive issues, they do not have to be
alone in upholding these rulings.


On 06/11/14 22:25, Yvan Boily wrote:
> On Thu, Nov 6, 2014 at 1:57 PM, Josh Sokol <josh.sokol at owasp.org
> <mailto:josh.sokol at owasp.org>> wrote:
>     Yvan,
>     Your post is actually about two separate things:
>     1) Action: The Board acknowledged the complaints from various
>     members of the Foundation and had our Compliance Officer, Martin
>     Knobloch, conduct an investigation into the matter.  Martin
>     concluded his independent investigation into his actions and
>     provided his report to the Board in September.  My mind is failing
>     me as to whether it was the September or October Board Meeting
>     (pretty sure it was at AppSecUSA on 9/16/2014), and the agenda and
>     voting doesn't reflect it (a problem I've asked to get rectified),
>     but the Board did vote to extend his membership ban and not give
>     reconsideration for membership for a significant period of time. 
>     I don't remember offhand the exact details in terms of timeframe
>     as many different options were discussed.  Regardless, your
>     suggestion that the Board has failed to take action on this issue
>     is misinformed.
> Glad to hear it!  Can we get an amendment to the process that when
> action is taken a complainant is notified? 
>     2) Enforcement: This is where things get tricky and is largely
>     outside of the Board's hands.  It becomes an Operations Team issue
>     to try and figure out how to enforce the fact that someone is not
>     allowed to participate in OWASP.  I think that there was supposed
>     to be some discussion with Matt in terms of figuring out how to
>     handle it technically, but, from the recent message, it doesn't
>     appear that it was done.  Not sure where the ball was dropped
>     there, but I'm sure Paul can look into it as ED.
> The technical enforcement aspect is only one part of it.  Technical
> measures to curtail participation are a rathole, especially for
> security folks since many of us have "figure out how to bypass
> controls" as part of our of our professional repertoire.
> The second part is to notify the community that a person has been
> blocked from participation; without the knowledge that the ban is in
> place, we don't have the means to advise folks that their
> participation is unwelcome due to past behavior.  This is important to
> both increase awareness that OWASP will uphold it's expectations for
> all community members, and to take the strain of enforcing the ban off
> of individual contributors or staff. 
> Thanks for everyone's work on this, and sorry to have to stir the pot
> on this issue again.
> Cheers,
> Yvan
>     ~josh
>     On Thu, Nov 6, 2014 at 3:12 PM, Steven van der Baan
>     <steven.van.der.baan at owasp.org
>     <mailto:steven.van.der.baan at owasp.org>> wrote:
>         True
>         I personally would have preferred it that, for now, the
>         leaders list was not included as there is already too much
>         bickering going on there. And as you say, if the board fails
>         to make a decision or is unable to enforce the code of ethics,
>         then it would have been just to include the leaders list in a
>         'call to action'. I agree that the community deserves more. I
>         can only hope there will be an announcement soon to resolve it
>         all.
>         Kind regards,
>         Steven.
>         On 06/11/14 20:57, Yvan Boily wrote:
>>         It would have been out of line if I had posted this line of
>>         inquiry back to the individual project threads.  I changed
>>         the venue for these comments to the leaders list and the
>>         governance team.  I also added the board to this message.
>>         Bottom line, the board has not acted to protect the community
>>         from someone who has regularly posted abusive messages, and
>>         has persisted in doing so since the complaint was filed.  I
>>         don't really care whether his content is technically valid, I
>>         care about the harm that allowing known bad actors to
>>         continue to participate at the expense of others.
>>         I don't know him either, and I am not personally invested in
>>         the outcome of the decision that the board makes regarding
>>         Christian; I am personally invested in knowing whether or not
>>         OWASP is willing to following it's own rules.  If the board
>>         is failing to enforce the code of ethics, then this is an
>>         issue for the leaders and the governance team.  OWASP
>>         contributors deserve better than this.
>>         Regards,
>>         Yvan Boily
>>         On Thu, Nov 6, 2014 at 12:25 PM, Steven van der Baan
>>         <steven.van.der.baan at owasp.org
>>         <mailto:steven.van.der.baan at owasp.org>> wrote:
>>             Yvan,
>>             as far as I'm aware there has been no announcement that
>>             he should be blocked and to be honest I find this
>>             question out of place here.
>>             No, I'm no friend of mr Heinrich. No, I do not know him.
>>             Yes, I realise that he can be quite a handful, but I
>>             firmly believe that this type of questions should not be
>>             expressed as open and on multiple lists like you have done.
>>             Kind regards,
>>             Steven van der Baan.
>>             On 06/11/14 18:11, Yvan Boily wrote:
>>>             Regardless of the content, Christian is supposed to have
>>>             been blocked from participation in OWASP.  Has there
>>>             been a change here?
>>>             Regards,
>>>             Yvan
>>>             On Thu, Nov 6, 2014 at 7:20 AM, Bev Corwin
>>>             <bev.corwin at owasp.org <mailto:bev.corwin at owasp.org>> wrote:
>>>                 Sharing FYI:
>>>                 <clip>
>>>                       Reliance on Hardening, Not Obfuscation
>>>                 Hiding code does not prevent attacks—and it it
>>>                 foolish to assume that it does. Open Source
>>>                 development practices rely on actually hardening (or
>>>                 improving the security of) code by making it
>>>                 available for peers to test and try to break, and
>>>                 then fixing the problems found.
>>>                 </clip?
>>>                 From:
>>>                 http://mil-oss.org/learn-more/security-model-misconceptions
>>>                 Bev
>>>                 On Tue, Nov 4, 2014 at 8:29 PM, Christian Heinrich
>>>                 <christian.heinrich at cmlh.id.au
>>>                 <mailto:christian.heinrich at cmlh.id.au>> wrote:
>>>                     Andrew,
>>>                     On Wed, Nov 5, 2014 at 10:22 AM, Andrew van der
>>>                     Stock
>>>                     <vanderaj at owasp.org <mailto:vanderaj at owasp.org>>
>>>                     wrote:
>>>                     > I am ashamed to say when reviewing the ASVS
>>>                     2.0, I totally missed the
>>>                     > inclusion of V17.11, which is a Level 3
>>>                     control for requiring
>>>                     > obfuscation. Was this included because it was
>>>                     in the Mobile Top 10
>>>                     > 2014?
>>>                     The benefit of obfuscation is that the auditor
>>>                     has to be much higher
>>>                     skilled than the "middle of the bell curve", who
>>>                     just copy a paste a
>>>                     report from their SAST product.
>>>                     This cost should be absorbed by the client since
>>>                     the auditor is
>>>                     required to undertaken additional work.
>>>                     In addition, obfuscation also minimises the loss
>>>                     of Intellectual
>>>                     property if the auditor misplaces the source
>>>                     code because the "[wo]man
>>>                     on the street" isn't going to be able to
>>>                     understand it or know what it
>>>                     is without some investment.
>>>                     I vote not to have obfuscation removed from
>>>                     ASVS, but reworded (in the
>>>                     next ASVS release) to include the additional
>>>                     clarification from the
>>>                     next release of the Mobile Top 10.
>>>                     --
>>>                     Regards,
>>>                     Christian Heinrich
>>>                     http://cmlh.id.au/contact
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