[Owasp-leaders] OWASP Benchmark project - potential conflict of interest

Larry Conklin larry.conklin at owasp.org
Thu Oct 1 15:16:25 UTC 2015

OWASP Benchmark project is open source other vendors can simply investigate
the code and make their own statements about it. (OWASP Benchmark is
covered under the GNU General Public License v2.0
<http://choosealicense.com/licenses/gpl-2.0/>, which by license means the
source code is available)

We as an organization need to look inside the code base to ensure that it
is unbiased towards any vendor or product. If it is found to be biased then
the project needs to be fixed or closed down.  No one has suggested that
this is an issue. Would not a project review accomplish this instead on
emails and tweets?

I have read the article
https://www.veracode.com/blog/2015/09/no-one-technology-silver-bullet. It
never mentions Aspect Security or Dave Wichers who is project leader and
Aspect Security is the sponsor of the project.  Instead it mentions three
other security companies (Veracode, HP Fortify, and  Contrast Security).
Two of the companies have corporate membership in OWASP. Veracode to my
knowledge does not have a corporate membership with OWASP.

Who has a conflict of interest HP, Contrast and Aspect?  Veracode can’t
have a conflict of interest.

On Wed, Sep 30, 2015 at 11:42 AM, Timo Goosen <timo.goosen at owasp.org> wrote:

> I don't know enough about the matter to comment on this case, but I feel
> that any situation where an OWASP project or any OWASP initiative for that
> matter, is using OWASP to promote its own business interests should be
> stopped.  We need to get rid of bad apples in OWASP.
> OWASP is becoming a brand if you would like to think of it that way and we
> are going to see many more cases of people trying to use OWASP to spread
> their business interests. At the end of the day everyone should be acting
> with an attitude of:"Don't ask what OWASP can do for me, ask what I can do
> for OWASP?"
> Regards.
> Timo
> On Wed, Sep 30, 2015 at 11:48 AM, psiinon <psiinon at gmail.com> wrote:
>> So, a load of controversy about OWASP Benchmark on twitter, but no
>> discussion on the leaders list :(
>> Is this now the wrong place to discuss OWASP projects??
>> Simon
>> On Thu, Sep 24, 2015 at 10:36 AM, psiinon <psiinon at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> Hi folks,
>>> I've got some concerns about the OWASP Benchmark project.
>>> I _like_ benchmarks, and I'm very pleased to see an active OWASP project
>>> focused on delivering one.
>>> I think the project has some technical limitations, but thats fine given
>>> the stage the project is at, ie _very_ early.
>>> I dont think that any firm conclusions should be drawn from it until its
>>> been significantly enhanced.
>>> My concerns are around the marketing that one of the companies
>>> sponsoring the Benchmark project has started using.
>>> Here we have a company that leads an OWASP project that just happens to
>>> show that their offering in this area appears to be _significantly_ better
>>> than any of the competition.
>>> Their recent press release stresses that its an OWASP project, make the
>>> most of the fact that the US DHS helped fund it but make no mention of
>>> their role in developing it.
>>> Regardless of the accuracy of the results, it seems like a huge conflict
>>> of interest :(
>>> It appears that I'm not the only one with concerns related to the
>>> project:
>>> https://www.veracode.com/blog/2015/09/no-one-technology-silver-bullet
>>> What do other people think?
>>> Cheers,
>>> Simon
>>> --
>>> OWASP ZAP <https://www.owasp.org/index.php/ZAP> Project leader
>> --
>> OWASP ZAP <https://www.owasp.org/index.php/ZAP> Project leader
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