• April brought shenanigans, limericks, an appsec version of aviation safety, and other intros that demonstrate how much we take security seriously.

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    Episode 279

    April 1st fell on a Monday this year and I couldn’t let the opportunity for fun go by.

    First, we revisited many infosec myths and misconceptions with Adrian Sanabria. We had talked with him last year on the same subject and wanted to find out if anything has improved (you can already guess the answer). Adrian walks through some examples and talks about why these might often be silly, but can also be harmful.

    Then we had our usual news segment. Well…usual for appsec events and articles from 2004 instead of 2024. You’d be surprised how relevant 20-year old topics can be – and how little progress we’ve made on several of them. Give it a watch at https://youtu.be/WjvdyketvyQ.

    Episode 280

    Next up Farshad Abasi kindly returned to talk about the technical and social aspects of the XZ Utils backdoor. One thing we focused on was how organizations can put processes and controls in place now to defend against compromised packages. And, of course, that even though the social aspects of the XZ Utils attack were an impressive long con, that’s not the only way we’ve seen packages compromised. Nor is the challenge of malicious maintainers unique to open source.

    Episode 281

    Then we changed direction to career paths and advice from Karan Dwivedi on starting your appsec engineering career. He shared some of the technical skills he sees orgs value in modern appsec, as well as the social aspects (there’s that word again) of building relationships to learn about different roles. This is a topic we’ll definitely return to.

    Episode 282

    Speaking of open source, Mark Curphy and Simon Bennetts joined us to talk about how Crash Override’s Open Source Fellowship is helping Zed Attack Proxy shape its own future. Simon talked about the challenges in maintaining an open source project, especially in how the industry does – and notably does not – support such tools. Mark gave insights on finding a funding model for projects like ZAP and the trade-offs in approaches that orgs like OWASP and OpenSSF take.

    Episode 283

    We wrapped up the month with Melinda Marks, who talked about her study on supply chain security. One of the takeaways is that companies seem to like to buy lots of tools, self-assess that they’re mature, then go on to list all sorts of challenges that cast doubt on how well they’re actually coordinating tools and processes.

    I also had fun with this intro, imaging if appsec wrote the aviation safety script you hear before takeoff. Check it out.

    Subscribe to ASW to find these episodes and more! Also check out the March 2024 recap.

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  • March kicked off our planning for a Cybersecurity Awareness Limerick Month. If top 10 lists and powerpoint presentations aren’t delivering, then maybe it’s time to try a new format for delivering awareness. Stay tuned and stay CALM. ;)

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    Episode 275

    Emily Fox walked us through the mistakes orgs make with vuln management, how they can manage risk without burning out devs, and why the boring basics make everything easier. She explains how orgs can be more comfortable with eventually fixing vulns instead of fighting every fire they see.

    Episode 276

    Lebin Cheng gave us an update on the state of API security and why they will remain a profitable target. After all, a lot of successful attacks have all the patterns of normal traffic – exercising business logic vulns rarely relies on the obvious payloads that stand out in things like XSS and other injection attacks.

    Episode 277

    Tyler Von Moll gave us a perspective on starting a cybersecurity program and how appsec fits into that. We’re neither surprised nor disappointed (honestly!) that appsec isn’t the first thing every org should be doing. It’s eventually important and one of the things we try to do here is figure out how to define eventually.

    Episode 278

    Benedek Gagyi closed out the month with our first in-depth discussion on how user experience (UX) impacts security. Despite being one of my favorite topics, we hadn’t given this nearly the attention it deserves. Benedek walks through some examples of bad UX leads to behaviors that are against users interests and how good UX makes apps better.

    Subscribe to ASW to find these episodes and more! Also check out the February 2024 recap.

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  • February brought us the Lunar New Year, a Leap Day, and more OWASP projects than we expected!

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    Episode 272

    Grant Ongers kicked off our February shows with a preview of his new OWASP project – the Product Security Capability Framework. He explains how it relates to efforts like ASVS and SAMM and, importantly, why it’s not just another top 10 list.

    Episode 273

    Then Christien Rioux talked about code scanning strategies and how better visibility into code translates to more meaningful flaws to pay attention to. He shares how seeing what’s running in prod and what prod systems are talking to helps dev teams far more than a long list of potential vulns.

    Episode 223 (from the vault)

    We went back to the vault for week three, bringing back a discussion on successful threat modeling with Jeevan Singh. Our focus wasn’t so much on the nuances of threat models, but the adjectives around them – successful and scalable. All too often appsec teams say “do threat modeling” and mistake an approach that works once with a process that needs to scale.

    Episode 274

    As a mirror to the start of the month, Farshad Abasi to talk about his upcoming OWASP project – the Secure Pipeline Verification Standard. One of the motivations for this was that, sure, there’s a top 10 list, but there are no solutions. It’s great to see more projects focusing on frameworks and design patterns that dev teams can follow to secure how code is compiled into artifacts and artifacts are sent to prod.

    Subscribe to ASW to find these episodes and more! Also check out the January 2024 recap.

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