Attendees were via rogue access points. There was a fight on the Cryptographer's Panel. Meanwhile,
UnifyID, rather than being named "Most Likely To Have Emerged From A Fever Dream After Reading 1984," was instead named . The RSAC Security Blogger Awards were and it was the usual dudely suspects all around. (Is the collective noun for RSAC security blogger awards winners ... a disappointment?)
It was a week of and . Millions were spent while people starved outside on the streets of San Francisco, and people like me struggling for rent swam upstream through hordes of suits navigating $100,000 booths, all of us looking for a reason to be there. We were rats in Moscone's endlessly Kafkaesque, under-construction maze.
The press weren't at their best. Some lingered at talks presented by well-known security brands, trying their hardest to pull negative stories out of security researchers who now despise the press just a little bit more. Or, some source material in attempts to seem in the know about topics they struggled to explain.
It was all normal.
I'm really grateful that one thing RSA does right is get their talks online right away, so I can point you to the good stuff you might've missed. To my surprise, there were some really really great talks this year.
A curated list of the most interesting are below. Talk title links to YouTube video; description and slides (if any) follow.
Don't be fooled by the title, this talk hides a hell of a big, big problem in its IoT/identity management buzzword wrapper. The nugget: Henderson discovered that car apps, mostly made by one third party entity, don't clear owner identity info when a car is sold. Playing with the app for a car he sold, he could still access the car's features and find its location, among other unsettling things... "Your smart devices aren't smart enough to know they've been sold."
Fascinating talk; covers how ransomware is similar to kidnap and ransom, projections on the ransomware market, and tactics being employed to prepare for/prevent ransom scenarios.
-Brian Bartholomew, Juan Andrés Guerrero-Saade, Security Researchers, Kaspersky Lab
Superb presentation on currently active attack groups who obfuscate their tracks, and breakdown/analysis on how they're doing it. You won't see attribution the same.
Do you like watching a good fight onstage? I sure do, and this panel delivered.
-Davi Ottenheimer, President, flyingpenguin; Ian Smith, Research Scientist, University of Washington
This talk presents a new tool that could create an industry standard method for realizing an automated service with genuinely deleted data. This would solve much of the identity management problems we're seeing come up, and yes, these guys were mobbed with questions and requests for after their talk.
Lessons from a Billion Breached Records
RSAC doesn't have this video up yet, but you can watch Hunt's interesting material previously presented in Lessons From A Quarter Billion Breached Records (Vimeo; talk starts at 4:30).
-David Gibson, VP of Strategy, Varonis Systems; Troy Hunt, Microsoft Regional Director and MVP, Consultant
No doubt you've visited or found yourself in Hunt's service. This covers what he's observed and learned (sometimes the hard way) from running a continually growing set of searchable breach record databases. Also discusses how this data is sold and redistributed. Fascinating.
Roberts stumbles over the intro, but nice discussion with Irwin about how she balances her advice for employees on security without compromising on productivity.