The OWASP NYC AppSec conference was this past week and I was lucky enough to be one of the speakers there. Overall, the conference was great and OWASP did a tremendous job doing everything they could to make the conference go as smoothly as possible. The organizers should be commended for the job they did.
In the opening keynote, the organizers stated that this was the largest web app security conference in the world and I could see why. I believe there were over 800 people at the conference and every talk I went to was packed. While I went to many talks, there are a few that really stood out. They are:
Malspam - Garth Bruen, knujon.com - Garth talked about what knujon has been able to accomplish over the last few months and its been quite impressive. He has been gathering alot of data on illicit networks and has found a clear link between porn, drugs and malware on the Internet. He gave one example of where an illegal pharma site was shut down and two days later it was serving up porn and malware.
Security Assessing Java RMI - Adam Boulton, Corsaire - This was an excellent talk on how to assess the Java Remote Method Invocation (RMI) APIs/tools/whatever from Sun. Basically, RMI is a distributed computing API for Java and has been part of the core JDK since 1.1 (java.rmi package). Its analogous to .NET, RPC or CORBA. Adam went over some methods for attacking RMI apps and previewed a tool of his named "RMI Spy" which (I believe) he'll be releasing.
Flash Parameter Injection - Ayal Yogev & Adi Sharabani, IBM - This talk was about how to inject your own data into flash applications, the result being XSS, XSRF, or anything you can think of to attack the client. Basically, Flash applications have global variables which can be assigned as parameters when loading the flash movie in a web page. If the global variables are not initialized properly (and they usually aren't) then attackers can load their own flash apps and own the client.
APPSEC Red/Tiger Team Projects, Chris Nickerson - The next talk was probably one of the best I attended at the conference. Chris Nickerson was one of the guys on the ill-fated Tiger Team show and is a really cool guy - I talked to him for some time at the OWASP party the night before. He stated in his talk that pen testing applications does not show how a "real world attack" would happen. By performing a red/tiger team approach to an application test, you are able to show the client how an attack would occur and how their app would be broken into. In other words, if someone wants the data in an app they're not just going to bang on it from the Internet - they're going to go to the client site and try to get information from there through various methods.
Of course, those are brief descriptions of the talks. The conference will be releasing all talks on video so I recommend watching the videos - they will be worth it.