Excellent day again.
I’m still waking up far too early, but that’s okay, particularly since I had still to complete my Day 2 keynote slides, much to Dave’s disgust.
– Leuven University
The keynote went well, but I finished what I thought was early, when in fact, it was dead on time. This left Ivan Ristic with much less time than he had intended. 🙁
Ivan’s talk was pretty cool – he went through the stuff you’d expect of the author of the open source web application firewall, mod_security, discussing the four major features of the software. I’ve used it before in a DDoS attack, and it worked well.
After the morning break, I went to the invited papers track. I think this was a good idea, and the quality of the ideas was good. I think it allowed people who are not conference whores like myself to get up and speak. And considering that only a small percentage of the attendees are native English speakers, I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of the English at the conference. Awesome.
The session riding talk was cool, but again, they’re using a non-mainstream technology to fix the problems. I think people really need to start using the major technologies which are weak rather than using esoteric languages which take their fancy. PHP needs a lot of help, for example.
After lunch, I went to Dinis’ tool heavy presentation on the stuff he’s made this last year. Awesome tools. Might see if they work under Mono on the Mac. Except for the report generator, which is basically a waste of time. As a customer I HATE (and I mean I will return your report and not pay you HATE) getting nessus or other tool output auto-gen’d from XML into PDF. I don’t pay the pound for my reports. I prefer short (10-20 page) reports which tell me what is wrong, carefully considered and rated. This is something that can be done in Word more easily than Dinis’ tool. I’m sure Dinis’ report writing tool (he’s a total XML freak 🙂 works for his customer, but I’m not interested. If it gets out in the big bad world, I hope it doesn’t catch on. Our value is our skilled interpretation, not 1000 page automated reports.
After the last break, there was a panel discussion, which was far more lively than the previous day when everyone agreed with each other. It was hard as Gunnar let people speak who had more than their turn. There was one particular lady who just butted in all the time. I had my hand up for half an hour before I could a word in edge ways, thus not allowing me to state a couple of points about user security education which I vehemently disagreed with, but couldn’t as the flow had moved on. Oh well. I’ll butt in next year – being a good guy does not pay off if you want to be heard. Despite this, it was a good and lively session.
Dave finished the conference up. After we had finished, Pravir Chandra and I went out to dinner. I wished a few more could hang around, but many needed to get on flights home, and several wanted to go back to Brussels for food. We had a good meal in the center of the old city. Awesome food.
I think it was extremely valuable as a conference. If I can, I’ll be back next year.