[I wonder if there will be a Chairman Kaga lookalike? ;) - WK]
By Kelly Jackson Higgins,
July 16, 2007
Analyzing code never looked so appetizing: Engineers from Fortify and
challengers from the audience will face off next month at the Black Hat
conference in an "Iron Chef"-style competition to see how many
vulnerabilities they can find in a piece of mystery code.
A random panel of judges will get to decide just who came up with the
best "dish" on the code -- and, as with the popular Food Network show,
Brian Chess, founder and chief scientist at Fortify, says the session on
August 2 will pit Fortify's top source-code analysis engineer against
its top runtime tool engineer to see how static analysis (source-code
analysis) does against runtime, such as fuzzing-type techniques, in
finding bugs. "We'll see who can find the most and best vulnerabilities
on a ridiculously tight budget... I'll give them 40 minutes." They can
use tools they have written, as well as Fortify's own products, to find
the bugs, he says.
Audience members will get a chance to compete in the contest.
He wouldn't divulge details on the secret ingredient in the code, but he
says it will likely be a Web-based application. "We're going to pick
something the audience will care about that's relevant to the coding
problems people run into and the typical application assessments we
see," says Chess, whose company sells static-code analysis tools.
So why the Food Network parody? "In the past, we've felt like we've
characterized this area by saying source-code analysis is good, and the
other ways of finding vulnerabilities are bad. But any way you can find
vulnerabilities when building software is good," he says. "And this
[contest] is a little more like judging food than you think... It's not
just how much stuff you can find. They are going to have at least
different conclusions about the same piece of code.
"It's more [about] can you convince people that the coding process ought
to change," he says.
The grand prize is still under consideration, but it could be a free
dinner at one of Las Vegas' new wave of top-chef restaurants. Bon
Attend Black Hat USA, July 28-August 2 in Las Vegas,
the world's premier technical event for ICT security
experts. Featuring 30 hands-on training courses and
90 Briefings presentations with lots of new content
and new tools. Network with 4,000 delegates from
70 nations. Visit product displays by 30 top
sponsors in a relaxed setting. Rates increase on
June 1 so register today. http://www.blackhat.com