Category Archives: Video

PHDays8: Digital Bet and thousands tons of verbal ore

It’s time to write about Positive Hack Days 8: Digital Bet conference, which was held May 15-16 at the Moscow World Trade Center. It was the main Russian Information Security event of the first half of 2018. More than 4 thousand people attended! More than 50 reports, master classes and round tables held in 7 parallel streams. And, of course, impressive CTF contest for security experts and hackers with an fully-functioning model of the city.

Hack Days 8: Digital Bet

I was very pleased that there was a separate section dedicated to Vulnerability Management. Something similar happened only at ISACA meetup last year. But here we had an event for several thousand people!

The session was held in Fast Track format: 20 minutes for the presentation and questions. I was the first to speak. My report was called “Vulnerability Databases: sifting thousands tons of verbal ore”. Here is the video:

And here’s a link to the version with only Russian sound track.

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SOC Forum 2017: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Massive Malware Attacks

Today I spoke at SOC Forum 2017 in Moscow. It was a great large-scale event about Security Operation Centers. 2,700 people registered. Lots of people in suits 😉 . And lots of my good fellows.

SOC Forum 2017 Alexander Leonov

The event was held in Radisson Royal Congress Park. There were three large halls for presentations and a huge space for exhibition/networking.

I would like to mention а stand of Positive Technologies. They have shown today their new PT Security Intelligence Portal with dashboards for executives and joint service with Solar Security for providing GosSOPKA functionality. Some stands were dedicated to Russian government Information Security initiatives: GosSOPKA, BDU FSTEC vulnerability database and FinCERT of the Central Bank of Russia.

During my presentation, I was talking how massive malware (ransomware) attacks can be useful for an organization. Quite a provocative topic, right? 😉 I meant it in the sense that all the hype around malware attack can help Information Security team to do the the following things:

  • Establish useful policies, like mandatory Windows host reboot after patch installation
  • Ban some convenient, but dangerous functionality, like smb file sharing between workstations
  • Implement useful processes, like system hardening (e.g. against mimikatz) or continuous processing of CERT (FinCERT) bulletins

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ZeroNights 2017: back to the cyber 80s

Last Friday, 17th of November, I attended the ZeroNights 2017 conference in Moscow. And it was pretty awesome. Thanks to the organizers! Here I would like to share some of my impressions.

my photo ZeroNights 2017

First of all, I want to say that two main Moscow events for information security practitioners, PHDays and ZeroNights, provide an excellent opportunity to meet all of the colleagues at once and to synchronize current views on important information security issues, including, of course, Vulnerability Management, the most relevant for me. My opinion is that this year’s behind-the-scene conversations were especially good. And this is the most valuable characteristic for the event.

Every ZeroNights event has it’s own style. This time it was some geeky cyber retro from 1980s, like in popular cult movie Kung Fury. The place was also changed from familiar Cosmos Hotel  to ZIL Culture Centre. It is the largest Palace of Culture from the Soviet Moscow times. The combination of US 80s cultural artifacts, RETROWAVE music with Soviet-style interiors (including, for example, statue of Lenin) made a pretty weird combination, but I liked it =)

I was unintentionally taking photos using some strange mode in camera and recorded a very short video fragment (3-5 seconds) for each photo. I decided to combine this fragments in a small video. This does not make much sense, but, perhaps, someone will find this “time-lapse” interesting 😉

Among the great presentations and workshops, there were also a small exhibition. This year there was two Vulnerability Management vendors: Beyond Security and Qualys.

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Problems of Vulnerability Prioritization and Detection

It’s the third part of our talk with Daniil Svetlov at his radio show “Safe Environment” recorded 29.03.2017. In this part we talk about Vulnerability Prioritization and Detection:

  • Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS)
  • Environmental factor
  • Manual and  automated vulnerability detection
  • Unauthenticated and authenticated  scanning
  • Why vulnerability scanners are so expensive and why the can’t detect everything

Scanner does not detect all vulnerabilities

Video with manually transcribed Russian/English subtitles:


– Here also the question how to prioritize vulnerabilities properly. Because if you have, as you said, two Linux servers and 20 workstations running Windows, then in principle, you may not need to do prioritization. But if you have fifteen hundred servers: some of them are on perimeter, some are in your DMZ, some are in the internal network. It is still necessary, probably, to understand correctly which vulnerabilities and where should be patched in in the first place.

Yes, this is absolutely true and it’s a very good question. How to prioritize?

Common Vulnerability Scoring System

A natural way. If we look at vulnerabilities with a CVE identifier, for them in the US National Vulnerability Database we can find CVSS Base Score. It is an assessment of vulnerability criticality level.

How is it calculated?

Some person fills the questionnaire: can it be remotely exploited – no, is there public exploit – no, etc.

CVSS framework

The result is a CVSS vector – this is a line in which you can see the main characteristics of this vulnerability and CVSS Base score is the score from 0 to 10 depending on criticality.

This is a natural way of prioritization. But sometimes this method does not give very good results.

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PHDays VII: To Vulnerability Database and beyond

Last Tuesday and Wednesday, May 23-24, I attended PHDays VII conference in Moscow. I was talking there about vulnerability databases and the evolution process of vulnerability assessment tools, as far as I understand it.

To Vulnerability Database and beyond

But first of all, a few words about the conference itself. I can tell that since the last year the event got even better. I’ve seen lot of new faces. Some people I didn’t know, but they knew me by my blog and accounts in social networks. What a strange, strange time we live in! I was very pleased to see and to talk with you all, guys! 🙂

PHDays is one of the few events that truly brings all Russian community of security professionals together. I’ve seen people I have studied with in university, colleagues from the all places where I have been worked, and nearly all researchers and security practitioners that I follow. Big thanks for the organizers, Positive Technologies, for such an amazing opportunity!

It is also a truly international event. You can see speakers from all over the world. And all information is available both in Russian and English. Almost all slides are in English. Three parallel streams of reports, workshops and panel discussions were dubbed by professional simultaneous interpreters, like it is a United Nations sessions or something, recorded and broadcast live by the team of operators and directors. Final result looks really great.

Video of my presentation:

I was talking too fast and used some expressions that was hard to translate. The translator, however, did an awesome job. He is my hero! 🙂 If you didn’t understand something on video, I made a transcript bellow.

A version without translation for Russian-speakers is here.


Unfortunately gif animation is not working in the Slideshare viewer.

Today I would like to discuss vulnerability databases and how vulnerability assessment systems has been evolving. Prior to discussing vulnerability databases I need to say that any vulnerability is just a software error, a bug, that allowing hacker to do some cool things. Software developers and vendors post information about such vulnerabilities on their websites. And there are tons and tones of vendors, and websites, and software products, and vulnerabilities.

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