AVAR Hong Kong security conference 2011 – in 30 seconds

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Well, okay, if you happen to be an extremely fast reader. The Association of Anti Virus Asia Researcher’s (AVAR) 14th AVAR Conference just wrapped up in Hong Kong on Friday. This year, the focus was on security issues in and around the emerging Asian security market, and how to rise to the challenge. As one speaker noted, only a very small percentage of Internet users have been trained how to act securely online. As emerging markets surge into the online fray, the ratio of untrained/unsecure new users to trained/secure experienced users on the Internet will get worse, creating serious challenges, not just in security education and awareness.

The conference (principally sponsored by ESET & Microsoft) started out with a keynote from Roy Ko, who is with ASCERT, addressing the need to get the latest notifications out to the community in a timely manner. Other talks centered around mobile malware, reverse engineering various new malware hitting the streets, including EFI (Extensible Firmware Interface) “bootkit” malware and others targeting various platforms, such as Mac. The problem of Google image poisoning also got dissected, as BHSEO makes its way into Google image search results, a disturbing trend. Malware obfuscation techniques were discussed, along with reverse engineering exploit kits. Industry cross-collaboration & multi-scanning were highlighted from the folks at OPSWAT, following an announcement that ESET will also collaborate with them.

The overarching tone of the event was really centered around educating the next generation of Internet users to stay safe online (including my presentation on future education systems with embedded intelligence). As mobile platforms hit the streets en masse, with new and more powerful processors, users and organizations will continually have to grapple with security in new ways. This conference highlighted some of the current and future threats with a rich variety of content that gave all the major players in the field some substantive food-for-thought about how we will all meet the challenge. If you were there, you enjoyed it. If not, there’s always next year, see you then!

Author Cameron Camp, ESET

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14 Nov 2011
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