Small Talks announced for Virus Bulletin 2017

Virus Bulletin 2017: Small Talks announced

The Virus Bulletin 2017 Conference has announced some of its Small Talk and reserve papers that will be on the agenda of this year's event.

The Virus Bulletin 2017 Conference has announced some of its Small Talk and reserve papers that will be on the agenda of this year’s event.

Virus Bulletin has recently announced some of its Small Talks and reserve papers for the Virus Bulletin 2017 Conference, including the Small Talk in which I’m participating at this year’s conference.

‘Small Talk’ has a slightly misleading sound in this context: the name actually refers to the fact that these are held in a smaller room, enabling a more informal discussion. However, the session is much longer than the presentations in the main rooms. My part in this one is to present my paper on ‘The (testing) world turned upside down‘, which will be a normal 30-minute presentation. But there will then be a more general audience discussion of testing issues led by AMTSO Chief Operations Officer John Hawes, so the whole session runs from 11:00 to 12:30 on Thursday 5th October. I expect the discussion to be lively: testing discussions usually are.

Martijn Grooten tells us that more small talks will be added in the coming weeks, and there’s plenty of time left to submit a last-minute paper (the deadline is September 3rd). The conference programme as it currently stands, however, is available here. Virus Bulletin’s Small Talks have been introduced since I last attended a VB, so I look forward to seeing one (or more) in action.

Another innovation introduced since my last VB concerns reserve papers (papers that are presented if one of the initially-scheduled presenters is unable to make his or her presentation). Space has been set aside for any reserve papers that haven’t been ‘promoted’ to the main programme to be slotted into the Small Talks stream. That seems to me to be an excellent idea: it’s always a pity when a good paper doesn’t make the impact it deserves because there wasn’t an opportunity to present it live.

My ESET colleagues Peter Kalnai and Michal Poslusny will be presenting their paper on ‘Browser attack points still abused by banking trojans‘ at 15:00 on Wednesday 4th October, and Tony Anscombe, an industry veteran but a relative newcomer to ESET, will talk about ‘A visit to the dark side‘ at 17:00 on the same day. There will, of course, be many other presentations of interest, and it’s often a struggle to choose between two or even three events taking place at the same time.

On a personal note, VB2017 will probably be my swan song in terms of major conferences: I don’t plan to fully retire (or die!) for a while yet, but I don’t find travel very easy these days. And there’s a certain pleasant symmetry, since VB1997 saw my very first conference presentation. This will be my 16th VB paper (and the fifth on testing – maybe I need to find a new obsession): I feel honoured that Virus Bulletin has given me so many opportunities to ride my favourite hobby-horses at one of the world’s most prestigious security conferences, and I’m looking forward to meeting some of the many friends I’ve made in the security industry in the past few decades. And maybe making a few new ones. See you there, maybe?