Skip to main content

PyCon 2011: Interview with Geremy Condra

by Brian Curtin

Putting together two talks for a conference like PyCon is certainly no easy task, nor is it easy to pile on a lightning talk and the organization of a Birds of a Feather (BoF) session or two. That’s Geremy Condra’s plan for March 11 through March 13 at PyCon.

The security researcher from the University of Washington heads to Atlanta for a second time, looking forward to an even better conference compared to last year’s blast. “My favorite part is definitely the degree of accessibility the conference offers - between the lightning talks, poster sessions, BoF sessions, etc.,” he says.

Although the PyCon talk schedule may have you believe the day is over by dinner time, that’s only half of it. As Geremy mentions, “PyCon's enormous strength is in its ability to connect diverse parts of the Python community.” One of the ways this happens is through the many Open Space and BoF sessions in the evening. Add to that all of the thrown together hallway events, ad hoc sprints, games, and much more, and it quickly becomes a 24-hour gathering.

During the day you’ll have a chance to hear Geremy’s take on TUF, a library for secure software updates in Python. Asked what common security issues developers are facing, Geremy answers, “Most devs make their security mistakes when they try to figure out who the adversary is - misplacing trust, assuming that adversaries are weaker (or just differently capable) than they actually are, that sort of thing. This seems to happen a lot with client side code, especially when it comes to downloading files.” Rollback and mix-and-match attacks like this are some of the topics of this talk, including a demonstration of the vulnerability followed by what TUF can do to protect against it.

“The other big issue is with trusting untrustworthy code,” he claims. “Thinking that
urllib will automatically check certs for you, that your cryptographic routines are secure because you can't figure out what they do,” are some of these issues. Fortunately, these are more easily fixed than others, and also make up a lot of what he plans to speak about at PyCon.

His second talk, Through the Side Channel: Timing and Implementation Attacks in Python dives into some of the great things about Python that can also introduce security risks. Part of the talk is to raise awareness using some Python projects that are in wide use. Additionally, he plans to educate attendees on the methods of defense, leaving them with a better sense of what’s out there and giving them a better chance at spotting and correcting the flaws that leave one’s project open.

I had a chance to ask Geremy about some of his work and his use of Python, and found that almost everything he does uses it. “I build simulations using Fabric, display data using Matplotlib, use Sage to model problems, and of course implement solutions in Python where possible,” he says, also mentioning occasional Haskell use.

Additionally, he’s the creator of several open tools that he uses on the job. The Graphine library, an easy to use graph library for Python 3, is one of his projects. He’s also responsible for EVPy, a set of bindings for OpenSSL’s EVP interface, supporting both Python 2 and 3.

We look forward to the security knowledge Geremy brings to this year’s conference, along with his upcoming book titled “Cryptography and Network Security with Python 3.” If you haven’t bought your tickets yet, get them before all 1,500 are sold out!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

PyCon 2018 Registration is Now Open!

We’re thrilled to announce the opening of registration for PyCon 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio! The prior six PyCons have sold out, so prepare for another one and get your tickets early. The first 800 tickets sold are priced at an early bird discount, saving over 20% on corporate tickets and over 12% on individual tickets. Students save $25 if they purchase early!

To get started, create an account and head to https://us.pycon.org/2018/registration/ to get your tickets!

You get a package that is hard to beat when you register for PyCon. The conference itself is three days worth of our community’s 95 best talks, amazing keynote speakers each morning, and our famed lightning talks to close out each day, but it’s much more than that. It’s having over 3,000 people in one place to learn from and share with. It’s joining a conversation in the hallway with the creators of open source projects. It’s taking yourself from beginner to intermediate, or intermediate to advanced. For some, it’s getting st…

Python Education Summit celebrates its 6th year in 2018

Teachers, educators, and Python users: come and share your projects, experiences, and tools of the trade you use to teach coding and Python to your students. The Annual Python Education Summit is held in conjunction with PyCon 2018, taking place on Thursday May 10. Our Call for Proposals is open until January 3rd, and we want to hear from you! See https://us.pycon.org/2018/speaking/education-summit/ for more details.

What we look for in Education Summit talks are ideas, experiences, and best practices on how teachers and programmers have implemented instruction in their schools, communities, books, tutorials, and other places of learning by using Python.

Have you implemented a program that you've been dying to talk about?Have you tried something that failed but learned some great lessons that you can share?Have you been successful implementing a particular program?
We urge anyone in this space to submit a talk! We’re looking for people who want to share their knowledge and leverage…

How to get ready for the PyCon development sprints

[A guest post by Kushal Das, one of the 2016 Sprint Coordinators]So — you have already decided to join in the PyCon development sprints! The sprints run for four days, from Thursday to Sunday after the conference. You do not have to be registered for the conference to attend the sprints! Some teams plan to write code over all four days, while some projects plan a shorter sprint if the organizers cannot stay for all four days.Can you start getting prepared for the sprint ahead of time? Yes!There are several things you can do ahead of time, that can save effort once you arrive at the sprints — and some preparations can even be made at home, before you arrive at PyCon:Have your operating system updated and patched — whether Mac, Windows, or Linux. This eliminates one possible source of problems with getting software up and running.Go ahead and install the version control system that will be used by the projects you are interested in. If you install both git and Mercurial on your computer…