CUUG Meetings: 2017-2018
Last update: $Date: 2018-03-28 01:30:24-06 $
Past Meetings: 1999-2000   2000-2001   2001-2002   2002-2003   2003-2004   2004-2005   2005-2006   2006-2007   2007-2008   2008-2009   2009-2010   2010-2011   2011-2012   2012-2013   2013-2014   2014-2015   2015-2016   2016-2017   2017-2018

March General Meeting

Thwarting Return Oriented Programming (ROP) Attacks

Speaker: Theo de Raadt, Founder, OpenBSD

In the last two decade various mitigations became popular and the classic "upload code onto stack" buffer overflow attack methods became unreliable or infeasible. These methods were replaced by Return Oriented Programming (ROP).

An ROP attacker gains control of the call stack to hijack program control flow and then executes carefully chosen machine instruction sequences that are already present in the machine's memory, called "gadgets". Each gadget typically ends in a return instruction and is located in a subroutine within the existing program and/or shared library code.

Chained together, these gadgets allow an attacker to perform arbitrary operations on a machine employing defences that thwart simpler attacks.

Some OpenBSD developers are working on a variety of schemes which will thwart ROP by disrupting the foundations it requires.

Please use Google ahead of this talk to lightly familiarize yourselves with "ROP" and "gadgets", and get ready for a low-level deep dive.

Theo de Raadt is widely recognized as a world class security expert. In October 1995, Theo founded the OpenBSD project. OpenBSD is the most secure of the publicly available operating systems.

In 1999, Theo created OpenSSH with other members of OpenBSD. It is now incorporated into all Unix systems plus hundreds of other network enabled products. It has become the most "vendor re-used" piece of open source software, with more than 95% of the SSH market.

Theo was awarded the Free Software Foundation's 2004 Award for the Advancement of Free Software, for recognition as founder and project leader of the OpenBSD and OpenSSH projects. His work has also led to significant contributions to other BSD distributions and GNU/Linux. Of particular note is Theo's work on OpenSSH, his leadership of OpenBSD, his commitment to Free Software and his advancement of network security.

Theo is also well known for his advocacy of free software drivers. He has long been critical of developers of Linux and other free platforms for their tolerance of non-free drivers and acceptance of non-disclosure agreements.

Central Library

616 Macleod Trail S.E.
Basement meeting room

5:30 PM, Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Snacks at 17:30. Meeting begins at 18:00.

Attendance is free for CUUG members, or $10 (cash only) at the door for non-CUUG members.

February General Meeting

13 Ways To Break A Firewall, With Live Demonstrations

Speaker: Andrew Ginter, VP Industrial Security, Waterfall Security Solutions

Andrew Ginter

Firewalls are almost always the first technology investment in a new ICS security program, but are they secure? Firewalls have been with us for more than 25 years now — the good guys and bad guys both know how to break through them. Join us to review 13 ways to break through a firewall, each with between dozens and thousands of examples in the wild. Time permitting, up to five of these techniques will be demonstrated live, on a modern, next-gen firewall. This presentation also reviews seven compensating measures deployed routinely to address firewall vulnerabilities on control system networks, and evaluates each measure against each of the 13 classes of attacks.

Andrew Ginter is the VP Industrial Security at Waterfall Security Solutions and an Assistant Professor at Michigan Technological University. Before Waterfall he led teams developing SCADA system, IT/OT middleware and SCADA security products for a variety of vendors. At Waterfall Andrew leads a team responsible for outreach to schools, standards bodies and industrial control system security practitioners. Andrew is the co-author of the Industrial Internet Consortium's Security Framework, the author of "SCADA Security - What's broken and how to fix it," the co-chair of the ISA SP-99 security technology workgroup, and a frequent writer and speaker on control system security topics. He holds B.Sc. AMAT and M.Sc. CPSC degrees from the University of Calgary, and is located in Calgary, Alberta.

Central Library

616 Macleod Trail S.E.
Basement meeting room

5:30 PM, Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Snacks at 17:30. Meeting begins at 18:00.

Attendance is free for CUUG members, or $10 (cash only) at the door for non-CUUG members.

January General Meeting

Designing and Building Printed Circuit Boards on a Shoestring Budget

Speaker: Chuck Rohs, Endpoint Security Developer, Cisco Systems, Inc.

Chuck Rohs presenting

Many people like to tinker with development boards — e.g., Arduino, Raspberry Pi, BeagleBoard, ODROID, ESP8266, etc. — or build electronic projects from discrete components. Frequently these projects end up being a rat's nest of wires on a breadboard. What many people don't realize is that designing and building a printed circuit board (PCB) is easily within the reach of the hobbyist, with a few simple tools. Developing a PCB can sometimes be easier than prototyping, allows for a more robust mechanically stable project, and the possibility of easily making multiple boards for family or friends.

This discussion will illustrate the steps involved in printed circuit board design and manufacturing at the hobbyist level by reverse engineering a Raspberry Pi Amplifier "HAT". This discussion will cover:

  • Board inspection for reverse engineering
  • Component determination
  • Examination of reference designs of key parts
  • Schematic capture (in Protel)
  • Bill of materials
  • Footprint generation
  • Board fabrication (DirtyPCBs)
  • Board paste-up and reflow
  • Tools required

Chuck Rohs is an endpoint security developer at Cisco Systems, Inc. Chuck has a background in embedded software development and security, and was a founder of Au-Zone Technologies Inc.

Central Library

616 Macleod Trail S.E.
Basement meeting room

5:30 PM, Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Note that this is the fourth Tuesday of January (not the last Tuesday).

Snacks at 17:30. Meeting begins at 18:00.

Attendance is free for CUUG members, or $10 (cash only) at the door for non-CUUG members.

Chuck Rohs with amp circuit diagram Amp BOM

Following Chuck's presentation, Christian Falkenberg-Andersen demonstrated an assembled do-it-yourself artificial intelligence voice kit for performing natural language recognition and connecting to the Google Assistant. Relevant links include the following:

Christian Falkenberg-Andersen Voice kit

December Holiday Social

CUUG December Holiday Season Social Evening

It's December, and in keeping with our tradition of recent years, CUUG members and their invited guests will get together for a social evening at the Regency Palace restaurant on Tuesday, December 12, 2017. We'll have a private room and have food from the buffet. Attendees pay for their own drinks.

If you are a CUUG member and would like to join us, please e-mail office at so that we can get a good count of how many people to expect. If you would like to bring a guest, please let us know your guest's name as well.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Regency Palace Restaurant

335 - 328 Centre Street South

5:45 PM, Tuesday, December 12, 2017

This event is for CUUG members and invited guests.

CUUG members at dinner CUUG members at dinner CUUG members at dinner

November General Meeting

How To Train Your Modern C++ Dragon: A Guided Tour in The Zoo of Wild Language Constructs

Speaker: Dr. Thierry Lavoie, Ph.D., Manager - Static Analysis Technologies (SAT), Synopsys


Welcome to the wonderful zoo that is C++! Known to be closer to a federation of languages than a single language, C++ is a complex beast mystifying the most seasoned of software engineers. However, 35 years into the making, it is still a cornerstone of software engineering. How to find our way among the wild constructs, between the old and the new, without leaving a leg to the alligator?

The answer is simple: by taking a tour and exploring the language yourself! Metaphors aside, the goal of this talk is to provide an overview of C++ with emphasis on the modern features of the language and how to adopt the latest common practices. We will look at some of the defining features of C++, like templates, but will focus on the latest additions, like move semantics and r-value references, compile-time type inference, lambdas, const expressions, changes to memory management, and even some of the experimental features, like concepts and modules. To understand how they belong in the large federation that is C++, we will look at all its major eras: pre-ISO, C++03, C++11, C++14, C++17, and the still being designed C++20.

Dr. Thierry Lavoie is a former senior engineer turned manager in the static analysis group at Synopsys. He holds a Master's degree and a Ph.D. in static analysis from the University of Montreal, where he also lectured on compilers and data structures for several years. He is currently the principal voter on the ISO C++ Standard Committee for Synopsys. He has implemented parsers for PHP and Java, as well as island-parsers for C and C++.

Slides from this presentation are available in PowerPoint format.

Central Library

616 Macleod Trail S.E.
Basement meeting room

5:30 PM, Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Snacks at 17:30. Meeting begins at 18:00.

Attendance is free for CUUG members, or $10 (cash only) at the door for non-CUUG members.

October General Meeting

Public Key Infrastructure

Speaker: Fady Bashay, Senior Security Consultant, Paladion Cyber Security Experts

The way business evolves every day shows an increasing demand for more secure email, web access, and Virtual Private Networks (VPN). Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) is the most preferable and strong security technology that provides identification, authentication, and encryption to most organizations.

We will explore the two well known ways of encryption: the Symmetric Key and Public Key. Then we will examine the top concerns that CISO's have today with respect to the use of certificates. What are the best practices that organizations should adopt for proper certificate management.

Fady Bashay is a Security Consultant who specializes in PKI, Certificate lifecycle management, cryptography and key management. He has a Master of Engineering Information System Security from Concordia University in Montreal and is currently working at Paladion Inc. as Senior Security Consultant.

Central Library

616 Macleod Trail S.E.
Basement meeting room

5:30 PM, Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Snacks at 17:30. Meeting begins at 18:00.

Attendance is free for CUUG members, or $10 (cash only) at the door for non-CUUG members.

September General Meeting

Building a Dumb Web Server, and Why That Can Be a Smart Thing to Do

Speaker: Alan Dewar, President, Calgary UNIX Users' Group

Alan Dewar

As more and more aspects of our lives develop an on-line presence, web servers become correspondingly more sophisticated to deal with the increased demands for shiny new functionalities. It can be tempting to install the latest and greatest web server so that you, too, can show off to the world. Unfortunately, the latest and greatest soon become old and unsupported, leaving you potentially vulnerable to remote exploits. Thus, it is essential to keep your web server up to date with the latest security patches.

Or, you could take the opposite approach. If all you really need is to serve static content, that's easy! Instead of running the most configurable and high-powered web server you can find, dumb things down and go with an absolutely minimal web server that only knows how to do the most trivial things. The less there is to your server, the fewer things can go wrong.

Alan Dewar describes the anatomy of an HTTP conversation between a browser and a web server, and shows how simple it can be to implement a dumb server to support this. There are a few things you need to be careful about, but once these are addressed, your web server should never need upgrading. It won't provide all the new bells and whistles of more sophisticated web servers, but if those aren't a requirement for you, then you can rest easy, knowing that your web server is too stupid to be hackable.

Alan Dewar is a long-time CUUG member and current CUUG President. He has a Master's degree in Computer Science and develops software for a living. He has implemented simple web-serving functionality in the course of previous employment, and more recently at CUUG.

Slides from this presentation are available in PowerPoint and PDF format.

Central Library

616 Macleod Trail S.E.
Basement meeting room

5:30 PM, Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Snacks at 17:30. Meeting begins at 18:00.

Attendance is free for CUUG members, or $10 (cash only) at the door for non-CUUG members.

2017 Board of Directors

At the June 2017 Annual General Meeting, the following people were elected to the Board of Directors for 2017/2018:

  • Alan Dewar (President)
  • John Clarke (Secretary-Treasurer)
  • Neil Glenn
  • Greg King
  • Winson Duong
Read all about them.