Thursday, February 23, 2012

Stealthy Goings On In the San Francisco Bay Area

Black helicopters, disguised as black helicopters, hovering on highway 101 just south of San Francisco International Airport. People wearing hoodies, on their laptops looking at the closed doors of a conference room just down the hallway. Rental cones of silence hanging from the ceiling of the conference room. White noise machines. Food tasters on call.

Some black hat operation? Secret meetings on Facebook’s upcoming IPO (Initial Public Offering)? Merger and Acquisition discussions between companies who don’t want to be seen in the same room together or at the “W”, during RSA 2012 San Francisco?

None of the above. Not even stealthy. It’s the Anti-Malware Testing Standards Organization (AMTSO) members meeting,behind held prior to RSA 2012 San Francisco. These people won’t be found with the tchotchke collectors journeying the RSA exhibition hall. Quite an impressive international membership,from A to W. No, I’m not a member. A number of these people,who easily qualify as malware “smartest guys in the room” will be trekking up to RSA 2012 San Francisco after this meeting.

The AMTSO does good stuff. It’s worth checking out their organization and their (free) white papers. Titles include "AMTSO Fundamental Principles of Testing" and "AMTSO Best Practices for Testing in the Cloud Security Products". There is more to evaluating a security product than clicking “like” on a fan page.

The Anti-Malware Testing Standards Organization (AMTSO) was founded in May 2008 as an international non-profit association. They focus on addressing the global need for improvement in the objectivity, quality, and relevance of anti-malware testing methodologies.AMTSO membership is open to academics, reviewers, publications, testers, and vendors, subject to guidelines determined by AMTSO.

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