Industry Trends

AVAR 2015 Wraps Up – Vietnam Edition

By David Maciejak | December 09, 2015

For the 18th edition of the Association of Antivirus Asia Researchers conference, we flew to Da Nang in the beautiful country of Vietnam.

Every major security vendor was present, not only those from Asia. After two full days of presentations, we would like to call out the briefings we enjoyed the most.

I would say as usual that Mikko Hypponen from F-Secure gave a good talk about Securing Our Future, reaffirming that our job is to protect users globally and that the key for that is to work altogether. That means not only more cooperation but also more threat intelligence sharing. To that end, Fortinet co-founded the Cyber Threat Alliance and we hope that more companies will join in the future.

We also had our share of expected topics regarding IoT and Android, which, for some time now, have been the de facto focus areas for security conferences like AVAR.

Maik Morgenstern from AV Test presented the results from their research on more than 30 different IoT products. They had reported numerous vulnerabilities to vendors from information disclosure to code execution. Some vendors are more interested than others in actually fixing these issues. Even though we have not seen any attacks in the wild yet, vendor apathy towards IoT security is a scary phenomenon.  As Maik said, it is necessary to be prepared.

Carlos Castillo from Intel Security, on the other hand, came with nice findings on some Android banking trojans using Backend-As-A-Service (BaaS) solutions. The interesting thing is that they were able to track the usage of the Amazon API, and so were able to collect some more data directly from the operation backend database. He gave some interesting insights into the C&C communication protocol used and how SMS messages are hijacked.

Many more exciting talks were presented; sadly we were not able to attend all of them. To get a better idea of the scope and scale of the AVAR conference and to see a full list of presentations, check out

Next year’s AVAR Conference will be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. See you there!

-= FortiGuard Lion Team =-