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List of my talks and workshops: security engineering, applied cryptography, secure software development

A list of my talks about security engineering, applied cryptography, security usability. Twitter, Medium.


I have a wide software engineering background, now I work on products and solutions at cryptographic solutions company Cossack Labs. We provide developers with tools for protection of sensitive data in apps and infrastructures, ranging from SaaS services and mobile apps to critical infrastructure / power grid operators and SCADA networks.

Aside from solutions, we do provide advisory and in-depth application security consulting, assisting developments on various stages of development with security review and improvement advice. Also me & my team conduct secure software development training for senior developers, architects and product managers.

  • Open source tools:
    • Themis — the crypto library for storage and messaging in mobile, desktop, and web apps;
    • Acra — database security suite with SQL firewall and IDS;
    • Hermes — end-to-end encryption engine for data collaboration (mobile, web, infrastructures);

Enjoy! 🔒

Conferences coming soon

(will the world ever be the same?)

In 2021 I am focusing on ~~washing hands~~ defensive security topics that are interesting for tech leads, CTO, solution architects. Security design and engineering, end-to-end encryption for distributed apps.

Email me if you want to invite me to speak at your conference :)


Mobile app security roundtable with Anastasiia Voitova, Julia Potapenko and Julia Vashchenko


We're speaking about mobile app security, introduce security.plist, discuss security-related cases in developers life.

Security track host at QCon Plus


Check Talks and Program: topics include OSINT, security bias, security in a time of insecurity.

Program committee chair at NoNameCon 2020


Check Youtube Talks: topics include PQ cryptography, security engineering, privilege escalation, IoT hacking, country-wide cybersecurity, interview with Bruce Schneier.

Crypto AMA with me, Ruslan Kiyanchuk and Mark Carney


We're speaking about cryptography and answer questions:

  • what is our favourite cipher and why it's base64
  • is crypto a life-style?
  • is it okay to be into crypto without having crypto background
  • how to select proper TLS suite
  • post-quantum crypto: should we care?
  • crypto-coding mistakes we've seen
  • regulations, e2ee, lattice, and all the things

Presented at:

  • OPCDE online, 29 July 2020

Use Cryptography; Don’t Learn It

#security #crypto


We’ll talk about “boring crypto”: why developers shouldn’t spend time learning all the details of crypto-algorithms (or invent new ones). How to avoid typical crypto-mistakes when all you need is to protect data at rest or in motion. There are enough ready-to-use cryptographic libraries and tools for everyone.

Presented at:

Security track host at QCon London

Check it out: topics include security risk management, balancing security and performance, SSDLC, devsecops and post-quatum crypto.


Security track host at QCon SF


Check it out: topics include security architecture, security engineering, cryptography, organizational security.

Maintaining cryptographic library for 12 languages

#security #software-architecture #cryptography

slides video

This talk is useful for people that believe that perfect crypto lib is a C lib with 1-page readme :)

Maintaining cross-platform cryptographic library is a journey full of unexpected bugs, language-specific hacks, difficult decisions and endless struggle to make developer-facing APIs easy-to-use and hard-to-misuse.

How to simplify complex crypto concepts into simple "encrypt(msg, key)" and "decrypt(data, key)" functions? How to provide unified API for 11 languages, when some of them are strongly-typed and another one is javascript? Secure by default: what design choices should be made to protect from misuse. Multi-platformness: how to make sure that message encrypted using Ruby on x64 Ubuntu 18.04 will be [successfully] decrypted on iOS12 on iPhone armv7s? Testing wildness: static analyzers, fuzzing, unit tests, integration tests. Docs: developers copy-paste from readme anyway, how to make sure that they copy-paste correct things.

I'll describe the 4yrs experience on maintaining multi-platform open source library Themis: from API design to language-specific hacks.

Presented at:

  • BlackAlps
    Yverdon-les-Bains, Switzerland, 7-8 November 2019

[Training] Security engineering: from encryption to software architecture patterns

Public training on security and cryptography engineering, conducted jointly with Jean-Philippe Aumasson in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Nov 4. Training aimed on software engineers and solution architects that work on distributed applications and security-related features.

Details about content.

Interested in conducting similar training for your team? Email me.

10 lines of encryption, 1500 lines of key management

#mobile #iosdev #encryption #e2ee #Bear

slides blogpost video (ru) video (eng)

The real case about one large note taking the app, that decided to implement convenient note encryption and note locking for their existing user base. But finding a balance between usability, security and mobile platforms' restrictions is complicated.

We will start with the security design scheme, then select the proper encryption library, then implement the flow, and prepare for incidents. Now — think about it — cryptography is only chapter 3 in OWASP MASVS (8 chapters in general). Even the best cryptography will fail if basic security controls are badly implemented.

Points we will go through: the difference between "locking" and "encrypting", the difference between password and encryption key, how to sync passwords between devices, what exactly to store in keychain/keystore, how to use proper cryptography (AES CBC or AES GCM, random salt? IV? padding? what a hell is this mess), how to use biometrics (we don’t want to bother user, let’s use biometric keychain, but what if users will change their fingerprints — shall we invalidate all passwords?), updating encryption version (imagine, vulnerability is discovered in our library or app — how to update cipher, and softly migrate users to the new cipher, if users don’t even have a clue that encryption was versioned).

At the end, this is only one simple JIRA ticket "let's encrypt the notes" from the eyes of security software engineer :)

Presented at:

Security, privacy and cryptography at WWDC19

#mobile #iosdev #encryption #privacy

slides video coming soon blog post interview

Apple made many announcements on WWDC 2019 about cryptography, cybersecurity and privacy. Anastasiia highlighted important changes for developers – including new CryptoKit framework, data privacy regulations, new app permissions.

Presented at:

"Defense in depth": trench warfare principles for building secure distributed applications

#security #software-architecture #app-sec

slides video (en) video (ru) blog post

It comes to no surprise, that any micro-services, any security controls you use to build applications – will eventually be broken (or fail). Under certain pressure, some components will fail together.

The question is – how do we build our systems in a way that security incidents won't happen even if some components fail. And the data leaks won't occur even if attacks are successful.

"Defense in depth" is a security engineering pattern, that suggests building an independent set of security controls aimed at mitigating more risks even if the attacker crosses the outer perimeter. During the talk, we will model threats and risks for the modern distributed application, and improve it by building multiple lines of defence. We will overview high-level patterns and exact tools from the security engineering world and explain them to the modern web devs ;)

Presented at:

Encryption intro for kids (13-17 yo)

slides (ukr)

I was co-organizing and speaking at CyberKids event during NoNameCon cyber security conference in Kyiv, Ukraine, 14-17 May. Kids learnt basics about encryption and did simple cipher-decipher exercises.

Read about in my LN post and NoNameCon site.

Presented at:

Secure Software Development: From Rookie to Hardcore in 90 Minutes [workshop] 🛠

#key-management #workshop #mobile #cryptography

slides github repo

OWASP SSDLC, how to select encryption library, what are common mistakes in implementing encryption around data. Key management techniques (storing user passwords, storing API keys).

The actionable to-do list of things you might want to improve in your apps, deepen your understanding of the landscape of cybersecurity, a set of resources to read/dive next to make your apps even more secure.

Workshoped at:


Secure Development Is Dead, Long Live Secure Development

Essay for De Programmatica Ipsum magazine about secure software development and the mindset gap between the world of product makers and the world of security people.

Protecting sensitive data in modern multi-component systems

#security #software-architecture #basic-sanity #product-engineering

slides video
Protecting sensitive data in modern multi-component systems

We will take a deep look into data lifecycle, risk, trust and how they affect security architecture, encryption, and key management techniques. We will illustrate typical SDL patterns: narrowing trust, monitoring intrusions, zero knowledge architectures, distributing trust. The goal of the talk is to give general thinking framework and enough ideas about tools for senior engineers to plan their solutions securely, regarding sensitive data contained within.


💫 modern apps are multi-components, most data leaks are caused by poor architectural decisions, 💫 what is sensitive data life-cycle, 💫 how to build trust model for your app, 💫 what are typical trust patterns, 💫 how to select proper security controls based on real-world risks.

Presented at:

Making Security Usable: Product Engineer Perspective

#security #usability #basic-sanity #product-engineering

slides no video yet
Making Security Usable: Product Engineer Perspective

This is a story of going through typical security challenges: how to build products that reliably deliver security guarantees, avoid typical pitfalls, and are usable in a predictable fashion by real users. It's a tale of balancing religious adherence to security practices with keeping customer's needs in mind at all time inside the development team; listening to the customers and observing actual behavior outside in the wild; and trying to make the best decisions to empower customers with easy tools for encrypting data in their apps securely and without pain.

We'll take a look at the process through the eyes of one of our customers, who made all the things wrong before doing things right, and through the eyes of product engineer, responsible for learning the lessons to make security products even more usable and reliable for non-security-focused engineers.

Key takeaways:

Attendees will go through several stages of inception and implementation of database encryption/intrusion detection tools. They will see the "behind the scenes" work inside a cryptographic engineering company, will see how customers are one of the most useful people to learn from, and how getting over "we tell you what to do" mentality makes security tools better.

Presented at:

Zero Knowledge Architecture Approach for Mobile Developers [workshop] 🛠

#security #workshop #mobile #cryptography #symm-encryption #asymm-encryption

github repo ---- |

Zero knowledge algorithms and protocols ensure that no keys, passwords, files, or any other sensitive material ever gets transferred in an unencrypted or reversible form. There is no point in time when encryption keys or unencrypted files are visible to the servers or service administrators.

We took simple iOS application (Firebase notes app) and implemented two encryption schemes to illustrate how easy it is to protect data even for apps that use BaaS.


  1. Learn about ZKA
  2. Familiarize with Firebase notes application
  3. Protect own notes (E2EE)
  4. Share notes to other users
  5. Improve security in general (protect keys, improve login flow, hide screenshots, obfuscate code etc)

Workshoped at:

X Things you Need to Know before Implementing Cryptography

#mobile #security #basic-sanity

slides video from UIKonf video from mDevTalk video from CocoaHeads [ru]
X Things you Need to Know before Implementing Cryptography

Before we get deep into protocols vulnerabilities: things you should remember designing your app flow from a security point of view.

This talk will focus on copybook headings of infosec: what you need to know before exciting stuff like cryptography and AI-assisted incident detection. Like, choice of data you show in the background mode, choice of 3rd party SDKs, which logs we send and where...

Even when developers create apps with security in minds, protect user secrets, and don’t reveal unencrypted data, attackers can find ways to bypass these security measures by exploiting architectural weaknesses and unobvious, yet very simple vulnerabilities. We will talk about all the tiny bits and pieces are necessary to make your app secure against simple attacks way before focusing on the hard things (like crypto).

  1. Handling user secrets with care (showing, storing, logging).
  2. Input validation and password rules.
  3. Handling transport connection.
  4. And some tips and tricks that will confuse attackers.

Presented at:

Encryption Without Magic, Risk Management Without Pain

#security #crypto #databases #notmobile #trust #infrastructures #separation-of-duties #echelonization

slides video from QCon video from Security BSides [ru]
Encryption Without Magic, Risk Management Without Pain

In-depth technical inquiry about cryptography in a wider context: how it helps to narrow more significant risks to controlled attack surfaces, enables managing the risk efficiently and elegantly, how tools and algorithms sit in a broader context of managing infrastructure-wide risks associated with handling sensitive data.

  1. What is attack surface, how cryptography helps to narrow it.
  2. Simple crypto-systems, but significant downsides.
  3. Middleware-side encryption: protecting data in web-based infrastructures.
  4. Client-side encryption: trust to mobile apps and code execution. E2EE. ZKA. ZKP.
  5. Echelonization, and traditional techniques.

Presented at:


Don’t waste time on learning cryptography: better use it properly

#security #crypto

slides video (ru)
Don't waste time on learning crypto

Crypto in our lives: why you shouldn’t spend time learning all the details of the crypto-algorithms. Typical mistakes you make using crypto in your products. How to avoid late night commits, but to code 'fast and boring' instead.

  1. The typical engineering workflow "we should protect the data, what shall we do", and possible mistakes.
  2. What is "boring crypto", what do we want from using crypto-products.
  3. Possible solutions: HSM / TPM / software crypto.
  4. How to select appropriate software crypto: libs, systems, containers.
  5. We want crypto to be similar to the Edison lamp: controllable and boring system.

Presented at:

Blockchain solutions: the balance of safety and efficiency, or just a trend?

#security #blockchain

slides video (ru)
Build it solve it

The security engineer's job is to choose the appropriate solutions for the problems and to apply them. Discussing blockchain regarding cryptography is rather boring: it is simple, and even some assumptions in high-level protocols do not cause protests.

I will talk about the other side - where blockchain looks like an optimal strategy, where it causes questions. We will walk through the risk&threats models, trust, and guarantees, to the experience of using blockchain in the real project (and what happened next).

Presented at:

  • UA.SC 17 Kyiv, Ukraine, 18 October 2017

Zero Knowledge Architectures for mobile Applications 👌

#security #mobile #zkp #zka

slides | Mobiconf video | |DevFest Baltics video]( ---- | --- | --- |

Build it solve it

With intensifying threat access, snooping governments and insecure-internet-of-everything, the importance of zero-knowledge application architectures and end-to-end trust, for things more complicated than simple messaging, becomes more and more obvious for the app developers.

We will talk about real-world problems that ZKA fights against, learn typical cryptographic designs and progress in different spheres of ZKA. We will find out how to make data sharing, user collaboration on data in the cloud with your app provably secure.

Presented at:

Build it, not just solve it! 💊

#ux #productdev #mobile #design

slides video
Build it solve it

This is a story from a designer @anatinge and a developer who worked together and built a product for people who really need it. It's all about working in a tight collaboration, conducting user research and user interviews, sharing tip & tricks about team working.

Presented at:

Keys from the castle: ancient art of managing keys and trust 🔑

#security #keys #mobile #trust

slides AppBuilders video CraftConf video

We will talk about building trust. Trust is built around various trust tokens: keys, passwords, secrets, biometric properties, things you have and things you know. We will talk about what should you trust, how to establish and verify trust, how to share trustedly among different users. We will discuss technical aspects: key exchange, key trust, key derivation, channel trust, multi-factor authentications. I will try to make the audience understand how this huge universe of tools and algorithms serves just one purpose: letting the right guys in, keeping the wrong guys outside our magical castle. And fairies there should be!

>>> Read more in Medium post <<<

Presented at:

App security for kittens 🐱

#security #mobile #kittens

no slides no video

Summary talk for the newbies in security field.

Mobile platforms present both new threats and new opportunities for system security. This presentation will deal with modern approaches: how to protect data, which trusted relationships emerge with mobile phone, how they affect traditional security layouts. I will tell you how mobile phones dictate important client-server relationships.

Based on my other talks.

Presented at:


Swift and Security [workshop] 🛠

#security #workshop #mobile #ssl

slides no video github repo

The idea was to share some knowledges about making more secure apps. We talked about:

  • why SSL is not enough
  • strategies to implement SSL pinning
  • how to understand basic risks and threats of common mobile client-server infrastructure
  • protection methods against those threats
  • what is symmetric encryption; why we need it. where to store data and key.
  • what is transfer encryption; when we need it.

Presented at:

Building user-centric security model in iOS applications 👥

#security #keys #mobile #trust

slides EatDog video, 1h (ru) MobiConf video, 40m (eng)
User centric trust

We will talk about building security, that does not fail when application keys are exposed; when servers are hacked; security that lasts as long as unique user's crypto keys (or passwords) are safe. Putting secrets known by the user to be a source of trust is the ultimate way for an app to become "thin" in relation to the security model, thus lowering the risks and developer pain. We will learn about thin transparent security layers system and its applicability in client-server systems.

>>> Check for transcript and video on Realm (25m) <<<

Presented at:

Multiskilled dev teams: unlock your hidden powers 🌩

#teammanagement #development

slides UMT video (ru)

Everyone is talking about developers' specialization. 'Know you niche'. We have separate conferences for every dev area now: mobile, cloud, big data, iOT. In order to build a modern multiplatform mobile app you need to work with separate iOS and Android dev teams, separate backend dev team, designers and managers. Doesn't look too much?

I'll talk about another way of organization: multiskilled dev team, experience and benefits.

Presented at:

Upgrading approaches to the secure mobile architectures 🛡

#security #trust #mobile #ZKP #KDF

slides CocoaHeads Video (ru)
Upgrading approaches

Mobile platforms present both new threats and new opportunities for system security. This presentation deals with modern approaches: how to protect data, which trust relationships emerge with mobile phone, how they affect traditional security layouts. How mobile phones dictate important client-server relationships.

But, what’s more important, we talk about making these things a consistent system: how to think to pick the right tools, which architectural patterns enforce security and minimize risks by design. We learn about ideas of echelonized defence, compartmentation and risk control. We finish with understanding where we stand right now: in security landscape that is rapidly changing, and mobile’s role in it is both dangerous and very important.

>>> Read more in Medium post <<<

Presented at:

Working with designs: make 💖 not ⚔️

#teammanagement #development #design #mobile

slides video (ru)

As the developer, I don’t want to be frustrated when I need to convert designs into assets.

We will talk about:

  • lots of tools and ways how to save own time
  • how to communicate with designer, and
  • if it’s okay to change designs on our own

Presented at:


Avoiding damage, shame and regrets: data protection for mobile client-server architectures 💪

#security #trust #mobile #architecture

slides Do iOS video (eng)
Dodo birds
  • communication with server: security, reliability, ease of use, choose two
  • applied cryptography: should you manually configure CommonCrypto or ...?
  • practical example: protecting network transport without breaking the app
  • storage security: how to prevent anyone reading your secret chat messages

>>> Read more in Medium post <<<

Presented at:

Data transfer security for mobile apps: what the fish doesn’t notice in the ocean? 🐟

#security #mobile #architecture

slides no video
  • Wise fish knows there ain’t enough talks about security
  • Communication with server: security, reliability, ease of use, choose two
  • Applied cryptography: should you manually configure CommonCrypto or …?
  • Network security is piranha in risk and ruff in implementation
  • Practical example: protecting network transport without breaking app

Presented at:

Building profanity filters on mobile: clbuttic sh!t

#mobile #development #nlp

slides no video

Short story about building app with profanity text filter inside.

  • profanity filters: why we need them in mobile at all?
  • handle tricky cases: what is wrong with word 'classic'
  • how to filter fast (strings vs sets)
  • gentle filtering not to scare users

Presented at:

Users' data security in iOS applications 📱

#security #mobile #usersdata #commoncrypto

slides video (ru)
  • Why should we think about security at all.

  • How to protect the users' data. Why shouldn't we store passwords. Encrypt database: it is necessary or too lazy to do that?

  • How to transfer data to the server in a safe way. What is MitM attack?

  • What is password protection? Why snapshots and pasteboard are dangerous?

Presented at:

  • WebCamp
    Odessa, Ukraine, July 2015

Backend without code. myth and reality ☁️

#backend #mobile #parse #development

slides video (ru)
  • How many developers are needed to write client-server mobile app? Fun and easy: set up a new app with
  • Feeling confident enough to use own server? Check migration issues.
  • Own experience: limitations and best practices

>>> Read more in Medium post <<<

Presented at:

Health psycho atmosphere in dev life 📚

#teammanagement #development #mobile

slides no video

Nice and useful things to do if you feel too lazy to write code today.

Presented at:


Making friends with backend developers 🌊

#teammanagement #development #backend #mobile

slides no video

This MadCode Webinar was dedicated to the effective interactions between mobile and backend developers to find the ways of productive communications with the latter not spending their time on finding who made errors, but rather building great products together.

>>> Read more in Medium post <<<

Presented at: