BSidesSF: Dominique Karg on the AlienVault Open Source Model

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Dominique Karg is the Co-Founder and Chief Hacking Officer for security provider AlienVault, a principle sponsor of the Security BSides San Francisco event.

Dominique took some time to discuss the many myths around open source architecture, the inherent benefits and problems, and why AlienVault ultimately decided to go with the open source model.


Dominique started fiddling with computers when his father gave him his first Atari 2600 and Commodore 64, followed shortly thereafter by his first IBM PC in 1990. An avid gamer and true hacker, he had more fun “creating” extra ammo, getting more units and constructing different appearances than he did actually playing the games.

Very early on, he was hooked on hacking and programming, which led to a passion for computer languages and specially computer security. Long nights learning through hands-on exploration of the computer trumped long days listening to lectures on Chemistry, Computer Science and Psychology – so he decided to leave school early and take his first job at IP6 Seguridad in the late 90′s as a security auditor.

This led to the founding within IP6 Seguridad of one of the first ethical hacking teams in Spain, with Dominique as a core leader who specialized in advanced application testing techniques. In 2002, when Julio Casal, came up with the idea for what would be OSSIM, Dominique wrote the first line of OSSIM code and later published it in 2003 on

Dominique has led the project since the very beginning, on to where the AlienVault product offering stands today, first as security architect and coder, then as manager of the development team, and later in 2007 as the co-founder and CTO of AlienVault.

Now, in 2012, he is finally able to take on the role of Chief Hacking Officer at AlienVault, and has combined his two computer related passions: security and the power of open communities.

Dominique is a dedicated writer of security related material for magazines such as Hakin9, has presented at security conferences such as Security BSides, contributed knowledge and code to several open source projects and is currently actively involved in the definition of Common Event Expression, the future Event standard backed by MITRE.

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