Application Security for Hackers and Developers
Ends May 31
Ends July 30
There are four technical skills required by security researchers, software quality assurance and test engineers, or developers concerned about security: Source code auditing, fuzzing, reverse engineering, and exploitation. Each of these domains is covered in detail. C/C++ code has been plagued by security errors resulting from memory corruption for a long time. Problematic code is discussed and searched for in lectures and labs. Fuzzing is a topic book author DeMott knows about well. Mutation file fuzzing and framework definition construction (Sulley and Peach) are just some of the lecture and lab topics. When it comes to reversing C/C++ (Java and others are briefly discussed) IDA pro is the tool of choice. Deep usage of this tool is covered in lecture and lab. Exploitation discussions and labs are the exciting final component. You’ll enjoy exploitation basics, and will also use the latest techniques.
- Source Code Auditing
Understanding how and when to audit source code is key for both developers and hackers. Students learn to zero in on the important components. Automated tools are mentioned, but auditing source manually is the focus, since verifying results is a required skill even when using automated tools. Spotting and fixing bugs is the focus.
Fuzzing is a runtime method for weeding out bugs in software. It is used by a growing number of product and security organizations. Techniques such as dumb file fuzzing, all the way up to distributed fuzzing, will be covered. Students will write and use various fuzzers.
- Reverse Engineering
Students focus on learning to reverse compiled software written in C and C++, though half-compiled code is mentioned as well. The IDA pro tool is taught and used throughout. Calling conventions, C to assembly, identifying and creating structures, RTTI reconstruction are covered. Students will also use IDA's more advanced features such as flirt/flare, scripting, and plug-ins.
Students will walk out of this class knowing how to find and exploit bugs in software. This is useful to both developers and hackers. The exploit component will teach common bug type such as: stack overflows, function pointer overwrites, heap overflows, off-by-ones, FSEs, return to libc, integer errors, uninitialized variable attacks, heap spraying, and ROP. Shellcode creation/pitfalls and other tips and tricks will all be rolled into the exciting, final component.
No hard prerequisites, but helpful if:
- College Degree in a computer related disciple or equivalent work experience
- If desired, feel free to read "Introduction to Application Security": http://www.vdalabs.com/tools/AppSec_Whitepaper.html
- Programming (C/C++/.asm) and security experience will help, but you will still get a lot out of the course if you lack that, so no fears. All questions are good questions in my classes. We have a fun but instructive and intense learning experience. You won’t walk away disappointed.
By the end of this course, you will be able to: research and develop an exploit from scratch by auditing code or fuzzing an application, reverse engineering the issue, and developing an exploit for the vulnerability you discovered. This knowledge will help developers produce better code, and will help security researchers or malware analysts in their daily tasks.
The course material will be provided to you on day 1. As soon as you receive the course material, copy it from the media and extract and test the virtual machine. Begin by writing a C program and disassembling it, if you arrive to the course early on day 1.
The course material is in 4 directories: SrcAudit, Fuzzing, Reversing, and Exploitation. In each directory you’ll find a wealth of knowledge from documents to labs. Material cannot be shared, directly reproduced, or used for profit.
Please fill out the course review form. Any other comments can be sent directly to the instructor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Grey Hat Hacking: The Ethical Hacker's Handbook, 3rd Edition. Harper, Harris, Ness, Eagle, Lenkey, and Williams
- Fuzzing for Software Security and Quality Assurance, by Takanen, DeMott, Miller
- The Art of Software Security Assessment, by Mark Dowd, John McDonald, and Justin Schuh
- The IDA Pro Book, 2nd Edition, by Chris Eagle
What Students Should Bring
Students are required to provide a laptop for the course:
Your laptop should have at least 18GB of free HD space and should have 4GB+ of RAM.
Install Ahead of Time
- VMware workstation/player for Windows or Fusion for the Mac
- You will be given a Windows 7 VM. Copy to your hard drive, and pass the portable Media to your neighbor. You may not share course media with non-students.
Examples of Tools on the Virtual Machines
- WinDbg and Immunity Debugger
- IDA pro 6.x DEMO
- Python (From Sulley installer. pydbg works with 2.4 by default in this installer)
- Peach Fuzzer
- 010 hex editor (trail available)
- SciTools Understand (demo)
- And much more…
Jared DeMott has spoken at security conferences such as Black Hat, Defcon, ToorCon, Shakacon, DakotaCon, and GRRCon. He is active in the security community by teaching his Application Security course, and has co-authored a book on Fuzzing. Jared has been an invited lecturer at prestigious institutions such as the United States Military Academy, has worked primarily as a vulnerability researcher, and holds a PhD from Michigan State University.