SEC564: Red Team Exercises and Adversary Emulation

  • Online
12 CPEs

SEC564 is a 2-day intensive course that enables students to plan and manage Red Team Exercises, including building and executing a adversary emulation. Students will learn the tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) used by the adversary to create an adversary emulation plan, leveraging MITRE ATT&CK, then emulate the adversary during multiple labs.

What You Will Learn

In SEC564, you will learn how to plan and execute an end-to-end adversary emulation, including how to plan and build a red team program, leverage threat intelligence to map against adversary tactic, techniques, and procedures (TTPs), emulate TTPs, report and analyze the results of red team exercises, and ultimately improve the overall security posture of the organization.

You will do all of this in a course-long exercise, in which we perform a adversary emulation against a target organization modeled on an enterprise environment. This environment includes Active Directory, email, web, and file servers, as well as endpoints running the latest operating systems. We will start by consuming cyber threat intelligence to identify and document an adversary that has the intent, opportunity, and capability to attack the target organization. You will discover the TTPs used by the adversary while creating an adversary emulation plan leveraging MITRE ATT&CK (Adversary Tactics, Techniques, and Common Knowledge).

We'll cover the planning phase of these exercises, showcasing various industry frameworks and methodologies for red teaming and adversary emulation. These frameworks are industry standards used by various regulatory bodies to ensure consistent and repeatable red team exercises.

Using strong planning and threat intelligence, students will follow the same unified kill chain as the adversaries to reach the same objective, from setting up attack infrastructure with command and control to emulating multiple TTPs mapped to MITRE ATT&CK.

The course concludes with exercise closure activities such as analyzing the response of the blue team (people and process), reporting, and remediation planning and retesting. Finally, you will learn how to show the value that red team exercises and adversary emulations bring to an organization. The main job of a red team is to make a blue team better. Offense informs defense and defense informs offense.

This Course Will Prepare You To:

  • Build a Red Team program
  • Leverage Red Team exercises and adversary emulation to obtain a holistic view of an organization's security posture
  • Measure, train, and improve people, processes, and technology for the organization

You Will Receive With This Course:

  • Two Virtual Machines:Windows 10 and SANS Slingshot C2 Matrix Edition which includes multiple Red Team tools for all exercises including Command and Control Frameworks (C2)
  • Cheat Sheets
  • Frameworks and Methodologies
  • Threat Intelligence reports for two popular threat actors/adversaries
  • Sample Adversary Emulation Plan

Additional Resources:

Syllabus (12 CPEs)

Download PDF
  • Overview

    The first section begins by introducing Red Team exercises and adversary emulation, showing how they differ from other security testing types such as vulnerability assessments, penetration tests, and purple teaming. Following the hybrid approach of the course, you will be introduced to a number of industry frameworks (including the Cyber Kill Chain, Unified Kill Chain, and MITRE ATT&CK) for Red Team exercises and adversary emulation. Threat Intelligence is critical to performing Red Team exercises and will be covered early in the course. A red teamer needs to know how to obtain and consume threat intelligence in order to successfully emulate an adversary. Red Team exercises require substantial planning, and you will learn what triggers an exercise and how to define objectives and scope, set up attack infrastructure, understand roles and responsibilities (including those of the Trusted Agents), and establish the rules of engagement. With a strong plan in place, the exercise execution phase begins. You will learn how to perform the steps to emulate an adversary and carry out a high-value Red Team exercise. We will cover reconnaissance, social engineering, weaponization, and delivery. Day 1 concludes with a lab testing your payload and attack infrastructure.

    • Consuming Threat Intelligence
    • Attack Infrastructure
    • Recon and Social Engineering
    • C2 and Weaponization
    • About the Course
    • Defining Terms
    • Motivation and Introduction
    • Frameworks and Methodologies
    • Threat Intelligence
    • Planning
      • Triggers, Objectives, and Scope
      • Roles and Responsibilities
      • Rules of Engagement
      • Attack Infrastructure
    • Red Team Exercise Execution
      • Reconnaissance
      • Social Engineering
      • Weaponization
      • Delivery
  • Overview

    This section continues with executing a red team exercise and wraps up with closure activities. The day is filled with exercises that walk students through the course-long red team exercise. Multiple red team exercise phases are explored that use realistic TTPs to ultimately meet the emulated adversary objective. During the exercises, you gain initial access, perform discovery of the target network from patient zero, attempt privilege escalation, create advanced command-and-control channels, and establish persistence. These exercises reinforce the lecture portion of the course. You will learn various methods covering defensive evasion and execution, access to credentials, and lateral movement and pivoting techniques. You'll then use those skills in exercises to obtain the emulated adversary's objective. Lastly, you will complete the exercise by performing various closure activities.

    • Discovery, Privilege Escalation, and Persistence
    • Defense Evasion, Credential Access, and Pivoting
    • Action on Objectives
    • Exercise Closure
    • Red Team Exercise Execution
      • Initial Access
      • Network Propagation
      • Discovery
      • Privilege Escalation
      • Persistence
      • Defense Evasion and Execution
      • Credential Access
      • Lateral Movement and Pivoting
      • Action on Objectives
      • Target Manipulation, Collection, and Exfiltration
    • Exercise Closure
      • Analysis and Response
      • Reporting
      • Remediation and Action Plan


The concepts and exercises in this course are built on the fundamentals of offensive security. An understanding of general penetration testing concepts and tools is encouraged, and a background in security fundamentals will provide a solid foundation upon which to build Red Team concepts.

Many of the Red Team concepts taught in this course are suitable for anyone in the security community. Both technical staff as well as management personnel will be able to gain a deeper understanding of Red Team exercises and adversary emulations.

Laptop Requirements

Important! Bring your own system configured according to these instructions!

A properly configured system is required to fully participate in this course. If you do not carefully read and follow these instructions, you will likely leave the class unsatisfied because you will not be able to participate in hands-on exercises that are essential to this course. Therefore, we strongly urge you to arrive with a system meeting all the requirements specified for the course.

It is critical that you back-up your system before class. it is also strongly advised that you do not bring a system storing any sensitive data.

Baseline Hardware Requirements

  • CPU

    • 64-bit Intel i5/i7 2.0+ GHZ processor
  • BIOS

    • Enabled "Intel-VT"
  • RAM

    • 16 GB RAM (8GB min)
  • Hard Drive Free Space

    • 60 GB Free space
  • Operating System

    • Windows 10 Pro or macOS 10.12+
    • Note: Apple systems using the M1 processor cannot perform the necessary virtualization at this time and cannot be used for this course.

Additional Hardware Requirements

The requirements below are in addition to baseline requirements provided above. Prior to the start of class, you must install virtualization software and meet additional hardware and software requirements as described below. If you do not carefully read and follow these instructions, you will leave the class unsatisfied because you will not be able to participate in hands-on exercises that are essential to this course.

Additional Software Requirements

Google Chrome, Adobe Acrobat or Other PDF reader

  • You will need Google Chrome, Adobe Acrobat or other PDF reader.

Microsoft Office or OpenOffice

  • Install Microsoft Office (any version) with Excel or OpenOffice on your host. Note: You can download Office Trial Software online (free for 60 days). OpenOffice is a free product that can be downloaded here.

VMware Player

  • Install VMware Player 15, VMware Fusion 11, or VMware Workstation 15.
  • Older Versions will not work for this course. Choose the version compatible with your host OS. If you do not own a licensed copy of VMware Workstation or Fusion, you can download a free 30-day trial copy from VMware. VMware will send you a time-limited serial number if you register for the trial at its website. VMware Workstation Player is a free download that does not need a commercial license but has fewer features than Workstation. THIS IS CRITICAL: Other virtualization products, such as Hyper-V and VirtualBox, are not supported and will not work with the course material.

System Configuration Settings

Local Admin

  • Some of the tools used in the course will require local admin access. This is absolutely required. If your company will not permit this access for the duration of the course, then you should make arrangements to bring a different system.

If you have additional questions about the laptop specifications, please contact

Author Statement

"Organizations are maturing their security testing programs to include Red Team exercises and adversary emulations. These exercises provide a holistic view of an organization's security posture by emulating a realistic adversary to test security assumptions, measure the effectiveness of people, processes, and technology, and improve detection and prevention controls. This course will teach you to plan Red Team exercises, leverage threat intelligence to map against adversary tactics, techniques, and procedures, build a Red Team program and plan, execute a Red Team exercise and report and analyze the results, and improve the overall security posture of the organization." - Jorge Orchilles

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