Web applications play a vital role in every modern organization. But, if your organization does not properly test and secure its web apps, adversaries can compromise these applications, damage business functionality, and steal data. Unfortunately, many organizations operate under the mistaken impression that a web application security scanner will reliably discover flaws in their systems.
SEC542 helps students move beyond push-button scanning to professional, thorough, high-value web application penetration testing.
Customers expect web applications to provide significant functionality and data access. Even beyond the importance of customer-facing web applications, internal web applications increasingly represent the most commonly used business tools within any organization. Unfortunately, there is no "patch Tuesday" for custom web applications, so major industry studies find that web application flaws play a major role in significant breaches and intrusions. Adversaries increasingly focus on these high-value targets either by directly abusing public-facing applications or by focusing on web apps as targets after an initial break-in.
Modern cyber defense requires a realistic and thorough understanding of web application security issues. Anyone can learn to sling a few web hacks, but effective web application penetration testing requires something deeper.
SEC542 enables students to assess a web application's security posture and convincingly demonstrate the business impact should attackers exploit the discovered vulnerabilities.
Students will come to understand common web application flaws, as well as how to identify and exploit them with the intent of demonstrating the potential business impact. Along the way, students follow a field-tested and repeatable process to consistently find flaws. Information security professionals often struggle with helping organizations understand risk in terms relatable to business. Executing awesome hacks is of little value if an organization does not take the risk seriously and employ appropriate countermeasures. The goal of SEC542 is to better secure organizations through penetration testing, and not just show off hacking skills. The course will help students demonstrate the true impact of web application flaws not only through exploitation but also through proper documenting and reporting.
In addition to high-quality course content, SEC542 focuses heavily on in-depth, hands-on labs to ensure that students can immediately apply all they learn.
In addition to walking students through a web app penetration through using more than 30 formal hands-on labs, the course culminates in a web application pen test tournament, powered by the SANS NetWars Cyber Range. This Capture the Flag event brings students into teams to apply their newly acquired command of web application penetration testing techniques in a fun way to hammer home lessons learned.
You Will Learn:
- To apply a repeatable methodology to deliver high-value penetration tests.
- How to discover and exploit key web application flaws.
- How to explain the potential impact of web application vulnerabilities.
- The importance of web application security to an overall security posture.
- How to wield key web application attack tools more efficiently.
- How to write web application penetration test reports.
You Will Be Able To
- Apply OWASP's methodology to your web application penetration tests to ensure they are consistent, reproducible, rigorous, and under quality control.
- Analyze the results from automated web testing tools to validate findings, determine their business impact, and eliminate false positives.
- Manually discover key web application flaws.
- Use Python to create testing and exploitation scripts during a penetration test.
- Discover and exploit SQL Injection flaws to determine true risk to the victim organization.
- Understand and exploit insecure deserialization vulnerabilities with ysoserial and similar tools.
- Create configurations and test payloads within other web attacks.
- Fuzz potential inputs for injection attacks.
- Explain the impact of exploitation of web application flaws.
- Analyze traffic between the client and the server application using tools such as the Zed Attack Proxy and BurpSuite Pro to find security issues within the client-side application code.
- Manually discover and exploit Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF) attacks.
- Use the Browser Exploitation Framework (BeEF) to hook victim browsers, attack client software and the network, and evaluate the potential impact that XSS flaws have within an application.
- Perform two complete web penetration tests, one during the five sections of course instruction, and the other during the Capture the Flag exercise.
- Interception Proxies
- ZAP (Zed Attack Proxy)
- BurpSuite Professional
- SSL/TLS misconfigurations
- Username harvesting
- Command Injection
- SQL Injection
- Cross-Site Scripting (XSS)
- Insecure Deserialization
- XML External Entities (XXE)
- Local and Remote File Inclusion (LFI / RFI)
- Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF)
- Open Source Intelligence (OSINT)
- Target Profiling
- Application Discovery
- Authentication and Authorization
- Session Management Flaws
- Automated Exploitation
SANS SEC542 employs hands-on labs throughout the course to further students' understanding of web application penetration concepts. Some of the many hands-on labs in the course include:
- DNS Harvesting and Virtual Host Discovery
- Authentication Bypass
- Heartbleed Exploitation
- Insecure Deserialization
- Reflected and Persistent XSS Attacks
- DOM-Based XSS Attacks
- Spidering and Forced Browsing
- SQL Injection
- Blind SQL Injection
- CSRF Exploitation
- XML External Entities
- Metasploit for Web Application Attacks
- Exploiting Shellshock
- Leveraging the sqlmap tool
- BeEF and Browser Exploitation
- Username Harvesting
- Password Guessing Attacks
- HTML Injection
- Remote File Inclusion
- Local File Inclusion
- OS Command Injection
- Drupalgeddon and Drupalgeddon 2 Exploitation
- BurpSuite Professional Scanner
- Python for Web Application Pen Testers
- Troubleshooting when automated tools fail
- Extensive use of both BurpSuite Pro and ZAP throughout the course
What You Will Receive
- Course media that includes both web application attack tools, as well as many vulnerable web applications for testing and training within the classroom and beyond
- Audio recordings of the course to review material after class
- A custom virtual machine tailored specifically for web application penetration testing, with all labs installed locally so they can be repeated even after the course
- Your own Burp Suite Professional license
The GIAC Web Application Penetration Tester (GWAPT) certification validates a practitioner’s ability to better secure organizations through penetration testing and a thorough understanding of web application security issues. GWAPT certification holders have demonstrated knowledge of web application exploits and penetration testing methodology.
GWAPT with CyberLive
GIAC knows that cyber security professionals need:
In response to this industry-wide need, GIAC developed CyberLive - hands-on, real-world practical testing.
CyberLive testing creates a lab environment where cyber practitioners prove their knowledge, understanding, and skill using:
Candidates are asked practical questions that require performance of real-world-like tasks that mimic specialized job roles.
Find out more about CyberLive here.
Web application overview, authentication attacks, and configuration testing
Web application session management, SQL injection attacks, and testing tools
Cross site request forgery and scripting, client injection attack, reconnaissance and mapping
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"
- USB: 3.0 Type-A Port
- RAM: 8GB RAM (4GB min)
- Hard Drive Free Space: 30 GB Free Space
- Host Operating System: Latest version of Windows 10, macOS 10.15.x or later, or Linux that also can install and run VMware virtualization products described below. 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.
Network, Wireless Connection: A wireless 82.11 B, G, N or AC network adapter is required.
Additional Software Requirements
- Download and install either VMware Workstation Pro 15.5.x, VMware Player 15.5.x or Fusion 11.5.x or higher versions before class.
- 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 their website.
- Other virtualization software, such as VirtualBox and Hyper-V, are not appropriate because of compatibility and troubleshooting problems you might encounter during class.
- VMware Workstation Pro and VMware Player on Windows 10 is not compatible with Windows 10 Credential Guard and Device Guard technologies. Please disable these capabilities for the duration of the class, if they're enabled on your system, by following instructions in this document.
Your course media will now be delivered via download. The media files for class can be large, some in the 40 - 50 GB range. You need to allow plenty of time for the download to complete. Internet connections and speed vary greatly and are dependent on many different factors. Therefore, it is not possible to give an estimate of the length of time it will take to download your materials. Please start your course media downloads as you get the link. You will need your course media immediately on the first day of class. Waiting until the night before the class starts to begin your download has a high probability of failure.
SANS has begun providing printed materials in PDF form. Additionally, certain classes are using an electronic workbook in addition to the PDFs. The number of classes using eWorkbooks will grow quickly. In this new environment, we have found that a second monitor and/or a tablet device can be useful by keeping the class materials visible while the instructor is presenting or while you are working on lab exercises.
Students routinely show up to SEC542 having been demoralized by their organization's web application vulnerability scanner. Sitting on the business end of these scanners, students regularly attest to 1,000+ pages of output littered with false positives. One of the most rewarding aspects of teaching SEC542 is seeing and hearing those very same students' enthusiasm for applying the skills they have learned through the week to the applications they are responsible for securing. They intrinsically knew the push-button approach to penetration testing was failing them, but lacked the knowledge and skill to ably and efficiently perform any other style of assessment. We are happy to say that SEC542 remedies this problem. Students walk away from class with a deep knowledge of key web application flaws and how to discover and exploit them, as well as how to present these findings in an impactful way. - Eric Conrad, Timothy McKenzie, and Bojan Zdrnja
"Eric Conrad was awesome. The real life experiences he shared really helped us understand the content." - Hadis Ali, AWS