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Network Security 2012

Las Vegas, NV | Sun, Sep 16 - Mon, Sep 24, 2012
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DEV544: Secure Coding in .NET: Developing Defensible Applications

Mon, September 17 - Thu, September 20, 2012

I do development on a daily basis. This information is extremely valuable! I discovered several areas of my applications that have areas where security can be improved.

Attendee, Meijer

This is a must-have for all applications and must-know for all developers. I recommend it to my colleagues.

Praveen Palety, Western Union Business Solutions

ASP.NET and the .NET framework have provided web developers with tools that allow them an unprecedented degree of flexibility and productivity. On the other hand, these sophisticated tools make it easier than ever to miss the little details that allow security vulnerabilities to creep into an application. Since ASP.NET, 2.0 Microsoft has done a fantastic job of integrating security into the ASP.NET framework, but the onus is still on application developers to understand the limitations of the framework and ensure that their own code is secure.

During this four-day course we will analyze the defensive strategies and technical underpinnings of the ASP.NET framework and learn where, as a developer, you can leverage defensive technologies in the framework, where you need to build security in by hand. We'll also examine strategies for building applications that will be secure both today and in the future.

Rather than focusing on traditional web attacks from the attacker's perspective, this class will show developers first how to think like an attacker, and will then focus on the latest defensive techniques specific to the ASP.NET environment. The emphasis of the class is a hands-on examination of the practical aspects of securing .NET applications during development.

Have you ever wondered if ASP.NET Request Validation is effective? Have you been concerned that XML web services might be introducing unexamined security issues into your application? Should you feel un-easy relying solely only on the security controls built into the ASP.NET framework? Secure Coding in ASP.NET will answer these questions and far more.

Course Syllabus

Megan Restuccia
Mon Sep 17th, 2012
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM


Improper data validation is the root cause of the most prevalent web application vulnerabilities today. Cross Site Scripting (XSS) has become the most widely reported issue with web applications. It has reached the point where the Web Application Security Consortium (WASC) estimates that over 80% of the web sites on the Internet are vulnerable to this attack.

Beginning on the first day, you will learn about some of the most prevalent web applications vulnerabilities such as XSS, CSRF, SQL Injection, HTTP Response Splitting, and Parameter Manipulation. You will see how to spot some of these issues and how to recreate them in a running application. Then you will use a variety of methods to actually fix these vulnerabilities in your C# code.

The course is full of hands on exercises where you can apply practical data validation techniques that you can use to prevent common attacks.

CPE/CMU Credits: 6


Web Application Attacks

  • Cross Site Scripting
  • Cross Site Request Forgery (CSRF)
  • SQL Injection
  • HTTP Response Splitting
  • Parameter Manipulation

Web Application Proxies

  • Using Fiddler

Validation Concerns

  • Character Encoding
  • Input Validation
  • Output Encoding
  • Blacklisting & Whitelisting

Validation Techniques

  • Validation Controls
  • Server vs. Client side validation
  • Regular Expressions
  • HTML Encoding
  • Stored Procedures
  • LINQ

Megan Restuccia
Tue Sep 18th, 2012
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM


Broken authentication and session management are common issues that can compromise the integrity of your system. Such weak authentication protections can allow an attacker to expose your most sensitive secrets: your data! You will learn about these vulnerabilities and what you can do to design and code stronger authentication protections from the start.

You will learn how to use ASP.NET Authentication mechanisms and securely implement both Basic and Form Based Authentication. This course is full of hands on exercises and culminates in a lab where you put everything you learned together into an application that is protected by strong authentication controls.

CPE/CMU Credits: 6



  • IIS / ASP.NET pluggable authentication architecture
  • Basic & Digest Authentication
  • .NET Form Based Authentication Framework
  • Windows Authentication
  • Authorization, OS security, and Impersonation
  • SSL Client Certificates
  • Authentication Policies

Protecting Sessions

  • Secure Session ID generation
  • Session data, and persistence
  • Session policies, expiry, etc.
  • Session Hijacking
  • Session Fixation

Authentication Attacks

  • Brute Force Attacks
  • Weak Password Storage
  • Password Reset
  • Secret Questions

Megan Restuccia
Wed Sep 19th, 2012
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM


Understanding how to leverage .NET to design a secure architecture with solid secure coding principals is critical to application security. This course combines tried and tested information security principals with secure coding principals to help you build rock solid applications.

CPE/CMU Credits: 6



  • Defense in depth
  • Least Privilege
  • Thread Safety
  • Structured Exception Handling
  • Application Logging and Auditing
  • Secure Coding Principals
  • ASP.NET Handlers, Modules and the HTTP Pipeline

NET Encryption Services

  • Encryption Principals
  • Securing communications
  • Protecting data at rest

Megan Restuccia
Thu Sep 20th, 2012
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM


Starting off with covering Threat Modeling, the day quickly shifts into how the information provided over the past 3 days fits into the SDLC. We will take a look at each phase of the SDLC and discuss how security fits into the process. You will get the opportunity to review code from an open source application to identify security flaws and write the code to remediate them.

CPE/CMU Credits: 6

  • Threat Modeling
  • Security and the SDLC
  • Secure Code Review
  • Static and Dynamic Analsys Tools
  • Secure Coding
  • Fixing weaknesses in a running application

Additional Information

Supported Operating Systems

To complete the labs in class, the following Operating System is supported. Additionally, Internet Information Services should be installed as well.

  • Windows 7 with Internet Information Server 7.0

Laptops must be pre-installed with the following Software

Visual Studio IDE

If choosing Visual Studio Express Editions you must install both:

  • Visual C# 2010 Express Edition AND
  • Visual Web Developer 2010 Express Edition (at least Version 10.0.40219.1 SP1)

* Please note that the SQL Server that is installed with this application is not R2. R2 must be installed separately. It is required to use the Upgrade option (if it exists) if performing this after the installation of Web Developer 2010 Express.

For retail versions of Visual Studio, just:

  • Visual Studio 2010 Professional or better, C# language support required
  • The MSDN Library for Visual Studio 2010 is optional but recommended.

Database Server Software

SQL Server 2008 R2 Express Edition* (The start menu should show "Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2" as an option)

The Express Edition of SQL Server works best in this lab environment. While the Developer, Standard, or Enterprise editions of SQL Server will work, they may require additional manual configuration.

Other Required Software

Other Installation Options: Virtual Machine

Installing all of the above on a virtual machine is a supported configuration provided there is enough RAM available on the host operating system to make available to the development image.

NOTE: Have the operating system CD (or ISO) with you at class as well as any other media in case your system has issues.

If you have additional questions about the laptop specifications, please contact laptop_prep@sans.org.

This class is focused specifically on software development but is accessible enough for anyone who's comfortable working with code and has an interest in understanding the developer's perspective:

  • Software developers and architects
  • Senior software QA specialists
  • System and security administrators
  • Penetration Testers
  • Experience with programming in ASP.NET using either Visual Basic or C#. All class work will be performed in C#.
  • While this class briefly reviews basic web attacks, some prior understanding of issues such as XSS and SQL injection is recommended.

Author Statement

Microsoft has provided a great development platform with .NET. There is a rich set of features, not only for building solid applications, but also for securing those applications. Even with a robust platform and decent security features, unfortunately, there is still a disconnect between building solid applications and building secure applications.

Developers are always up against rigid deadlines, sparse and changing requirements and constant production support issues, which leaves little time for keeping up with the current threats and defenses and inevitably makes security an afterthought. Bolting security on at the end of the development phase leaves applications vulnerable and requires significantly more effort than if the applications were architected with security in mind at the beginning. CWE defines approximately 658 software weaknesses that can be introduced at different points in the software development lifecycle, and an attacker only needs to expose one of these while developers feel pressure to defend against them all. The goal of this course is not to teach developers how to write 100% secure code, but instead to help developers nurture a mindset for creating defensible code from the early stages of the SDL that will allow applications to withstand an attack and provide feedback when under attack, so organizations can adjust and adapt to the changing threat landscape.

This course covers common attacks, including applicable topics from the CWE/SANS Top 25 Most Dangerous Programming Errors, the OWASP Top 10 and deficiencies in the .NET framework, while also providing solid defensive techniques. This course will change the way developers approach the design and implementation of software.

- Jason Montgomery