Developing Secure Java Web Applications – Mitigating the OWASP Top 10 Security Vulnerabilities

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course description

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Course dates

Currently scheduled dates for this training course
Location APR MAY JUN JUL View later dates


Middlesex Street, E1

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This course provides the necessary skills and techniques to identify security risks in JAVA web applications and mitigate those risks through writing secure code. The course aligns to the OWASP Top 10 (2013) most critical web application security risks and takes students through the exploitation of vulnerable code so that they may experience them first hand. It then discusses mitigations in depths and provides students the opportunity to secure the risks they have just exploited.

The course is presented as a mixture of lectures and hands-on exercises. Students are actively involved in exercising the practices an attacker would employ so that they can fully experience the risks and outcomes of a successful attack first hand. They will also leverage various manual and automated tools to help probe for vulnerabilities in a consistent fashion with what many attackers would use.


  • Delegates should already have experience of using the JAVA programming language, which can be gained by attending one of our JAVA programming language courses
  • Delegates will be proficient in developing Java web applications within Eclipse.
  • Delegates should have prior experience of delivering real world websites although it is not expected that the experience be extensive.
  • Delegates should understand the basics of building Java web applications and have an understanding of general web technologies such as HTTP. No prior application security knowledge is assumed.

Delegates will learn how to

  • Define and understand common website security risks
  • Remotely identify vulnerabilities in web applications
  • Employ practices to secure discrete units of code
  • Learn about native web browsers security defences
  • Apply the principles of security in depth
  • Automate scanning and detection of risks

Course Outline.

Module 1 : Introduction to Web Security

  • Who's being hacked and who's doing the hacking?
  • The prevalence of website vulnerabilities
  • Key web application security concepts

Module 2: OWASP #1: Injection

  • Exploiting SQL injection in a vulnerable website
  • Whitelist validation
  • Creating parameterised queries
  • ORMs and stored procedures
  • Database permissions and the principle of lease privilege

Module 3: OWASP #2: Broken Authentication and Session Management

  • Exploiting broken authentication in a vulnerable website
  • The JAAS and ESAPI authentication mechanisms
  • Cookieless sessions
  • Increasing session security
  • Account management and password resets

Module 4: OWASP #3: Cross Site Scripting - XSS

  • Exploiting XSS in a vulnerable website
  • Output encoding for different contexts
  • Native browser defences
  • Reflective, persistent and DOM XSS

Module 5: OWASP #4: Insecure Direct Object References

  • Exploiting direct object references in a vulnerable website
  • Implementing access controls
  • Indirect reference maps
  • Obfuscated identifiers

Module 6: OWASP #5: Security Misconfiguration

  • Exploiting security misconfiguration in a vulnerable website
  • Correctly configuring custom errors, tracing and debugging
  • Encrypting configuration data

Module 7: OWASP #6: Sensitive Data Exposure

  • Exploiting cryptographic storage in a vulnerable website
  • Creating secure salted hashes
  • Implementing symmetric encryption
  • Exploiting insufficient transport layer security in a vulnerable website
  • Properly implementing SSL on forms authentication
  • Secure cookies and HSTS
  • The dangers of mixed content

Module 8: OWASP #7: Missing Function Level Access Control

  • Exploiting unrestricted URLs in a vulnerable website
  • Using authorisation and security trimming
  • Leveraging role based authentication
  • Employing principle permissions on classes and methods

Module 9: OWASP #8: Cross-Site Request Forgery - CSRF

  • Exploiting CSRF in a vulnerable website
  • Leveraging the synchroniser token pattern
  • The anti-forgery token
  • Native browser defences against CSRF

Module 10: OWASP # 9: Using Components with Known Vulnerabilities

  • Identifying vulnerable dependencies
  • Identifying vulnerable or old frameworks and libraries

Module 11: OWASP #10: Unvalidated Redirects and Forwards

  • Exploiting unvalidated redirects in a vulnerable website
  • Whitelisting URLs
  • Referrer checking

Module 12: Other risks and tools

  • Mass assignment and other risks beyond the Top 10
  • Employing automated tools to detect vulnerabilities

Module 13: Summary

  • Going beyond technical controls to ensure application security
  • Implementing people processes in the secure development lifecycle

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