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Hacking Modern Desktop Apps: Master the Future of Attack Vectors

Two-Day Interactive (Live Online) Training - AppSec New Zealand Conference 2021


All action, no fluff, come to this 100% hands-on Electron and Modern apps course with us and get:

  • ​Lifetime​ access to ​our training portal​, with all course materials
  • Unlimited access​ to ​future updates​ and step-by-step ​video recordings
  • Unlimited email support​
  • Interesting apps
  • and more…

Key Takeaways:

  • Learn how to find Modern Desktop App vulnerabilities due to common misconfigurations and typical mistakes in framework setups
  • Identify and exploit Modern Desktop App security vulnerabilities as efficiently as possible
  • Improve your Modern Application Security Testing process leveraging a number of open source tools, as well as lots of tips and tricks shared by the instructors after years of Modern Desktop App penetration testing

Course Details

Dates: Wednesday and Thursday, 10-11 February 2021

Time: 8:45 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (NZDT), each day

Instructors: Abraham Aranguren and/or others from the team at 7A Security

Course Fee: NZ $900.00 (plus GST and ticketing fees)

Registration Site:

Minimum Enrolment: Seven (7) paid registrations

Prerequisite Skills:

This course has no prerequisites as it is designed to accommodate students with different skills:

  • Advanced students will enjoy comprehensive labs, extra miles and CTF challenges
  • Less experienced students complete what they can during the class, and can continue at their own pace from home using the training portal.

This said, the more you learn about the following ahead of the course, the more you will get out of the course:

  • Linux command line basics
  • Basic knowledge of Node.js, Electron or JavaScript is not required, but would help

Attendees Should Have:

A laptop with the following specifications:

  • Ability to connect to wireless and wired networks
  • Ability to read PDF files
  • Administrative rights: USB allowed, the ability to deactivate AV, firewall, install tools, etc.
  • Knowledge of the BIOS password, in case VT is disabled
  • Minimum 8GB of RAM (recommended: 16GB+)
  • 60GB+ of free disk space (to copy a lab VM and other goodies)
  • VirtualBox 6.0 or greater, including the “VirtualBox Extension Pack”

Attendees Will Receive:

  • Lifetime access to training portal, with all course materials
  • Unlimited access to future updates and step-by-step video recordings
  • Unlimited email support, if you need help while you practice at home later
  • Interesting vulnerable apps​ to practice
  • Digital copies of all training material
  • Custom Build Lab VMs
  • Purpose-built Vulnerable Test apps
  • Source code for test apps

Course Overview

This course is a 100% hands-on deep dive into the OWASP® Security Testing Guide and relevant items of the OWASP® Application Security Verification Standard (ASVS), so this course covers and goes beyond the OWASP® Top Ten.

Long are the days since desktop apps were written in Delphi. What is common between Microsoft Teams, Skype, Bitwarden, Slack and Discord? All of them are written in Electron: JavaScript on the client.

Modern Desktop apps share traditional attack vectors and also introduce new opportunities to threat actors. This course will teach you how to review modern desktop apps, showcasing Node.js and Electron but using techniques that will also work against any other desktop app platform. Ideal for Penetration Testers, Desktop app Developers as well as everybody interested in JavaScript/Node.js/Electron app security.

All action, no fluff, improve your security analysis workflow and immediately apply these gained skills in your workplace, packed with exercises, extra mile challenges and CTF, self-paced and suitable for all skill levels, with continued education via unlimited email support and lifetime access to training portal with step-by-step video recordings and interesting apps to practice, including all future updates for free.

Course topics include:

  • Review of Common Flaws in Source Code and at Runtime
  • Desktop App Modification of Behavior Through Code/Configuration Changes
  • Web & Desktop - Interception of Network Communication and MitM-proxy techniques to find security flaws in these platforms
  • Platform-specific attack vectors against Modern Web apps & mitigation
  • Platform-specific attack vectors against Modern Desktop apps & mitigation
  • CTF Challenges for Attendants to Test Their Skills

Check out our Teaser Video on YouTube.

Course Objectives

This course will take any student and make sure that:

  • The general level of proficiency is much higher than when they came
  • The skills acquired can be immediately applied to modern Desktop app security assessments
  • Skills can be sharpened via continued education in our training portal for free
  • The student is equipped to defeat common Desktop app assessment challenges
  • Everybody will learn a lot in this training
  • Advanced students will come out with enhanced skills and more efficient workflows
  • The skills gained are highly practical and applicable to real-world assessments

Course Outline

Section 1 - Hacking Modern Desktop Apps by Example

Part 0:

  • Modern Desktop App Security Crash Course
  • The state of Modern Desktop App Security
  • Modern app security architecture and its components
  • Modern Desktop apps and the filesystem
  • Recommended lab setup tips

Part 1:

  • Static Analysis and Tools
  • Tools and techniques to reverse and review Modern apps
  • Finding vulnerabilities in Modern app dependencies
  • Identification of the attack surface of Modern apps and information gathering
  • Static modification of Modern apps for analysis and debugging
  • Identification of common vulnerability patterns in Modern apps:
    • Common misconfigurations
    • Hardcoded secrets
    • Logic bugs
    • Access control flaws
    • URL handlers
    • XSS, Injection attacks and more
  • Modifying Modern apps to alter behaviour and debug issues

Part 2:

  • Dynamic Analysis
  • Monitoring data: caching, logs, app files, insecure file storage, unsafe storage of app secrets, etc.
  • Crypto flaws
  • The art of MitM: Intercepting Network Communications
  • Defeating certificate pinning at runtime
  • The art of Instrumentation: Introduction to ​Frida
  • App behaviour monitoring at runtime
  • Modifying app behaviour at runtime

** Part 3:**

  • Test Your Skills - CTF Time!

Section 2 - Advanced Instrumentation and Attacks on Modern Desktop apps

Part 0:

  • Advanced Instrumentation on Modern Desktop apps
  • Introduction to Frida on Desktop apps
  • Advanced usage of Frida against Modern Desktop apps
  • Writing custom Frida scripts to assist with common challenges
  • Reviewing app behavior at runtime
  • Modifying app behavior at runtime
  • Modifying app behavior at rest

Part 1:

  • Advanced attacks on Modern Desktop apps
  • UI manipulation with XSS
  • Interesting attack vectors with XSS
  • Coverage of Multiple edge case scenarios to gain RCE
  • Dumping memory
  • Prototype pollution
  • Defeating crypto
  • Gaining RCE via IPC
  • Attacking WebSockets
  • Local Attacks and Privilege Escalation
  • Remote Attacks when Desktop Apps are deployed on the server
  • Bypassing Pining
  • And more…

Part 2:

  • Advanced Modern Desktop Apps CTF
  • Challenges to practice advanced attacks and instrumentation on Modern Desktop apps

Your Instructors

Anirudh Anand

Anirudh Anand is a security researcher with a primary focus on Web and Mobile Application Security. He is currently working as a Senior Security Engineer at CRED and also Security Trainer at 7asecurity. He has been submitting bugs and contributing to security tools for over 7 years. In his free time, he participates in CTF competitions along with Team bi0s (#1 security team in India according to CTFtime). His bounties involve vulnerabilities in Google, Microsoft, LinkedIn, Zendesk, Sendgrid, Gitlab, Gratipay and Flipboard.

Anirudh is an open source enthusiast and has contributed to several OWASP projects with notable contributions being in OWTF and Hackademic Challenges Project. He has presented/trained in a multitude of conferences including c0c0n 2019, BlackHat Arsenal 2019, BlackHat Europe Arsenal 2018, HITB Dubai 2018, Offzone Moscow 2018, Ground Zero Summit Delhi 2015 and Xorconf 2015. Twitter: @a0xnirudh

Abraham Aranguren

After 13 years in ITsec and 20 in IT Abraham is now the CEO of 7ASecurity, a company specializing in penetration testing of web/mobile apps, infrastructure, code reviews and training. Security Trainer at Blackhat USA, HITB, OWASP Global AppSec and many other events. Former senior penetration tester / team lead at Cure53 and Version 1. Creator of “Practical Web Defense” - a hands-on eLearnSecurity attack / defense course (, OWASP OWTF project leader, an OWASP flagship project (, Major degree and Diploma in Computer Science, some certs: CISSP, OSCP, GWEB, OSWP, CPTS, CEH, MCSE:Security, MCSA:Security, Security+. As a shell scripting fan trained by unix dinosaurs, Abraham wears a proud manly beard. He writes on Twitter as @7asecurity, @7a_ @owtfp or Multiple presentations, pentest reports and recordings can be found at

Abhishek J M

Abhishek is a security enthusiast and has been working on mobile application security for the past 5 years. He is an avid CTF player and is the mobile security team lead of one of India’s top CTF teams, Team bi0s. He is the author of notable open source mobile security projects like Adhrit and EVABS which have been well received in the community. He has presented his work and has conducted training at various meetups and conferences like OWASP Seasides, Threatcon, Cysinfo and c0c0n. He is an open source evangelist and spends his free time automating and building learning materials for mobile security. Twitter: @HawkSpawn

Juan Urbano Stordeur

After more than eight years performing Web and Network security audits, Juan’s focus switched to Android and iOS mobile apps for the last five years. During this time, he travelled around the Latin America doing Security Assessments into many companies, some of them considered Latin American Unicorns.

He coordinates the Ekoparty Mobile Hacking Space, and is a well known Speaker and Trainer in events such as OWASP Latam Tour, OWASP Uruguay, OWASP Buenos Aires, OWASP Cordoba, OWASP Patagonia, Ekoparty Mobile Hacking Space, Ekoparty University Talks, etc. Python lover, CTF player and Bug Bounty Hunter in his free time. He has a passion for climbing and snowboarding. Twitter: @juanurss