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AppSec Training Pathway

Phase 1: Foundations of Application Security and Pentesting

Objective: To establish a strong understanding of basic security concepts, web technologies, and introductory penetration testing techniques.
1. Understanding Basic Security Concepts
  • Resource: OWASP Foundation
    • Purpose: Introduces core security principles, common vulnerabilities (like those listed in the OWASP Top Ten), and the importance of application security.
  • Topics: Basic security principles, OWASP Top Ten, threat modeling.
2. Introduction to Web Technologies
    • Purpose: Provides comprehensive tutorials and documentation on HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and other web technologies.
  • Topics: HTML/CSS, JavaScript basics, client-server architecture.
3. Basic Penetration Testing and Tools
  • Resource: TryHackMe
    • Purpose: Offers beginner-friendly modules and virtual labs to practice penetration testing skills in a safe environment.
  • Topics: Introduction to penetration testing, basic use of tools like Nmap, Wireshark.
4. Interactive Learning and Challenges
  • Resource: Hack The Box
    • Purpose: Provides practical hands-on experience through various real-world scenarios and challenges.
  • Topics: Basic CTF (Capture The Flag) challenges, networking basics, simple system exploits.
5. Web Application Security Basics
    • Purpose: Detailed tutorials and labs focusing on web application vulnerabilities and their exploitation.
  • Topics: OWASP Top 10 exploitation and mitigation
Expected Outcome:
By the end of this phase, learners should have a solid understanding of basic security concepts, web technologies, and initial hands-on experience in identifying and exploiting simple vulnerabilities.

Phase 2: Intermediate Application Security and Penetration Testing

To build upon the foundational knowledge by diving deeper into more complex security vulnerabilities and advanced penetration testing techniques.
1. Advanced Web Application Security
    • Purpose: Advanced modules focusing on complex vulnerabilities and their exploitation.
  • Topics: Advanced SQL Injection, Authentication vulnerabilities, Business logic flaws.
2. Network Security and Penetration Testing
  • Resource: Hack The Box
    • Purpose: Intermediate to advanced challenges that involve network exploitation and system security.
  • Topics: Network scanning and enumeration, buffer overflows, privilege escalation.
3. Real-world Simulation and Practice
  • Resource: PentesterLab
    • Purpose: Hands-on exercises and labs that mimic real-world scenarios for in-depth learning.
  • Topics: Web application attacks, Unix/Linux security, exploiting CVEs (Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures).
4. Open Source Intelligence (OSINT)
  • Resource: TryHackMe
    • Purpose: Introduction to OSINT techniques and tools.
  • Topics: Information gathering, reconnaissance, using tools like Maltego.
5. Using OWASP Vulnerable Applications for Practice
    • Purpose: Practice on intentionally vulnerable web applications designed for learning and training.
  • Topics: Hands-on exploitation of various vulnerabilities, understanding the mitigation techniques.
Expected Outcome:
Learners will gain intermediate to advanced skills in web application security, network penetration testing, and will be able to handle more complex security scenarios.

Phase 3: Advanced Application Security and Offensive Techniques

To master advanced offensive cybersecurity techniques, focusing on complex attack vectors, scripting for automation, and real-world scenario simulations.
1. Advanced Exploitation Techniques
  • Resource: Hack The Box (Harder Labs)
    • Purpose: Challenging exercises that require advanced exploitation skills.
  • Topics: Advanced system exploitation, post-exploitation techniques, pivoting and lateral movement.
2. Scripting and Automation in Pentesting
  • Resource: Custom Scripts (using languages like Python, Bash)
    • Purpose: Writing and utilizing scripts to automate various pentesting tasks.
  • Topics: Scripting for automation, custom exploit development, tool creation.
3. In-Depth Application Vulnerability Analysis
  • Resource: OWASP Testing Guide
    • Purpose: Comprehensive guide to testing the security of web applications.
  • Topics: In-depth testing methodologies, advanced vulnerability analysis, secure coding practices.
4. Mobile Application Pentesting
    • Purpose: Focuses on security in mobile applications and platforms.
  • Topics: Mobile app vulnerabilities, Android/iOS specific security issues, mobile pentesting tools.
5. Specialization in Key Areas
  • Resource: PentesterLab
    • Purpose: Provides modules for specialization like mobile security, web applications, scripting for pentesting.
  • Topics: Choose areas of specialization such as mobile security, API security, or scripting.
6. Web Application Firewall (WAF) Bypass Techniques
    • Purpose: Learn how to identify and bypass web application firewalls.
  • Topics: WAF detection, evasion techniques, advanced bypass methods.
7. Advanced Penetration Testing and Exploit Development
    • Purpose: To learn about the latest exploits and practice writing your own.
  • Topics: Advanced exploitation techniques, writing and customizing exploits, reverse engineering.
8. Application Security Automation
    • Purpose: To learn about tools and practices for automating application security testing.
  • Topics: Static and dynamic analysis tools, integrating security into CI/CD pipelines.
9. Cloud Security and Penetration Testing
    • Purpose: To understand the security challenges and best practices in cloud environments.
  • Topics: Cloud infrastructure vulnerabilities, AWS/Azure/GCP security, cloud-specific attack vectors.
10. Bug Bounty Hunting and Ethical Hacking
  • Resource: HackerOne and Bugcrowd
    • Purpose: Real-world application of pentesting skills in bug bounty programs.
  • Topics: Finding and reporting vulnerabilities, responsible disclosure, building a reputation in the bug bounty community.
11. Compliance and Reporting
  • Resource: OWASP Guidelines
    • Purpose: Understand the importance of compliance with security standards and effective reporting.
  • Topics: Security compliance (like PCI DSS, HIPAA), writing penetration test reports.
Expected Outcome:
At the end of this phase, learners will be equipped with advanced skills in application security and offensive cybersecurity, ready for real-world pentesting or red team engagements.