Defending by Attacking: Web Applications for Developers you own this product

intermediate web development • basic PHP • basic browser tools • basic command line prompts • basics of shell programming • basics of SQL
skills learned
information gathering • resource enumeration • manual attacks • vulnerability discovery • attack persistence • secure programming
Spiros Antonatos
4 weeks · 5-7 hours per week · BEGINNER

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E-commerce sites handle valuable personal information such as names, addresses, and credit card details. This makes them ripe for malicious attacks. Successful web developers use penetration tests—simulated attacks on your own applications—in order to spot vulnerabilities and shore up security.

In this liveProject, you’ll take on the dual role of both attacker and defender of a vulnerable e-commerce site. You’ll start out wearing the black hat of a hacker as you perform reconnaissance, exploit vulnerabilities with specialist tools, and attempt to extract data. Once you’ve cracked open the holes in your system, you’ll step into the defensive role to fix vulnerabilities in your code that have led to injection attacks. This liveProject comes with full access to a virtual training web application, so you can experiment without endangering your own software.
This project is designed for learning purposes and is not a complete, production-ready application or solution.

project author

Spiros Antonatos
Spiros Antonatos is a lead engineer at Aegis Technologies Pte Ltd, where he works on high-performance threat intelligence products. Previously, he was a research manager at Tenable and a research scientist and manager at IBM Research. He has authored and co-authored 32 conference papers, 4 journal papers, and 12 patents for web security, privacy, and network monitoring. He earned his PhD at the Computer Science Department, University of Crete, Greece.


This liveProject is for web developers who want to defend their applications against common cyber attacks. No cyber security skills are required to get started. To begin this liveProject, you will need to be familiar with:

  • Basics of PHP programming
  • Basics of browser developer tools
  • Basics of command line prompts
  • Basics of SSH’ing into hosts
  • Basics of wget, nikto, and sqlmap
  • Fundamentals of HTML and HTTP requests/responses
  • Basics of shell programming
  • Basic understanding of SQL


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