10 Best Exploit Development Courses and Certifications Online

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Close up iPhone showing Udemy application and laptop with notebookExploit development is a specialized area of cybersecurity that involves finding and exploiting vulnerabilities in computer systems. Due to the increasing frequency and sophistication of cyber attacks, there is a growing demand for professionals with expertise in exploit development. Online courses have emerged as a convenient and cost-effective way to acquire the necessary skills and knowledge. In this article, we will review some of the best exploit development courses available online, highlighting their features and benefits.

Here’s a look at the Best Exploit Development Courses and Certifications Online and what they have to offer for you!

10 Best Exploit Development Courses and Certifications Online

1. Ethical Hacking Bug Bounty Course by Abdul Motin, It Corp (Udemy) (Our Best Pick)

Course Title: Ethical Hacking Bug Bounty Course

Course Instructors: Abdul Motin, It Corp

Course Short Description: This course aims to teach the essentials of ethical hacking bug bounty from scratch.

Course Long Description: The Ethical Hacking Bug Bounty Course offers practical exposure to the world of bug hunting. The course emphasizes the approaches that bug hunters use to find security vulnerabilities, such as reverse engineering and exploit development. The course starts with the basics of exploitation and is beginner-friendly. Upon completion of the course, learners will have a better understanding of how to exploit Buffer Overflows on Windows systems.

Course Content and Sections:

The Ethical Hacking Bug Bounty Course covers the following topics:

1. Introduction to ethical hacking and bug bounty
2. Fundamentals of exploitation
3. Reverse engineering
4. Exploit development
5. Buffer overflows on Windows systems

Each section includes a series of lectures, practical exercises, and quizzes to reinforce learning.

2. Reverse Engineering and Exploit Development by Infinite Skills (Udemy)

The Reverse Engineering and Exploit Development Course is a computer-based training program that is designed to provide an in-depth understanding of various software vulnerabilities and how they differ among different operating systems. This course is intended for beginners who are interested in pursuing a career in security, penetration testing, and reverse engineering.

The course is instructed by Philip Polstra, an expert in the field, and covers topics such as reversing compiled Windows applications using fuzzing, stack overflows, and heap overflows. Additionally, the course also teaches how to reverse compiled OS X, Linux, and Android applications. The course content also includes how to find other vulnerabilities, such as website and database vulnerabilities, simple exploits, web exploitation, and ARM exploitation.

The course is divided into 12 sections, including Getting Started, Reversing Compiled Windows Applications, Reversing Compiled OS X Applications, Reversing Compiled Linux Applications, Reversing Android Applications, Finding Other Vulnerabilities, Simple Exploits, Exploit Payloads, Making Exploits Harder To Detect, Web Exploitation, ARM Exploitation, and Future Directions. The course is designed to provide students with working files, allowing them to follow along with the instructor throughout the lessons.

Upon completion of the course, students will be fully capable of identifying vulnerabilities and developing exploits to target them. The course is an excellent resource for individuals who want to gain a comprehensive understanding of reverse engineering and exploit development for software security.

3. Practical Buffer Overflows for OSCP by Naga Sai Nikhil (Udemy)

The Practical Buffer Overflows for OSCP course is an offering by instructor Naga Sai Nikhil. This course seeks to help learners master the concepts of buffer overflows through a combination of understanding and practical application. It is designed for those who wish to learn buffer overflows from scratch, are preparing for OSCP, or want to ace buffer overflows in less than an hour.

The course covers various topics, including x86 assembly concepts, fuzzing the application, observing the stack, precision EIP overwrite with a unique pattern, finding bad characters with Mona, finding Jmps with Mona and Immunity Debugger, generating shellcode without bad characters with METASPLOIT, bypassing less buffer sizes with Egghunters, the POP POP RET technique for bypassing null bytes, using short jumps to jump around memory, and important examples.

In addition to the course content, learners will receive some vulnerable binaries and writeups, as well as five custom-made binaries with writeups as a course bonus. The course is organized into the following sections: Basics, Fuzzing, Exploitation, Exercises, and Download Section.

4. OSCP Level Exploit Development! by Exploit Academy (Udemy)

The OSCP Level Exploit Development course offered by Exploit Academy is a quick and short course with hands-on labs. The course is designed to help individuals learn exploit development without the need to read many books. The hands-on labs provide practical experience to enhance learning.

The course includes 3 hours of lecture videos and a quiz consisting of 25 questions on exploit development. Students will also receive a courseware PDF used during the videos. The course covers the fundamental concepts, tools, and techniques for exploit development.

The course covers discovering buffer overflow vulnerabilities in FTP Servers, Email Servers, and weaknesses in web servers. Fuzzing plays a crucial role in exploit development, and the course teaches various methods of fuzzing. Students will learn how to code fuzzers and real working exploits at their own pace.

The course is informative for exploit development and will enable students to create working exploits. However, it is not claimed to take individuals from zero to infinity. Following instructions is essential, and legal disclaimers and preventing application hacks are also covered.

The course is divided into four modules, with Module A covering the Fundamentals of Buffer Overflows, Module B covering Smashing the Instruction Pointer, Module C covering How to Code Exploits, and an Additional Section covering Legal Disclaimers & Preventing Application Hacks.

5. Linux Heap Exploitation – Part 1 by Max Kamper (Udemy)

The Linux Heap Exploitation – Part 1 course is a hands-on learning experience focusing on GLIBC heap exploitation with HeapLAB. The course instructors are Max Kamper, and the course is designed to teach students how to leverage the vast attack surface of GLIBC memory allocator through several heap exploitation techniques. The course includes both a short and a long description.

The GNU C Library (GLIBC) is a fundamental part of most Linux desktop and embedded distributions, with its memory allocator utilized in almost everything from dealing with I/O to starting threads. The course aims to teach students how to exploit this attack surface through several heap exploitation techniques. Students will learn different techniques and develop their exploits based on what they have learned. The course also involves the use of pwntools and pwndbg frameworks to drop shells from vulnerable practice binaries.

The course is divided into several sections, including the introduction, The House of Force, The Fastbin Dup, CHALLENGE: Fastbin Dup 2, Unsafe Unlink, Safe Unlink, The House of Orange, CHALLENGE: One-Byte, and Farewell. Each section presents different concepts and techniques that students will learn and apply in their exploits. The course is hands-on, and students are given challenges to test their knowledge and understanding of the concepts presented. Breaking down the course content into sections prepares the students for each module of the course, ensuring that they have a clear understanding of each topic before moving on to the next.

6. Ethical Hacking & Bug Hunting: Buffer Overflow For Beginners by Eslam Medhat (Ethical Hacking, Bug Bounty and Penetration Testing) (Udemy)

The Ethical Hacking & Bug Hunting: Buffer Overflow For Beginners course is led by Eslam Medhat, a professional in ethical hacking, bug bounty, and penetration testing. The course teaches students how to exploit buffer overflows on Windows systems, with the goal of providing practical exposure to the world of bug hunting. The course starts with the basics of exploitation and is beginner-friendly, cutting down technical subjects into terms understandable by IT professionals with no software development knowledge.

Buffer overflow is a coding error that hackers can use to take control over a system, making it necessary to understand what they are, what threats they post, and how attackers exploit them. The course provides an explanation on these topics and trains students on using different tools such as Immunity Debugger, Mona library for Immunity Debugger, Metasploit, msfvenom, Spike, File Fuzz, and more.

The course will cover topics such as reverse engineering, fuzzing applications, using a debugger to examine the crash, identifying error conditions using debugging, targeting the EIP register, identifying bad characters, locating the vulnerable module, creating final exploit code, exploit development, and gaining remote code execution on Windows.

The course is supported by a Q&A section where students can ask questions and receive a response within 10 hours. The course is for educational purposes only.

7. Linux Heap Exploitation – Part 2 by Max Kamper (Udemy)

This course is titled “Linux Heap Exploitation – Part 2” and is taught by Max Kamper. It is the second part of the HeapLAB courses and requires completion of the first part before enrollment. The course focuses on hands-on, practical heap exploitation and introduces new techniques to students. Students will learn about various topics such as the House of Rabbit, House of Spirit, tcache, Tcache Dup technique, glibc tunables, and more. The course is designed for those who have an exploit development environment set up from Part 1. The course contains eight sections, including an introduction and a farewell section.

The first section of the course covers the House of Spirit, followed by the House of Lore. The next section covers Poison Null Bytes and includes a challenge for students to test their skills against. The House of Rabbit is covered next, followed by a section on the tcache. The course ends with a challenge on Tcache Troll and a farewell section.

Overall, the course provides students with additional knowledge and techniques in GLIBC heap exploitation. The primary learning objectives include gaining an understanding of the House of Rabbit and House of Spirit, learning about tcache and its vulnerabilities, understanding malloc internals such as glibc tunables, and applying techniques such as Poison Null Bytes and Tcache Dup.

8. Hands-on Fuzzing and Exploit Development (Advanced) by Uday Mittal (Udemy)

The course “Hands-on Fuzzing and Exploit Development (Advanced)” is designed for those who are interested in learning advanced techniques of creating exploits. The course is a continuation of the previous course “Hands-on Exploit Development” on Udemy. The course content includes various techniques such as Egg Hunters, ASLR bypass, Stack Pivoting, Function Reuse, Manual encoding, etc. The course follows the six stages of exploit development and provides a detailed walk-through of each stage.

The course starts by identifying the vulnerability via fuzzing, which includes server fuzzing (using Spike) and file format fuzzing (using Peach Fuzzer). It then teaches how to create a PoC to trigger the vulnerability and convert that PoC into a working exploit. The course introduces various tools such as Immunity Debugger, Mona library for Immunity Debugger, Metasploit, msfvenom, Spike, Peach Fuzzer, BooFuzz, and much more.

The course is designed to be short, concise, and practical. Each video includes learning resources (in video) and associated files (pdf slides, fuzzing scripts, peach pit python script, etc.). The course content includes five modules, namely Egg Hunters, ASLR Bypass + Stack Pivoting, Unicode, Limited Buffer Space / Function Reuse, and Acrobatics / QuickZip. Each module is followed by an assignment to test the knowledge gained from the module.

The course has received positive feedback from students who find it easy to follow along and understand the concepts. The course is suitable for those who are interested in learning advanced techniques of exploiting a buffer overflow vulnerability.

9. Introduction to Exploit/Zero-Day Discovery and Development by Chang Tan (Udemy)

The Introduction to Exploit/Zero-Day Discovery and Development course is designed for beginners and is aimed at those looking to pass the OSCP, GXPN, or OSCE3. The course covers the essential techniques for OSCP Exam Prep, OSED/OSCE3 (EXP-301), GXPN (SEC660), and SANS SEC760. Enrolling in the course will enable students to discover and craft custom exploits against both Windows and Linux targets. The techniques covered in the course include stack smashing shellcode, multi-stage shellcode using egghunters, and 32-bit and 64-bit custom shellcoding.

Additional techniques covered in the course are 64-bit ROP-chaining with ret2libc, 64-bit ROP-chaining with Stack Canary Bypass with Format String Specifier Attacks to leak and repair the canary, and 64-bit ASLR bypasses using ret2plt techniques, abusing syscalls, GOT overwrites, and inserting shellcode into .data segments of Linux binaries at runtime. The course also covers post-exploitation, pivoting on both Linux and Windows targets with rpivot, anonymity via Tor-over-VPN, and offensive shell passing between underpowered Virtual Private Servers and more capable Metasploit listeners.

The course also includes an introduction to ROP-chaining (Windows), Structured Exception Handler Overwrites and Unicode Exploits (Windows), Docker container “pwnboxes,” and writing and fixing exploits in Python 2 and 3. To facilitate the course, students will be taught how to debug flawed applications and craft exploits using Immunity Debugger, GDB-PEDA (GNU Debugger), and GDB-GEF, Pwntools, Tmux, Metasploit, and Proxychains + RPivot.

The course also provides step-by-step guides on setting up a virtual penetration testing lab. The lab setup includes how to install Kali Linux on Ubuntu 20.

10. Windows Exploit Development Megaprimer by Ajin Abraham (Udemy)

The Windows Exploit Development Megaprimer Course, taught by Ajin Abraham, is designed to help beginners understand the different domains of software exploitation. Participants will learn about different types and techniques of exploitation, using debuggers to create their own exploits, and understanding the protection mechanisms of operating systems and how to bypass them. The course also covers how to write and execute exploits in the latest Windows operating systems such as Windows 7 and 8. Additional reference materials will be provided to further aid in understanding the concepts.

The course covers various topics such as stack-based buffer overflow, writing shell codes, exploiting buffer overflows, and writing exploits for Win32 platforms. Other topics include bypassing various memory protections, making exploits reliable, writing remote and local exploits, and converting exploits to metasploit modules. Participants will also learn about concepts such as Vanilla EIP Overwrite, Egg hunting, SEH overwrite, and ROP chains, and various exploit development tools like debuggers, mona extension, etc.

Pentesters, network/system administrators, reverse engineers, malware analysts, and security enthusiasts, and anyone interested in exploit development would benefit from attending this course. Participants should have a working knowledge of Windows and Linux operating systems, knowledge of scripting languages like Python, Perl or Ruby, be comfortable with command-line utilities, and have basic knowledge of Assembly language.

The Windows Exploit Development Megaprimer Course is ideal for those who want to read and understand existing exploits, modify existing exploits successfully, and write reliable exploits and port them into Metasploit modules. It is also suitable for those who want to learn how shellcode works, understand basic concepts of exploit writing, and dig deeper into shellcodes and debuggers.

The course is divided into several sections, including Basics, Exploiting Buffer Overflows, Exploit Development with Mona.py, and Advanced Exploit Development in Windows. The course content will be updated regularly to ensure relevance to current industry standards.