Modern Windows Malware OPSEC & Anti-Reverse Techniques Implementation and Reversing

Instructors:  Silvio La Porta & Antonio Villani
Dates:  June 5 to 8  2023
Capacity:  25

This course will present an in-depth description of the techniques implemented in modern malware to evade defenders and security products (such as AV, IPS, IDS, EDR), and how attackers design and operate their implants in order to ensure a prompt redeployment after a detection or a public disclosure by researchers or security vendors.

We will also cover real-case scenarios that impair (effectively slow-down or dissuade) a reverse engineering effort and make the job of a first responder tougher. The techniques will be demonstrated in two ways: by reversing real malware samples and then reimplementing an improved version of malware code or, by developing custom attacker's tools. The training is designed from an attacker's point of view, teaching red-teams how to make their implants stealthier but, it will also teach defenders how to deal with the anti-reversing and the OPSEC techniques demonstrated in class.

This training focuses primarily on Windows malware and on the analysis, tweaking and re-purposing of real malware samples. Participants will be provided with plenty of custom code to facilitate the understanding of complex malware techniques.

As part of the course, theory sessions will be followed by exercises where participants will reverse and re- implement specific parts of real malware in order to fully understand the hidden corners of all the techniques involved. The 50% of the course will be dedicated to hands-on labs that will show how to translate the theory principles into practice.

Labs are designed to provide flexibility in terms of complexity and include bonus tracks to ensure that you always feel engaged and have something interesting to explore and learn. To develop and test the techniques described during the theory sessions, students will be provided with the source-code of our training agent and its corresponding C2.


Key Learning Objective

Be able to recognize, implement and deal with stealthy malware/backdoors techniques and tradecrafts. Be able to modify malware components and pre/post build tools to protect them against reversing efforts. Familiarize with the latest advances in code and DLL injection techniques and customize reflective loader. Be able to build custom obfuscators and to recognize some pattern left by some obfuscation transforms. Learn tradecrafts used by attackers to prevent and effectively impair defensive incident responders from analyzing their tools, payloads, and backdoors.

Course Agenda

Module 1

1. Warm up (refresh basic concepts)

2. DynLoader Dynamic APIs resolution Import by hash PEB walk Syscall direct invocation API Custom implementation

3. Obfuscation I Obfuscation techniques Opaque predicates, MBA, VM obfuscators

Module 2

1. Obfuscation II Source level obfuscation Intermediate representation obfuscations (LLVM)

2. Bring your own Loader Windows Loader Alternative Loaders

3. Injection I (Advanced Reflective Loader) Wide used injection techniques Reflective Loader deep analysis Customize RL

Module 3

1. Injection II (Exotic Injection) Uncommon injection techniques Hooks Implement an exotic injector

2. Anti-Debug Debugging internals Breakpoint detection (HW and SW) Anti-tampering

3. Persistence and LPE COM/DLL Hijacking WMI persistence SID, UAC, DACL, PPL, PP Abuse WinSxS Handle stealer

Module 4

1. Anti-VM Artifact detection Instruction and timing detection Build an anti-vm module

2. Multi Lang Module Run managed code from unmanaged AMSI Execution Guardrails IPC

3. Dealing with ETW Providers, Consumers, Sessions User-space provider bypass The Threat Intelligence Provider

4. Final Lab

Who Should Attend

Developers and Reverse engineers who want to understand the tradecraft from a different point of view, red-team members who want to go beyond using third-party implants, and researchers who want to develop anti-detection techniques of real malware/apt.

Class Requirement

Programming experience (C, C++, Python, .NET, and PowerShell) Be familiar with assembly language and Debuggers (IDA pro, WinDBG) Students should have a laptop with required software installed


Dr. Silvio La Porta is CEO and Co-Faunder at RETooling defining and developing Threat Actor emulation platform enabling red team to recreate a realist attack scenario. Previously he was a Senior Cyber Security Architect designing security products and researching advanced detection technology for complex malware/APT. Silvio previously was a lead research scientist with EMC Research Europe based in the Centre of Excellence in Cork, Ireland.

His primary research focus areas were real-time network monitoring and data analysis in smart grids to detect malware activity in SCADA systems and corporate networks. He was also leading Security Service Level Agreement (Sec-SLA) and end user security/privacy protected data store projects for hybrid Cloud environment. He is a frequent speaker in professional and industry conferences. Before joining EMC, Silvio worked as a Malware Reverse Engineer in Symantecís Security Response team in Dublin, Ireland. Silvio holds a PhD in Computer Network Security from the University of Pisa, Italy.

Dr. Antonio Villani is Co-Founder at RETooling and spent the past years analyzing high level implants for top tier customers, providing detailed implementation information to support cyber-defense and cyber threat intelligence teams. Now, he uses his experience in the reverse-engineering of multi-stage implants re-implementing it to improve RETooling attack emulation product. As a researcher he published in top tier conferences and journals and he participated to European research projects in the field of cyber resilience and data security. During its PhD he worked also in the field of malware research and digital forensic.


To Register

Click here to register.