Desktop application security in Java

3 days
On-site or online

19 Labs


7 Case Studies




Java developers working on desktop applications


General Java development

Standards and references

SEI CERT, CWE and Fortify Taxonomy

Group size

12 participants


  • Cyber security basics
  • Input validation
  • Security features
  • Time and state
  • Errors
  • Cryptography for developers
  • Common software security weaknesses
  • Wrap up

What you will learn

  • Getting familiar with essential cyber security concepts
  • Input validation approaches and principles
  • Identify vulnerabilities and their consequences
  • Learn the security best practices in Java
  • Correctly implementing various security features
  • Understanding how cryptography supports security
  • Learning how to use cryptographic APIs correctly in Java


Your application written in Java works as intended, so you are done, right? But did you consider feeding in incorrect values? 16Gbs of data? A null? An apostrophe? Negative numbers, or specifically -1 or -2^31? Because that’s what the bad guys will do – and the list is far from complete.

Handling security needs a healthy level of paranoia, and this is what this course provides: a strong emotional engagement by lots of hands-on labs and stories from real life, all to substantially improve code hygiene. Mistakes, consequences, and best practices are our blood, sweat and tears.

All this is put in the context of Java, and extended by core programming issues, discussing security pitfalls of the Java language and the runtime environment.

So that you are prepared for the forces of the dark side.

So that nothing unexpected happens.


Table of contents

  • Cyber security basics
  • Input validation
    • Input validation principles
    • Denylists and allowlists
    • What to validate – the attack surface
    • Where to validate – defense in depth
    • When to validate – validation vs transformations
    • Validation with regex
    • Regular expression denial of service (ReDoS)
    • Lab – ReDoS
    • Dealing with ReDoS
    • Injection
      • Injection principles
      • Injection attacks
      • Code injection
        • OS command injection
          • OS command injection best practices
          • Using Runtime.exec()
          • Case study – Shellshock
          • Lab – Shellshock
    • Integer handling problems
      • Representing signed numbers
      • Integer visualization
      • Integer overflow
      • Lab – Integer overflow
      • Signed / unsigned confusion in Java
      • Case study – The Stockholm Stock Exchange
      • Integer truncation
      • Best practices
        • Upcasting
        • Precondition testing
        • Postcondition testing
        • Integer handling in Java
        • Lab – Integer handling
    • Files and streams
      • Path traversal
      • Lab – Path traversal
      • Path traversal best practices
      • Lab – Path canonicalization
    • Unsafe reflection
      • Reflection without validation
      • Lab – Unsafe reflection
  • Security features
    • Authentication
      • Authentication basics
      • Multi-factor authentication (MFA)
      • Time-based One Time Passwords (TOTP)
      • Case study – PayPal 2FA bypass
      • Password management
        • Inbound password management
        • Outbound password management
          • Hard coded passwords
          • Best practices
          • Protecting sensitive information in memory
            • Challenges in protecting memory
            • Storing sensitive data in memory
            • Lab – Using secret-handling classes in Java
    • Information exposure
      • Exposure through extracted data and aggregation
      • Case study – Strava data exposure
    • Platform security
      • Java platform security
        • The Java programming language and runtime environment
        • Type safety and security
        • Security features of the JRE
          • The ClassLoader and the BytecodeVerifier
        • Application-level access control in Java
          • Permissions and the Security Manager
          • Privilege best practices
        • Protecting Java code and applications
          • Code signing
          • Lab – Code signing and permissions
  • Time and state
    • Race conditions
      • File race condition
        • Time of check to time of usage – TOCTTOU
        • TOCTTOU attacks in practice
        • Insecure temporary file
      • Database race conditions
  • Errors
    • Error and exception handling principles
    • Error handling
      • Returning a misleading status code
      • Reachable assertion
      • Information exposure through error reporting
    • Exception handling
      • In the catch block. And now what?
      • Catching NullPointerException
      • Empty catch block
      • Overly broad throws
      • Improper completing of the finally block
      • Throwing undeclared checked exceptions
      • Swallowed ThreadDeath
      • Throwing RuntimeException, Exception, or Throwable
      • Lab – Exception handling mess
  • Cryptography for developers
    • Cryptography basics
    • Java Cryptographic Architecture (JCA) in brief
    • Elementary algorithms
      • Random number generation
        • Pseudo random number generators (PRNGs)
        • Cryptographically secure PRNGs
        • Using virtual random streams
        • Weak and strong PRNGs in Java
        • Lab – Using random numbers in Java
        • Case study – Equifax credit account freeze
      • Hashing
        • Hashing basics
        • Common hashing mistakes
        • Hashing in Java
        • Lab – Hashing in JCA
    • Confidentiality protection
      • Symmetric encryption
        • Block ciphers
        • Modes of operation
        • Modes of operation and IV – best practices
        • Symmetric encryption in Java
        • Symmetric encryption in Java with streams
        • Lab – Symmetric encryption in JCA
      • Asymmetric encryption
        • The RSA algorithm
          • Using RSA – best practices
          • RSA in Java
      • Combining symmetric and asymmetric algorithms
    • Integrity protection
      • Message Authentication Code (MAC)
        • Calculating MAC in Java
        • Lab – Calculating MAC in JCA
      • Digital signature
        • Digital signature with RSA
        • Elliptic Curve Cryptography
          • ECC basics
          • Digital signature with ECC
        • Digital signature in Java
          • Lab – Digital signature with ECDSA in JCA
    • Public Key Infrastructure (PKI)
      • Some further key management challenges
      • Certificates
        • Certificates and PKI
        • X.509 certificates
        • Chain of trust
        • PKI actors and procedures
        • Certificate revocation
  • Common software security weaknesses
    • Code quality
      • Code quality and security
      • Data handling
        • Initialization and cleanup
          • Constructors and destructors
          • Class initialization cycles
          • Lab – Initialization cycles
        • Unreleased resource
          • The finalize() method – best practices
      • Object oriented programming pitfalls
        • Accessibility modifiers
          • Are accessibility modifiers a security feature?
          • Accessibility modifiers – best practices
          • Overriding and accessibility modifiers
        • Inheritance and overriding
        • Mutability
          • Lab – Mutable object
        • Cloning
  • Wrap up
    • Secure coding principles
      • Principles of robust programming by Matt Bishop
      • Secure design principles of Saltzer and Schroeder
    • And now what?
      • Software security sources and further reading
      • Java resources


3 days Session Price

2250 EUR / person

  • Live, instructor led classroom training
  • Discussion and insight into the hacker’s mindset
  • Hands-on practice using case studies based on high-profile hacks and live lab exercises
Customized course

Tailor a course to your preferences

  • Send us a brief description of your business’s training needs
  • Include your contact information
  • One of our colleagues will be in touch to schedule a free consultation about training requirements


Interested in the trainings but still have some questions? Curious about how you can customize a training for your team? Send us a message and a team member will be in touch within 24 hours.

This field is required

This field is required

Send us your phone number if you prefer to discuss further on a call

This field is required

This field is required

This field is required

This field is required