Modern Malware OPSEC & Anti-Reverse Techniques Implementation and Reversing
Dr. Silvio La Porta & Dr. Antonio Villani


31st Jan - 3rd February 2022






The course will present an in-depth description of the techniques implemented in modern malware to evade defenders and security products (such as AVs, 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.

The course will also cover real-world scenarios that impair (effectively slow-down or dissuade) reverse engineering efforts and make the job of first responders tougher. The techniques will be demonstrated in two ways: first, by reversing real malware samples, and then by reimplementing an improved version of the malware code and developing custom offensive 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.

The course 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.

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 loaders.
    • Learn tradecrafts used by attackers to prevent and effectively impair defensive incident responders from analyzing their tools, payloads, and backdoors.

Who should Attend

    • Developers and Revese 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


    • Programming experience (C/C++, Python, .NET, or PowerShell preferred)
    • Be familiar with assembly language and Debuggers (IDA pro, WinDBG)

Laptop Requirements

    • Virtualization capable CPU(s)
    • Minimum 8GB of RAM (for running one guest VM)
    • Minimum 80 GB free disk space

Software Requirements

    • Host OS Windows 10 64-bit
    • Debugging Tools for Windows (Ida Pro, WinDBG)
    • SysInternals Tools
    • Virtualization Software (VMWare, VirtualBox)
    • Guest OS Windows 10 64-bit Version 2004
    • System Administrator access required on both host and guest OSs

Course Agenda

    • Refresh of malware reverse concept and PE format
    • Obfuscation and anti-reverse of IAT
    • String obfuscation
    • How to make a good… Malware Builder
    • Advanced in persistence techniques (com hijacking, dll proxying , hijacking providers, wmi, LoLBin)
    • Code injection techniques: from Reflective Loader to Phantom Dll Loader
    • Multi stage malware
    • Validating the target machine
    • Sealing Malware with target machine
    • Split the features in independent malware's module
    • Filess malware component
    • Privilege escalation
    • Customization of encryption algorithms
    • Using multiple programming languages to run malware code
    • ETW internals and bypass
    • How EDRs hook your code and how to detect it


Dr. Silvio La Porta is 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 Symantec’s Security Response team in Dublin, Ireland. Silvio holds a PhD in Computer Network Security from the University of Pisa, Italy.

Dr. Silvio La Porta

Dr. Silvio La Porta

Dr. Antonio Villani 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 to improve detection and response capabilities of endpoint security products. As a researcher he published in top tier conferences and journals and he partecipated 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.

Dr. Antonio Villani

Dr. Antonio Villani

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