We offer web security training courses for primarily two target audiences: First, developers who want to learn about web application security, Single Sign-On, TLS, XML, and web service technologies. Second, penetration testers who want to get an in-depth knowledge about web security. Our discussed topics are both known, and also usually unknown attacks, along with their countermeasures. Furthermore, we go into detail regarding solutions to automate security tests.

Single Sign-On (SSO) procedures are one of the most important Internet technologies and are used by many applications. They allow to design the registration and login process as easy as possible for users and enable applications to be connected to social networks. The use of SAML-based SSO procedures is widespread. However, SSO procedures have become the target of serious attacks due to implementation flaws and flaws in the underlying standards in recent years. These attacks exploit the complexity of the underlying standards and enable attackers to authenticate themselves as arbitrary users or to access confidential user data. In this way, the data can be read, manipulated or deleted.

In this training, Single Sign-On technologies and the underlying concept will be introduced and explained in depth. The focus of this training is on the SAML-based Single Sign-On procedure. With the help of different examples, numerous attack techniques will be presented. For a better understanding, the eXtensible Markup Language (XML), SAML's core technology, will be introduced and problems in XML processing will be discussed. Participants will have the opportunity to execute various attacks themselves, in order to get a better feeling for the related complexity. The attacks are carried out manually (e.g. with SoapUI) as well as automatically with our penetration test tool EsPReSSO in a virtual machine prepared by us. The virtual machine is usable offline and can be used for further internal education of the participants after the training.

Due to the crucial role that single sign-on procedures fulfill in an application, it is essential to understand and address the problems of these technologies in detail. The training will address the following questions, among others:

  • How do I use an XML parser correctly?
  • Which types of XML signatures are available for different use cases?
  • How do I validate a SAML message securely?
  • How can I protect my service or identity provider from well-known attacks?

It is possible to extend this training to 3 days by combining it with the OAuth & OpenID Connect training if desired.

Possible Training Contents:

  • Introduction
    • XML and SOAP-based Web Services
    • XML Parsing (DOM vs. SAX)
    • XML Schema
  • Document Type Definition
    • XML (External) Entity Attacks
  • XML-specific Denial-of-Service Attacks
  • Extensible Stylesheet Language (XSLT)
  • XML Signature
    • ID- and XPath-based XML Signatures
  • SAML-based Single Sign-On
  • Attacks on SAML Service Provider
    • Replay Attacks
    • Signature Exclusion
    • XML Signature Wrapping (XSW)
    • Certificate Faking and Injection Attacks
    • Covert Redirect Attacks
  • Attacks on SAML Identity Provider
  • SAML Secure Bindings
  • Apply the knowledge you have acquired to your own applications

Requirements: This training is designed for two groups: For developers who practically use XML and SAML-based Single Sign-On procedures. Further on, penetration testers and security researchers who want to learn how to evaluate the security of SAML-based Single Sign-On procedures are addressed.

For your participation all you need is a computer, as well as virtualization software for working on the practical exercises; we recommend VirtualBox. For optimal sound quality, we recommend using a headset.

Fixed dates for online training courses

In addition to the possibility of booking this training individually for your team, it is possible to register for one of our fixed dates. The next date for this online training is 23.09. - 24.09.2021. This training will be held in German.

Registration: Registration for the online training courses is via email to Dr. Christian Mainka and is possible until Thursday, 09.09.2021.


  • Date: Thursday and Friday, 23.09. - 24.09.2021
  • Time: each day from 09:00 to 17:00
  • Duration: 2 days, 8 hrs. per day (incl. breaks)
  • Total price: 1.300€ plus VAT (per person)
  • Registration: by email to Dr. Christian Mainka
  • Registration deadline: Thursday, 09.09.2021
  • Note: This training will be held in German.
  • Note: We reserve the right to cancel the training if there are less than 5 participants. A possible cancellation will be communicated at least one week before the training date.

Example: 15 Slides
Flyer: Single Sign-On Security: SAML

Dr. Christian Mainka

Your Contact for This Training

Dr. Christian Mainka