Se­cu­re Soft­ware En­gi­nee­ring SS2024

Cour­se Ab­s­tract

What does it take to engineer software systems securely? This is the key question we wish to address in this course. Answering it requires to develop an understanding of the following key areas of secure software engineering: threat modeling, secure design, secure coding, security validation, secure deployment and maintenance. In this course we will be covering those areas in an example-driven style, discussing current techniques applicable to those areas and lessons learned from concrete real-world security breaches.


Participants are expected to have completed or nearly completed the first section of the Bachelor degree, in particular the Softwaretechnikpraktikum. On top of that there are no special prerequisites for this course.

Cour­se Ma­te­ri­al

The slides and exercise sheets will be uploaded after each lecture on the course's PANDA page (TBA)


The teaching language will be English. Questions in German will be permitted.


The following course schedule is non-binding and may change at any time. Changes will be announced via PANDA.


Date Lecture Topic OWASP Top-10 Lecturer


12.04.24 Introduction OWASP Introduction Bodden


19.04.24 What Security Is! A1: Broken Access Control Schott


26.04.24 Misuse & Abuse Cases A3: Injection Bodden
4 03.05.24 Threat Modeling A4: Insecure Design Bodden
5 10.05.24 Risk Assessment and Test Planning A5: Security Misconfiguration Khedkar
6 17.05.24 Defensive Coding and Security Mechanisms 1 A9: Security Logging and Monitoring Failures Bodden
7 24.05.24 Defensive Coding and Security Mechanisms 2 A7: Identification and Authentication Failures Schott
8 31.05.24 Applied Cryptography A2: Cryptographic Failures Bodden
9 07.06.24 Canceled - -
10 14.06.24 Applied Cryptography Continued A8: Software and Data Integrity Failures Bodden
11 21.06.24 Code Inspection and Program Analysis A6: Vulnerable and Outdated Components Bodden
12 28.06.24 Vulnerability Assessment A10: Server-Side Request Forgery Khedkar
13 05.07.24 Deployment and Distribution A11: Next steps Bodden
14 12.07.24 Insider Threats and Usability A12: OWASP-Recap Bodden
15 19.07.24 OSS Risk Analysis and Recap - Bodden


Exercise Sheets

There will be 5 exercise sheets published in PANDA. One will be published every second week.


Exercise Sessions

There will be an exercise session (almost) every 2 weeks.  The exercise sessions will introduce each newly released exercise sheet and discuss the results of the previous assignment sheet. Additionally, each of the {S}ecurify phases will be introduced and {S}ecurify presentations will be given.

Exercise session 1: Monday, 11:15 in  F 1 110

Exercise session 2: Thursday, 09:15 in  F 1 110


Exercise Schedule

Exercise Dates {S}ecurify Content
1 15.04.24 / 18.04.24 Introduction to Contest & Develop Phase
2 29.04.24 / 02.05.24  
3 13.05.24 / 16.05.24 Introduction to Breach & Review Phase
4 10.06.24 / 13.06.24  
5 24.06.24 / 27.06.24 Introduction to Repair Phase
6 08.07.24 / 11.07.24  

Re­gis­tra­ti­on & Ques­ti­ons

To attend the course, you have to register in the PAUL system as a participant.

{S}ecurify: participation in the {S}ecurify contest is optional but highly encouraged. There is also a possibility to gain bonus points for successful participation.

Fi­nal Ex­am

There will be two written exam dates.

Date / Time / Room:

  • 1. 01.08.2024 / 09:00 - 11:00 / L1. 202
  • 2. TBA

Further Information:

  • The exam will be given in English. Answers in German will be permitted.
  • The use of a English-Deutsch dictionary is permitted.

Lear­ning Out­co­mes

After having attended this course, participants will have developed a solid understanding of the most important aspects of secure software engineering, both in theory and practice. This includes the ability to identify and model threats to software systems, to avoid the most common classes of vulnerabilities, and to identify and apply techniques and tools to avoid or identify the introduction of security vulnerabilities.


The course will be comprising different theoretical and practical parts:

  • The main lecture will cover background information about all relevant aspects of a secure software-engineering lifecycle. We will be motivating and explaining the core ideas with real-world examples. An integral part of every lecture will be the discussion of one of OWASP top-10 security risks. inspired by past real-world vulnerabilities and attacks, we will discuss each category of OWASP security risks and showcase common weaknesses and how to prevent them. Where possible, the discussion will directly relate to this day's remaining content of the lecture.
  • In addition, we will be conducting a practical contest called {S}ecurify. The course is meant to help students experience a secure development lifecycle first hand. In the "Develop" phase, students will be asked to gather in teams and develop small software projects based on a formal specification, also including security requirements. In the "Breach" phase, the developed software will be exchanged between development teams to break the implementation, i.e., find and exploit security vulnerabilities in code of other teams. Lastly, in the "Repair" phase, teams will get the chance to fix found vulnerabilities and, hence, render their software product more secure. This contest will be conducted using an automated online infrastructure.
  • The exercise classes are meant to reinforce the student's understanding of the main lecture's content. With practical, sometimes interactive exercises students will be able to learn important skills that can also support their work in the {S}ecurify contest.

The main lecture will discuss crucial elements of a Secure Software Development Lifecycle, including:

  • Threat modeling
  • Risk analysis
  • Architectural security
  • Secure coding
  • Applied Cryptography
  • Secure configuration and deployment
  • Updates and maintenance

Re­com­men­ded Rea­ding Ma­te­ri­al

We will not be able to provide a script for this course.
However, a lot of the topics are also covered in the book:

Gary McGraw. Software Security: Building Security In

(online resource of the book)

Regarding the contest, we recommend this publication:

Andrew Ruef, Michael Hicks, James Parker, Dave Levin, Michelle L. Mazurek, and Piotr Mardziel. 2016. Build It, Break It, Fix It: Contesting Secure Development. In Proceedings of the 2016 ACM SIGSAC Conference on Computer and Communications Security (CCS '16). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 690-703. DOI: