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Awesome AppSec Awesome

A curated list of resources for learning about application security. Contains books, websites, blog posts, and self-assessment quizzes.

Maintained by Paragon Initiative Enterprises with contributions from the application security and developer communities. We also have other community projects which might be useful for tomorrow's application security experts.

If you are an absolute beginner to the topic of software security, you may benefit from reading A Gentle Introduction to Application Security.


Please refer to the contributing guide for details.

Application Security Learning Resources



Released: February 25, 2014

Advice on cryptographically secure pseudo-random number generators.

Released: August 6, 2014

A post on Crackstation, a project by Defuse Security

Released: May 3, 2014

Mentions many ways to make /dev/urandom fail on Linux/BSD.

Released: June 21, 2015

Running a business requires being cost-conscious and minimizing unnecessary spending. The benefits of ensuring in the security of your application are invisible to most companies, so often times they neglect to invest in secure software development as a cost-saving measure. What these companies don't realize is the potential cost (both financial and to brand reputation) a preventable data compromise can incur.

The average data breach costs millions of dollars in damage.

Investing more time and personnel to develop secure software is, for most companies, worth it to minimize this unnecessary risk to their bottom line.

Released: March 25, 2015

A must-read for anyone looking to build their own cryptography features.


Released: September 27, 2011

Great introduction to Web Application Security; though slightly dated.

Released: March 15, 2010

Develops a sense of professional paranoia while presenting crypto design techniques.

Released: March 1, 2018

Securing DevOps explores how the techniques of DevOps and Security should be applied together to make cloud services safer. This introductory book reviews state of the art practices used in securing web applications and their infrastructure, and teaches you techniques to integrate security directly into your product.

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Released: September 17, 2016

The first part of a three part book series providing broad and in-depth coverage on what web developers and architects need to know in order to create robust, reliable, maintainable and secure software, networks and other, that are delivered continuously, on time, with no nasty surprises.

The second part of a three part book series providing broad and in-depth coverage on what web developers and architects need to know in order to create robust, reliable, maintainable and secure software, VPS, networks, cloud and web applications, that are delivered continuously, on time, with no nasty surprises.


A vulnerability research and exploit development class by Owen Redwood of Florida State University.

Be sure to check out the lectures!

Developed from the materials of NYU Poly's old Penetration Testing and Vulnerability Analysis course, Hack Night is a sobering introduction to offensive security. A lot of complex technical content is covered very quickly as students are introduced to a wide variety of complex and immersive topics over thirteen weeks.


Learn about application security by attempting to hack this website.

Where hackers and security experts come to train.

Self-assessment quiz for web application security

Secure passwords in several languages/frameworks.

A list of security news sources.

Video courses on low-level x86 programming, hacking, and forensics.

Capture The Flag - Learn Assembly and Embedded Device Security

A series of programming exercises for teaching oneself cryptography by Matasano Security. The introduction by Maciej Ceglowski explains it well.

PentesterLab provides free Hands-On exercises and a bootcamp to get started.

An intentionally insecure Javascript Web Application.

How to go on the offence before online attackers do.

Purposly vulnerable to the OWASP Top 10 Node.JS web application, with tutorials, security regression testing with the OWASP Zap API, docker image. With several options to get up and running fast.

Bi-Weekly Appsec Tutorials

OWASP ServerlessGoat is a deliberately insecure realistic AWS Lambda serverless application, maintained by OWASP and created by PureSec. You can install WebGoat, learn about the vulnerabilities, how to exploit them, and how to remediate each issue. The project also includes documentation explaining the issues and how they should be remediated with best-practices.


Showcasing bad cryptography

The blog of NCC Group, formerly Matasano, iSEC Partners, and NGS Secure.

Learn about security and performance.

Released: July 30, 2018

Blog of cryptographic company that makes open-source libraries and tools, and describes practical data security approaches for applications and infrastructures.

Wiki pages

The top ten most common and critical security vulnerabilities found in web applications.


The infamous suite of SSL and TLS tools.

Quickly and easily assess the security of your HTTP response headers.

A free CSP and HPKP reporting service.

Test and learn Clickjacking. Make clickjacking PoC, take screenshot and share link. You can test HTTPS, HTTP, intranet & internal sites.

AWS Lambda


FunctionShield is a 100% free AWS Lambda security and Google Cloud Functions security library that equips developers with the ability to easily enforce strict security controls on serverless runtimes.


Books and ebooks

Released: February 24, 2015

A community-maintained Wiki detailing secure coding standards for Android development.


Books and ebooks

Released: May 24, 2006

A community-maintained Wiki detailing secure coding standards for C programming.

Released: May 23, 2022

Provides guidelines for improving software security through secure coding. Covers common programming languages and libraries, and focuses on concrete recommendations.


Books and ebooks

Released: July 18, 2006

A community-maintained Wiki detailing secure coding standards for C++ programming.

C Sharp

Books and ebooks

Released: July 14, 2015

An introduction to developing secure applications targeting version 4.5 of the .NET Framework, specifically covering cryptography and security engineering topics.



Released: May 5, 2020

Repository with Clojure examples of OWASP top 10 vulnerabilities.



Released: August 3, 2017

A guide to managing sensitive data in memory.


Books and ebooks

Released: January 12, 2007

A community-maintained Wiki detailing secure coding standards for Java programming.

Released: April 2, 2014

Secure Java programming guidelines straight from Oracle.



Released: October 13, 2015

Covers a lot of useful information for developing secure Node.js applications.

Released: June 17, 2020

A curated list of resources to secure Electron.js-based applications.

Books and ebooks

Released: July 19, 2017

Hands-on and abundant with source code for a practical guide to Securing Node.js web applications.


Learn from the team that spearheaded the Node Security Project

We run many types of info-sec security training, covering Physical, People, VPS, Networs, Cloud, Web Applications. Most of the content is sourced from the book series Kim has been working on for several years. More info can be found here



Released: November 28, 2014

A gentle introduction to timing attacks in PHP applications

Released: April 21, 2015

Discusses password policies, password storage, "remember me" cookies, and account recovery.

Released: April 22, 2013

Padriac Brady's advice on building software that isn't vulnerable to XSS

Released: November 23, 2011

Though this article is a few years old, much of its advice is still relevant as we veer around the corner towards PHP 7.

Released: June 16, 2014

@timoh6 explains implementing data encryption in PHP

Released: May 26, 2014

TL;DR - don't escape, use prepared statements instead!

Released: August 7, 2015

A human-readable overview of commonly misused cryptography terms and fundamental concepts, with example code in PHP.

If you're confused about cryptography terms, start here.

Released: August 2, 2015

Discusses the importance of end-to-end network-layer encryption (HTTPS) as well as secure encryption for data at rest, then introduces the specific cryptography tools that developers should use for specific use cases, whether they use libsodium, Defuse Security's secure PHP encryption library, or OpenSSL.

Released: December 12, 2017

This guide should serve as a complement to the e-book, PHP: The Right Way, with a strong emphasis on security and not general PHP programmer topics (e.g. code style).

Books and ebooks

Securing PHP: Core Concepts acts as a guide to some of the most common security terms and provides some examples of them in every day PHP.

You shouldn't need a Ph.D in Applied Cryptography to build a secure web application. Enter libsodium, which allows developers to develop fast, secure, and reliable applications without needing to know what a stream cipher even is.

Useful libraries

Symmetric-key encryption library for PHP applications. (Recommended over rolling your own!)

If you're using PHP 5.3.7+ or 5.4, use this to hash passwords

Useful for generating random strings or numbers

A secure OAuth2 server implementation

PHP 7 offers a new set of CSPRNG functions: random_bytes() and random_int(). This is a community effort to expose the same API in PHP 5 projects (forward compatibility layer). Permissively MIT licensed.

A secure authentication and authorization library that implements Role-Based Access Controls and Paragon Initiative Enterprises' recommendaitons for secure "remember me" checkboxes.

A portable public domain password hashing framework for use in PHP applications.

Websites is dedicated to educating developers about security with topics relating to general security fundamentals, emerging technologies and PHP-specific information


The blog of our technology and security consulting firm based in Orlando, FL

A blog about PHP, Security, Performance and general web application development.

Pádraic Brady is a Zend Framework security expert

Mailing lists

A weekly newsletter about PHP, security, and the community.


Books and ebooks

Released: January 10, 2011

A community-maintained Wiki detailing secure coding standards for Perl programming.


Books and ebooks

Lists standard library features that should be avoided, and references sections of other chapters that are Python-specific.

Black Hat Python by Justin Seitz from NoStarch Press is a great book for the offensive security minds

Violent Python shows you how to move from a theoretical understanding of offensive computing concepts to a practical implementation.


Released: June 21, 2014

A wiki maintained by the OWASP Python Security project.


Books and ebooks

Released: March 10, 2014

A guide to secure Ruby development by the Fedora Security Team. Also available on Github.