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  • Windows Kernel Exploitation Foundation & Advanced

Windows Kernel Exploitation Foundation & Advanced

Ashfaq Ansari, Krishnakant Patil

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Ashfaq Ansari, Krishnakant Patil

Trainer Name: Ashfaq Ansari, Krishnakant Patil
Title: Windows Kernel Exploitation Foundation & Advanced
Duration: 3 Days
Dates: Sept. 6, 2022 To Sept. 8, 2022


This is the combined version of the Windows Kernel Exploitation Foundation & Advanced course. In this course, we will use Windows 10 x64 for all the labs and has a CTF that runs throughout the training.

This course starts with the Foundation course and builds the mindset required for the Advanced course. During this course, students will learn the basics of Windows & driver internals, different memory corruption classes, and fuzzing of kernel-mode drivers. We will understand pool manager internals in order to groom kernel pool memory for reliable exploitation of pool-based vulnerabilities.

We will also look into how we can bypass kASLR, kLFH, and KPTI, and do hands-on exploitation using a data-only attack, which effectively bypasses SMEP and other exploit mitigation.

Upon completion of this training, participants will be able to learn:

  • Basics of Windows and driver internals
  • Different memory corruption classes
  • Fuzz kernel-mode drivers to find vulnerabilities
  • Exploit development process in kernel mode
  • Mitigation bypasses
  • Pool internals & Feng-Shui
  • Kernel debugging

Training level: Intermediate, Advanced


Day 1 (Foundation)

  • Windows Internals
    • Architecture
    • Executive & Kernel
    • Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL)
    • Privilege Rings
  • Memory Management
    • Virtual Address Space
    • Memory Pool
  • Driver Internals
    • I/O Request Packet (IRP)
    • I/O Control Code (IOCTL)
    • Data Buffering
  • Fuzzing Windows Drivers (multiple drivers)
    • Locating IOCTLs in Windows drivers
    • Memory Sanitizers
      • Special Pool
    • Fuzzing the discovered IOCTLs
    • Analyze the crashes
  • Exploitation
    • Stack Buffer Overflow (SMEP & KPTI disabled)
      • Understand the vulnerability
      • Achieving code execution
    • Escalation of Privilege Payload
    • Kernel State Recovery

Day 2 (Advanced)

  • Quick Revision
    • Internals
    • Fuzzing
    • Stack Buffer Overflow
    • EoP Payload
  • Exploit Mitigations
    • Kernel Address Space Layout Randomization (kASLR)
      • Understanding kASLR
      • Breaking kASLR using kernel pointer leaks
    • Supervisor Mode Execution Prevention (SMEP)
      • SMEP concepts
      • Breaking/bypassing SMEP
    • Kernel Page Table Isolation (KPTI/KVA Shadow)
      • KPTI concepts
      • Breaking/bypassing KPTI
  • Exploitation
    • Stack Buffer Overflow (SMEP & KPTI enabled)
      • Understand the vulnerability
      • Achieving code execution
    • Arbitrary Memory Overwrite
      • Understand the vulnerability
      • Achieving privilege escalation
  • Pool Manager
    • Internals (kLFH)
    • Feng-Shui
  • Exploitation
    • Memory Disclosure
      • Understand the vulnerability
      • Leak function pointer
      • Calculate driver base address

Day 3 (Advanced)

  • Quick Revision
    • kASLR
    • SMEP
    • Feng-Shui
    • Memory Disclosure
  • Exploitation
    • Pool Overflow
      • Understand the vulnerability
      • Finding corruption target
      • Grooming target pool
      • Achieving arbitrary read/write primitive (data-only attack)
      • Gaining local privilege escalation
        • Different places to corrupt
  • Capture The Flag
    • Time to finish the CTF
    • Discuss any other vulnerability class if the students want and time permits
  • Miscellaneous
    • Assignment to write a blog post about the vulnerability exploited during CTF
    • Q/A and Feedback


  • Basic operating system concepts
  • Familiarity with vulnerability classes
  • Basics of x86/x64 assembly and C/python
  • Basics of ROP
  • Patience


  • A laptop capable of running two virtual machines simultaneously (8 GB+ of RAM)
  • 40 GB free hard drive space
  • VMware Workstation/Player installed
  • Everyone should have Administrator privilege on their laptop


  • Information security professional
  • Bug hunters & Red teamers
  • User-mode exploit developers
  • Windows driver developers & testers
  • Anyone with interest in understanding Windows Kernel exploitation
  • Ethical hackers and penetration testers looking to upgrade their skill-set to the kernel level


Upon completion of this training, participants will be able to:

  • Understand how kernel and kernel-mode driver works
  • Understand exploitation techniques in kernel mode
  • Learn to write exploits for the found vulnerabilities in the kernel or kernel-mode components


  • Training slides
  • Scripts and code samples
  • BSOD T-Shirt (only if in-person class happens)


  • Hands-on
  • WinDbg-Fu
  • Fast & quick overview of Windows internals
  • Techniques to exploit Windows kernel/driver vulnerabilities


  • Kernel master in 3 days of training

About Trainer

Ashfaq Ansari a.k.a "HackSysTeam", is a vulnerability researcher and specializes in software exploitation. He has authored "HackSys Extreme Vulnerable Driver (HEVD)" which has helped many folks to get started with Windows kernel exploitation. He holds numerous CVEs under his belt and is the instructor of "The Windows Kernel Exploitation" course. His core interest lies in Low- Level Software Exploitation both in User and Kernel Mode, Vulnerability Research, Reverse Engineering, Hybrid Fuzzing, and Program Analysis.
Twitter Handle: @HackSysTeam

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