Thursday, June 1, 2023

Understanding Penetration Testing: Computer Security

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A penetration test, a pen test, determines how secure a computer system is by simulating an attack on it with the system’s permission. To uncover and show how vulnerabilities in a system affect a company’s bottom line, penetration testers employ the same tactics and procedures as malicious hackers.

They may test the security of a plan by simulating attacks from various roles and evaluating how it responds to assaults from authorized and unauthenticated users. While doing a penetration test, it is common practice to mimic a wide range of potential attacks against a company. A penetration test can investigate all facets of a system if given sufficient access.

Penetration Testing Benefits?

In a perfect world, software and systems vulnerabilities wouldn’t exist since they were built that way. A pen test reveals how well that was accomplished. One way in which a company might benefit from undergoing penetration testing is

  • Investigate system flaws
  • Assess the reliability of the controls.
  • Facilitate adherence to privacy and security standards (e.g., PCI DSS, HIPAA, GDPR)

Management would benefit from qualitative and quantitative examples of the present security situation and budget goals.

Pen Testers Get How Much Access?

You may conduct a penetration test on one of three different degrees of accessibility. Testers are granted more or less access to the target system and information about it depending on the objectives of the pen test. Some pen testing teams begin with a single strategy. On other occasions, the testing team’s plan changes as their understanding of the system grow during the pen test.

Confusing Tin

The group has no idea how the target system is organized inside. It behaves the same way hackers would by scanning for security holes.

Translucent box

Some members of the team are familiar with various credentials. Moreover, it is familiar with the target’s core data structures, code, and algorithms. Detailed design documentation, like architectural diagrams of the target system, may be used by pen testers to generate test cases.

A Clear Container

The artifacts of a system, such as its source code, binaries, containers, and even the servers themselves, are all available to a penetration tester. This method offers the best possible certainty in the least amount of time.

Pen Testing Phases?

A penetration test aims to replicate attacks from malicious, determined opponents. Standard methods for accomplishing this goal include the following:


To plan an effective assault, it is essential to amass as much information as possible on the target from both public and private sources. Internet searches, retrieving data from domain registrations, social engineering, passive network monitoring, and even trash diving are some places information may be found. Pen testers can use this data to create a detailed picture of the target’s attack vectors and weaknesses. In a pen test, the survey may consist of anything as easy as calling the company to ask questions about the system’s features.


Pen testers employ software to look for security flaws in a website or system, such as unprotected services, faulty applications, or exposed source code. To exploit vulnerabilities they discover during survey and testing; pen testers employ a wide range of technologies.

Receiving permission to do something

Motives for an attack might be anything from stealing, altering, or erasing data to transferring dollars or even hurting a company’s brand. For each test scenario, pen testers choose the most appropriate tools and methods for exploiting the system’s vulnerabilities, whether such vulnerabilities are due to SQL injection or other types of injection, malware, social engineering, or anything else.

Keeping the door open

The simulated assault must remain connected to the target long enough for the pen testers to achieve their aims of exfiltrating data, changing it, or exploiting functionality. All that matters is showing how much of an effect there may be.

Pen Testing Types?

For effective risk management, a thorough strategy for pen testing is required. Doing so necessitates checking out every possible aspect of your surroundings.

Applications hosted on the World Wide Web

Testers investigate the robustness of the security measures in place and search for vulnerabilities, attack patterns, and other security flaws that might allow a web app to be compromised.

Mobile software

Security flaws in mobile app binaries and their accompanying server-side functionality are investigated using a combination of automated and extended manual testing. Many web service vulnerabilities stem from poor server-side practices, such as insecure session management, weak cryptography, or faulty authentication or permissions.


This testing can detect common and significant security flaws when performed on an external network or set of systems. Specialists utilize a checklist that covers a variety of scenarios to ensure that everything is working as it should.


When compared to on-premises setups, cloud environments are very different. When it comes to keeping data safe in the cloud, the company utilizing the service and the provider bear some responsibility. Due to the complexity of the cloud, doing a penetration test on it calls for a unique set of expertise and knowledge to examine its settings, APIs, databases, encryption, storage, and security measures.


There are typically widespread security flaws in Docker containers. One of the most prevalent threats to container environments is improper setup. Professional pen testing can reveal both of these vulnerabilities.

In-Cabinet Devices (IoT)

Longer life cycles, remote locations, power limits, regulatory requirements, and more make software testing for embedded / IoT devices, including medical devices, autos, in-home appliances, oil rig equipment, and watches, particularly challenging. Professionals do a client/server study and a communication analysis to pinpoint flaws critical to the target use case.

Transportable electronic gadgets

To uncover flaws in mobile app binaries and their accompanying server-side functionality, penetration testers utilize a combination of automated and human examination. Authentication and authorization flaws, client-side trust concerns, incorrectly set security controls, and vulnerabilities in cross-platform development frameworks are all examples of potential vulnerabilities in application binaries. Insecure server-side code can manifest in various ways, the most prevalent of which are problems with session management, cryptography, authentication, and authorization.


The OWASP API Security Top 10 list is tested using automated and human methods. Broken object-level authorization, user authentication, excessive data exposure, lack of resources/rate limitation, and more are just some of the security threats and vulnerabilities that testers look for.

Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment Pipeline

Automation and intelligence in code scanning tools are integral to the continuous integration and delivery (CI/CD) pipeline in today’s DevSecOps techniques. Automated pen testing tools may be incorporated into the CI/CD pipeline to simulate attacks by hackers and complement static tools that look for known vulnerabilities. Compared to static code scanning, continuous automated integration, and delivery pen testing can unearth previously unknown vulnerabilities and attack patterns.

See more: SMM Company

What Are The Pen Testing Tools?

Yet, there is no universal solution for penetration testing. Port scanning, application scanning, Wi-Fi break-ins, and direct network penetration require distinct toolkits, but not all targets are created equal. There are five main types of penetration testing tools.

  • Network host and port scanning tools
  • Network service, web application, and API vulnerability scanners
  • Web proxies and man-in-the-middle proxies are two types of proxy technologies.
  • Exploitation instruments for gaining footholds in a system or gaining access to resources
  • Post-exploitation techniques and resources for engaging with systems, extending access, and accomplishing goals
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