Ethical Hacking

Web Application Pentesting

In this modern world, around 78% of businesses are facing cybersecurity threats every year. It is always the sole responsibility of cybersecurity professionals to protect the data or network from the security breach. Professionals carry out the various processes to identify the vulnerabilities in a network. One such process is Penetration Testing. It is also known as the Pen Test which is performed by ethical hackers in a system externally or internally to identify the vulnerabilities.

Web Application Pentesting involves breaching of a different number of application systems such as APIs, servers(frontend and backend) to identify and solve the vulnerabilities. 

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In this Ethical hacking project, we will discuss the tools used to perform pen-testing and how to perform a web application penetration test. This helps site owners to identify the possibilities for a hacker to access data through the internet. Also to identify how secure is their email server and hosting site. 

Below are the tools used to perform Penetration testing:

  • Veracode
  • Burp Suite
  • Vega
  • Netsparker
  • ZAP
  • Arachni
  • Acunetix
  • Free Pen Test Tool

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Need for web app pen testing

  • It helps to identify unknown vulnerabilities in a network
  • It helps to verify the effectiveness of security policies
  • Helps in testing the publicly exposed components like firewalls, routers, and DNS
  • Helps to find the loopholes that lead to leakage of sensitive information
  • Helps the user to identify the ways through which the attack can be performed

Web penetration testing methodology

Methodologies are nothing but guidelines that show how the testing should be performed. There are various standard methodologies that are utilized to perform the test. It depends on the type of web application where the test is performed, you can also create your own methodology by referring to the available methodologies in use. 

Security methodology standards include: 

  • Penetration Testing Framework (PTF)
  • Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS)
  • Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) 
  • Information System Security Assessment Framework (ISSAF)
  • Open Source Security Testing Methodology Manual (OSSTMM)

Testing Scenarios followed in Web Application Penetration Testing (WAPT):

The testing methodology based on the type of website, For instance, the test for eCommerce sites follows a different procedure from an e-learning site. Here are some commonly followed testing scenarios in web application pen testing:

  • SQL Injection
  • File Upload flaws
  • Password cracking
  • Cross-site request forgery
  • Cross-site scripting
  • Broken authentication and session management
  • Caching server attacks
  • Security Misconfigurations

Web Penetration Testing types:

PenTesting for Web applications can be performed in two ways: outside and inside.

Internal Penetration testing - In this method, the testing is performed from inside the organization over LAN. Most of us will avoid this because the attack will always happen from outside the network. But it is necessary to prevent the malicious attack done by employees or Ex-employees. 

External Penetration testing - In this method the testers perform the attack from outside with the limited information. Mostly they perform the attack only with the IP address for the target system. They test the vulnerabilities by testing firewalls, servers, and DNS.

Web Application Pentesting phases:

Basically web application pen-testing involves three phases:

  1. Planning Phase - This is done before testing to avoid mishaps. In this phase, the goals of the test are planned and the intelligence to perform the test is gathered. 
  1. Scanning - In this phase, the response from the target is observed by performing the attacks. 
  1. Gaining access - Here the web application attacks are performed to identify the target’s vulnerabilities. 
  1. Maintaining access - In this phase the goal is to maintain the presence in the exploited system. The motto is to replicate the advanced persistent threats which usually stay in a system for months to steal the most sensitive information of an organization.
  1. Analysis - After performing the test the results are compiled to form a detailed report that includes: sensitive data acquired, exploited vulnerabilities, amount of time the attacker stayed undetected inside the network.

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Kit required to develop Web Application Pentesting:
Technologies you will learn by working on Web Application Pentesting:
Web Application Pentesting
Skyfi Labs Last Updated: 2021-07-05

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