What is penetration testing?
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What is Penetration Testing?
Penetration testing, aka pentest or ethical hacking, is an authorized, authorized attack on a computer system or network that helps detect vulnerabilities that can be discovered and exploited by hackers in real attacks. Pen testing can be used in all or different parts of the network such as APIs, external / internal servers, etc. It can be used to test the firewall and just about anything that can be compromised.
Why is penetration testing so important?
Many organizations large and small use network penetration testing to identify unknown security and defense issues. It is an integral part of any comprehensive risk assessment. If you would like to hide your traffic and hide yourself from backdoor attacks, I advice to use chrome VPN addon at https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/free-vpn-for-chrome-vpn-p/majdfhpaihoncoakbjgbdhglocklcgno The information gathered from these attacks is used to fix loopholes and improve overall network security before attackers can take advantage of them.
Who conducts penetration testing?
Penetration tests are usually carried out by “ethical hackers,” and most of them are experienced professionals. However, some of them are self-taught and former criminal hackers who chose to use their skills for good.
Penetration testing types
There are various pentesting methods that are used to achieve different goals.
White box testing. Before such testing, the tester receives detailed information about the target. This information may include IP addresses, network infrastructure schemes, protocols used, and source code.
Black box testing. This type of testing is focused on company assets that are visible only from the outside. Examples include penetration testing of sites and applications, mail and DNS servers, etc. During such an attack, the tester is not allowed into the building, where he can gain access to the company's servers or employees' computers. The attack must be carried out from a remote location.
Internal testing. The tester looks for vulnerabilities in the firewall, in other words, what a hacker can find once inside the system. But a hacker can also use social engineering techniques such as a phishing link to gain internal access.
Blind testing. The hacker is given limited information about the company, usually only its name. This helps you see how an attack might happen in a real-life situation.
Double blind testing. During this penetration test, the security personnel who will respond to the attack do not know anything about it, so they cannot prepare in advance to stop the attack faster than it would in a real situation.
Targeted testing. The tester and the security team communicate with each other at every stage of the attack. The “attacker” explains his actions to the security specialists. This is a scheduled defense training session.
How is penetration testing done?
Planning and exploration
At this stage, the ethical hacker and the company decide on the scope, purpose, methods and systems to be tested. The pentester collects additional information about the network and identifies potential vulnerabilities.
During the scan phase, the pentester determines how the network or application is currently responding to intrusion attempts. This is done using static and dynamic analysis.
The tester now has enough information to try to exploit the vulnerabilities. The goal is usually to break into the system and steal sensitive data, disrupt service, or gain administrator access.
Once a hacker has entered the system, his task is to stay there as long as possible and extract the most important data. As part of this attack, a hacker can hide traces in order to remain anonymous, which includes clearing any collected data, logs, etc.
The last step is to collect all the information about the vulnerabilities and present it in the report. The security experts then analyze and the company takes appropriate action to fix new vulnerabilities and improve security controls.