The Top 10 Web Application Penetration Testing Strategies
Penetration testing is an effective way to determine how secure a web application is, find its flaws, and be able to recommend steps to mitigate them properly. However, if you are new to this field, you may not know where to start.
We'll go over the top 10 penetration testing methods in this article. We will also provide tips on how to effectively execute each strategy.
Introduction to Penetration Testing
Otherwise known as pen testing or ethical hacking, this is a process that involves simulating attacks to find out where a fault may lie. This is a hacker-style approach to finding vulnerabilities and that is why it works so well against cyber attacks.
Top 10 Web Application Penetration Testing Strategies
One – Reconnaissance:
This is the first and most important phase of penetration testing in which you will gather information about the target. To effectively conduct recon, you must first understand the company and how it functions.
You'll get an idea of what type of information you should be looking for and where to find it. You can use tools like Google, social media, and other public resources to gather information.
Two – Brute force attacks:
This is a type of attack that uses automated tools to guess passwords or PIN numbers in an attempt to gain access to a system. It is important to note that brute force attacks can be very time-consuming and may not always be successful. tools like Hydra can help you perform a brute-force attack.
Three – SQL injection:
This is a type of attack that takes advantage of vulnerabilities in SQL code to access or manipulate data. SQL injection can be used to bypass security controls, view sensitive information, or even delete data. To perform an SQL injection attack, you can use tools like sqlmap.
Four – Cross-site scripting:
Here malicious inputs such as harmful codes are injected into a web application. This code is then executed by the browser when the page is loaded. The code can be used to redirect users to other websites, steal information, or even execute commands on the server.
To perform a cross-site scripting attack, you can use tools like BeEF.
Five – Cross-site request forgery:
This is a type of attack that tricks users into submitting illegitimate requests. The attacker can send a link or form that appears to be from a trusted website but actually submits the request to another website.
This may be used to access a server and steal information or even execute instructions. You can utilise Burp Suite for cross-site request forgeries.
Six – Man-in-the-middle:
This is a form of eavesdropping in which the attacker interferes with communication between two people. The attacker can then view or modify the data being exchanged. Cybercriminals use these attacks to gather data or even introduce malware. Cain & Abel is a tool that may be used for this.
Seven – Session hijacking:
This is a type of attack that takes advantage of an active session to gain access to a system. The attacker can use various methods to hijack a session, such as cookies, IP spoofing, or DNS poisoning. To perform a session hijacking attack, you can use tools like Firesheep.
Eight – Denial of service:
This is a type of attack that attempts to make a system unstable. The attacker can do this by flooding the system with requests or even taking the system offline. Tools like LOIC can be used for DoS attacks.
Nine – Social engineering:
This kind of attack takes advantage of human interaction to deceive people into revealing personal information. The attacker can use various methods to social engineer victims, such as phishing or baiting. You can use tools like SET.
Ten – Privilege escalation:
This is a type of attack that takes advantage of vulnerabilities to gain elevated privileges. The attacker can use various methods to escalate privileges, such as exploiting weak passwords or misconfigured systems. To perform a privilege escalation attack, you can use tools like Metasploit.
The above were just a few of the most frequent web application penetration testing techniques. There are many other possibilities for detecting flaws. It is important to remember that no system is 100% secure and that there will always be some risk involved.
However, by using these strategies, you can help to reduce the risks associated with web applications.
Ankit Pahuja is the Marketing Lead & Evangelist at Astra Security. Ever since his adulthood (literally, he was 20 years old), he began finding vulnerabilities in websites & network infrastructures. Starting his professional career as a software engineer at one of the unicorns enables him in bringing “engineering in marketing” to reality. Working actively in the cybersecurity space for more than 2 years makes him the perfect T-shaped marketing professional. Ankit is an avid speaker in the security space and has delivered various talks in top companies, early-age startups, and online events.
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