Globally, web Applications drive many businesses. A lot of confidential data is shared. Are these applications secured? From a user perspective it is taken for granted as it’s secured, from the corporate perspective, web applications are really crucial. The entire core businesses are driven by web applications. Business web applications become exposed to hackers, as it is open to the public. Proactively, Cyber security follows specific methods in protecting web applications to avoid threats.
WEB APPLICATION PENETRATION TESTING:
Test to identify any vulnerabilities on web applications and to assess the impact of vulnerabilities by exploiting multiple attempts. The ideal time for a web application penetration test is before the site is live and exposed to potential threat but fully developed.
Steps involved in Web application penetration testing:
ACTIVE AND PASSIVE RECONNAISSANCE:
– Known as the Information gathering phase.
– collecting information that is readily available on the internet without a target system.
Example: Google links, previous versions etc.
– probing target system to get an output.
Nmap fingerprinting – information on web application languages, Version, Open ports, currently running services.
Shodan Network Scanner – information on the public, about web application, geolocation, server software used, no ports open etc.
DNS Forward And Reverse Lookup – associates recently discovered subdomain with related IP addresses. Also you can automate Burp Suite for this process.
DNS Zone Transfer – Nslookup command to find DNS server then DNS Id website followed by dig command for DNS zone transfer.
Identifying External Sites – Using Burp suite, traffic flow between external websites and targeted websites is quickly identified.
Head and Option analysis – This request can generate web server software and its version, other valuable informational data’s. Burp suite’s intercept on feature can also be used for the same while on targeted system.
Error Page Data – By modifying the url of targeted websites and forcing error 404, can provide more information like server , version on which website is running.
Source Code – Examining the source code, pinpoints some vulnerabilities, determines the environment the app is running on and relevant details.
After gathering all of this information and document these findings as baseline for further studies or as vulnerabilities to be exploited.
EXECUTION / ATTACKS PHASE:
In this stage, we actually execute an attack based on the information gathered from the previous stage. We implement different tools for the attack process. Narrow down of tools depends on data gathered and research conducted according to the previous stage.
The top tools for web application penetration testing in the industry
a) Network mapper :
➢ A scanning and reconnaissance tool.
➢ Used both network discovery and security auditing purposes.
➢ Providing basic information on the target website.
➢ Has a scripting module for vulnerability and detection of backdoor and executes exploitations.
b) Wireshark :
➢ A popular network protocol analyser.
➢ For deep inspection of protocols, as well as live-traffic capture.
➢ Analysis of captured data into a file for documentation.
c) Metasploit :
➢ Used as a framework,
➢ Can be customized for specific tasks.
➢ Such as exploit the target, configuration for payload, for encoding schema, for execution.
A vulnerability scanner
Used for identifying vulnerabilities, configuration problems.
Sometimes in web applications, identifying the presence of malware
e) Burp Suite:
➢ Has several tools in one platform, for testing web application
➢ Used in every phase of testing including Intercepting proxy, Application-aware spider, Advanced web application scanner, Intruder tool, Repeater tool, and Sequencer tool.
REPORTING AND RECOMMENDATION:
Here we write a report on web application penetration testing. We create a concise structured report with findings and supported data. We need to stick to the method worked and describe the process in detail for future reference. Writing successful exploits as well as categorizing them based on criticality is vital, as it helps to prioritise the serious vulnerabilities to be fixed first.
Even though web applications provide very convenient and add value to end users and businesses, because of growing usage and evolving technologies, web applications are prone to vulnerabilities. Hence, a cybersecurity system usually gives web applications as priority for penetration testing as it involves sensitive data, core business and end users.
However, if you are thinking of Penetration Testing services on web applications for your Organization or have any queries related, you can reach out for Professional at Cyber Security Hive Team, for immense service.
Cyber Security Hive is the best cyber security company in the US, India, UAE, Dubai. We provide excellent cyber security services as we maintain integrity, confidentiality and authentication processes.