Internal penetration testing involves simulating an attack from within the organization's internal network. This could be carried out by a malicious insider or an attacker who has gained access to the network. The purpose of internal penetration testing is to identify vulnerabilities that might be exploited by an attacker who has already bypassed the external defenses. This could include weaknesses in network segmentation, access controls, and privilege escalation.
External penetration testing is focused on identifying vulnerabilities and weaknesses that an attacker could exploit from outside the organization's network. This type of testing aims to simulate real-world attacks that target public-facing systems, such as web servers, email servers, and DNS servers. The goal is to identify entry points that attackers might use to breach the network perimeter and gain unauthorized access.
Web application penetration testing is specifically targeted at evaluating the security of web applications. This type of testing involves assessing web applications for vulnerabilities such as SQL injection, cross-site scripting (XSS), cross-site request forgery (CSRF), and other application-specific issues. The testing process usually involves analyzing the application's input fields, authentication mechanisms, session management, and other relevant components.
Social engineering is a technique that leverages psychological manipulation to trick individuals into revealing confidential information, providing access to systems, or performing actions that compromise security. It's often considered the "human" element of hacking. Social engineering attacks can take various forms, such as phishing emails, pretexting (creating a fabricated scenario to extract information), baiting (enticing victims into a trap), and tailgating (gaining physical access by following authorized personnel). Effective social engineering exploits human psychology, trust, and willingness to help, making it a potent tool for attackers. Penetration testers use social engineering techniques to assess an organization's susceptibility to such attacks and raise awareness among employees about the importance of security awareness and best practices.
Wireless penetration testing focuses on assessing the security of an organization's wireless networks, including Wi-Fi. Testers analyze the wireless infrastructure for misconfigurations, weak encryption, rogue access points, and other vulnerabilities. The goal is to prevent unauthorized access to the network and ensure that wireless communication remains secure.
Defining the scope of the test, objectives, and rules of engagement in collaboration with the organization.
Gathering information about the target systems, applications, and network architecture to understand potential attack vectors.
Identifying and analyzing vulnerabilities through various tools and techniques, both automated and manual.
Attempting to exploit identified vulnerabilities to gain unauthorized access or compromise systems.
Assessing the extent of access and control gained, and evaluating potential impacts.
Documenting findings, vulnerabilities, and recommendations in a detailed report that helps the organization understand the risks and prioritize mitigation efforts.
Collaborating with the organization to address vulnerabilities, fix issues, and improve overall security posture.