Introduction to penetration Testing

What is penetration testing?

Penetration testing ,often called “pentesting”,”pen testing”,is the practice of attacking your or your client’s IT Systems and infrastructure in the same way hacker would identify the security holes but without actually  harming the System. The person carrying out pentartion test is called a penetration tester or pentester.

IMPORTANT: Penetration require to have permission from the person who own it.

The different between penetration testing and hacking is whether you have the system owner’s permission or not, if you do not have permission conducting penetration testing is illegal according laws in many countries.


Steps Involving in penetration testing

  1. Information gathering
  2. Scanning
  3. Gaining Accesses (ultimate goal is root the target)
  4. Reporting

–This steps only associated with hacking–

Maintaining Accesses

Clearing Tacks

Testing types in penetration testing

Black Box

Grey Box

White Box

Black, white and gray box tests provide different approach of assessing security of the system/application. Each approach has specific advantages and disadvantages, and selecting testing approach need to be done in based on time and resources available. We can assume most real world attacks will approach in systems from black box perspective. But due to limited resource and time penetration tester has gray and white box test are more preferred.

Black Box approach

Back box testing refers to test system without having specific knowledge about internal infrastructure, no access to the source code. Black box approach limits to the dynamic analysis such running automated tools and manual penetration testing.

 White Box approach

White box testing also known as clear box testing, refers to testing a system with full knowledge and access to source code and architecture documents. Having permission this information can revel bugs and vulnerabilities more quick than black box test.

Gray Box approach

Gray box testing is combination or intermediate testing among Black and white box approaches. In this approach penetration tester having least some knowledge about internal system and May some part of source code too.

Different common Standards in penetration testing

  • Penetration Testing Execution Standard [3]

This standards consist of seven (7) main sections which cover every aspect of penetration testing.

  1. Pre-engagement Interactions
  2. Intelligence Gathering
  3. Threat Modeling
  4. Vulnerability Analysis
  5. Exploitation
  6. Post Exploitation
  7. Reporting
  • Open Source Security Testing Methodology Manual (OSSTMM)[4]

This an open source methodology is help to deep understanding of the interconnections of things. The people, processes, systems, and software all have some type of relationship.

This nun profit organization provides few certification that can enhance penetration tester’s knowledge. More detail related to certifications and Mythology can be found in official web site


  • Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP)

The Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) is a worldwide not-for-profit charitable organization focused on improving the security of software. Their mission is to make software security visible, so that individuals and organizations are able to make informed decisions. OWASP is in a unique position to provide impartial, practical information about AppSec to individuals, corporations, universities, government agencies and other organizations worldwide. Operating as a community of like-minded professionals, OWASP issues software tools and knowledge-based documentation on application security. OWASP all of the material san tool are available under free and open source license.

  • NIST’s Technical Guide to Information Security Testing and Assessment (SP800-115)

This standard guide to the basic technical aspects of conducting security assessment. This presents technical testing and examination methods and techniques that an organization might use as part of an assessment. [6] Detailed documented can be found in reference [6]








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