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Penetration Testing Tutorial Guide for Beginners

Introduction

Cybersecurity is a way of securing vital systems and confidential information from digital attacks. It’s also referred to as information technology (IT) security. Cybersecurity measures are helpful in resisting cyber threats against networked systems and applications, regardless of where those threats originate, i.e., from inside or outside of an organization.

Over the last few years, CyberSecurity has become one of the most demanding jobs. However, thousands of people are still confused about whether to start their career as a CyberSecurity expert or not. Despite that, CyberSecurity offers several benefits like numerous opportunities, no. of industries to choose from, fat pay cheques, a chance to work with secret agencies, and no maths! So, if you want to make a brilliant career in this field, opt for CyberSecurity Certifications by joining CyberSecurity Courses Online

To protect your application, system, or network from vulnerabilities, the best way would be to know the system's loopholes and protection measures and gain knowledge about penetration testing. To carry out penetration testing, there is no need for any prior understanding or background experience in ethical hacking. So give a jumpstart to your professional Cybersecurity career by enrolling yourself in comprehensive, Certified Ethical Hacking Training today! 

With this write-up, you can start your CyberSecurity career as a newbie and become an expert in penetration testing and website security to protect your hardware and software downtime and data loss. Because the protection of network and data are the most important for any business organization, understanding “HOW” it is vulnerable is the best way to prevent your system from various zombie attacks.

What is Penetration Testing?

Penetration Testing or Pen-testing is a process of testing the security weaknesses of an application, system, or network. A pen tester needs to check -

  • Security of the system or network and

  • The possibility of your system or applications being hacked or attacked; let us understand it effortlessly by taking an example of a house. Multiple entry points in your house, like doors and windows, are essential to let you in and out of the house. However, you want only the people of your family or friends or the authorized people only should enter your house, nobody else. Now, you want to check the possibilities and weaknesses of your house's entry and exit systems. To test this security, you can call someone proficient in checking such security methods so that this person will come and inspect your house for all the security measures.

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To perform this, the security person will try to break into security and come into your home using all the possible means. At the end of this test, he will create a report showing your house's security weaknesses and give you some recommendations. It is what happens in a Pen Test. A person with expertise in Pen-testing or an authorized person in Pen-testing tries to enter into the application or system by breaking all the security measures, then finds all the security weaknesses and produces a report. To ensure security, multiple security tests are being carried out.

Why is Penetration Testing necessary?

  • To make your application, system, or network more secure
  • To ensure that any unauthorized person or intruder does not break your system
  • To secure user data
  • To find security loopholes in an application or a system
  • To access the business impact of successful attacks
  • To prevent data breaches
  • To check security controls
  • To access exploit detection and effectiveness of response
  • To implement an effective security strategy in the organization

What should be tested?

  • Software (Operating system, services, applications, etc.)
  • Hardware
  • Network
  • Processes
  • End-user behavior

Further, we recommend you to go through various Cybersecurity blogs available on the JanBask Training which will really increase your knowledge and answer your queries related to Cybersecurity.

Penetration Testing do’s and don’ts

When you are ready to become a Pen tester or ready to test the security of your system or applications, ensure that you only test the systems that you are legally allowed to test. For example, do not try to break into any other systems, and do not try to break into your friend’s social media account, as it is illegal and wrong. Also, ensure that you do not test your social media accounts on your system, as it will lock your account and system forever, and you’ll lose your data.

It will be better to always have a separate system for test purposes so that if that account or system gets locked, then you are not worried. Also, always have a separate environment or a separate system to perform Penetration testing. Do not perform it on your laptop or system because it can crash and then erase all the data and information stored on your system. If you want to test someone else’s system or the organization you are working in, it is better to have written proof from them before initializing Penetration testing.

Different phases of Penetration Testing

Different Phases of Penetration Testing

  • Planning: In this phase, the scope is defined, including which system to test, goals, and objectives to achieve penetration test, the resources, and the tools required to employ for test execution.
  • Discovery: In this phase, we collect as much as information we can collect about the system. The discovery phase is also called fingerprinting. Two more tasks are performed in this phase-
    • Selection of proper pen-testing tools
    • Gain access
  • Scanning: In this phase, it becomes clear to the pen tester how the target app will respond to the intrusion attempts, which can be done in two ways:
    • Static Analysis: Inspect an app’s code to see how it performs in a running state
    • Dynamic Analysis:Provides a real-time view of how an app performs
  • Attack: In this phase, the pen tester finds exploits for various vulnerabilities which he needs to exploit the security of the system.
  • Report: In this phase, the pen tester documents all the results and findings in an effective manner. This report is used as a reference document while alleviating activities to address the identified vulnerabilities. After this phase, two things are considered-
    • Maintain the access
    • Analyze the system

You may consider joining the JanBask Cybersecurity Community which may keep you updated with the new trends of Salesforce.

Types of Penetration Testing

Penetration testing depends upon the scope and the organizational requirements. Penetration testing is of three types: -

Types of Penetration Testing

  • Black Box Testing: The fact is that the tester here has no idea about the system initially. The pen tester collects all information related to the system before they start working on it.

  • Grey Box Testing: The pen tester, in this case, is provided with partial or limited knowledge about the system.

  • White Box Testing: It is a Penetration testing method in which the tester knows the configuration and details and uses them to break into the security of accounts and applications and tries to find out how secure the application is! This type of pen-testing examines the code coverage and performs data flow, path, and loop testing.

What are different Penetration Testing Tools?

Pen testers undertake the vulnerability finding approach before the attackers intrude. The specific criteria to select the best penetration testing tools are listed below:

  • It should be easy to deploy, configure and use
  • It should scan your system quickly
  • It should categorize vulnerabilities based on severity that needs an immediate fix
  • It should be able to automate the verification of vulnerabilities
  • It should re-Authenticate exploits found previously
  • It should generate detailed vulnerability reports and logs

There are three significant categories of penetration testing tools: -

Penetration Testing Tools

  • Port Scanner: The tools included in this category collect information and personal data about a particular target from a remote environment. Do you want to learn more about TCP or UDP-based port scans? Click here

  • Vulnerability Scanner: The tools included in this category are used to find if there are any known vulnerabilities in the system that is being targeted. It is subdivided into two categories:

    • Host-based
    • Network-based,
  • Application Scanner: These tools check in for any type of vulnerability inside the web application, like e-commerce applications.

Following is the list of tools that can be used for simple as well as complex assessments:

Tool Name

Purpose

Portability

Expected Cost

Hping

Port Scanning Remote OC fingerprinting

Linux, NetBSD, FreeBSD, OpenBSD,

Free

Nmap

Network Scanning Port Scanning OS Detection

Linux, Windows, FreeBSD, OS X, HP-UX, NetBSD, Sun, OpenBSD, Solaris, IRIX, Mac, etc.

Free

SuperScan

Runs queries including ping, whois, hostname lookups, etc. Detects open UDP/TCP ports and determines which services are running on those ports.

Windows 2000/XP/Vista/7

Free

p0f

Os fingerprinting Firewall detection

Linux, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, Mac OS X, Solaris, Windows, and AIX

Free

Xprobe

Remote active OS fingerprinting Port Scanning TCP fingerprinting

Linux

Free

Httprint

Web server fingerprinting SSL detection Detect web-enabled devices (e.g., wireless access points, switches, modems, routers)

Linux, Mac OS X, FreeBSD, Win32 (command line & GUI

Free

Nessus

Detect vulnerabilities that allow a remote cracker to control/access sensitive data

Mac OS X, Linux, FreeBSD, Apple, Oracle Solaris, Windows

Free to limited edition

GFI LANguard

Detect network vulnerabilities

Windows Server 2003/2008, Windows 7 Ultimate/ Vista, Windows 2000 Professional, Business/XP, Server 2000/2003/2008

Only Trial Version Free

Iss Scanner

Detect network vulnerabilities

Windows 2000 Professional with SP4, Windows Server 2003 Standard with SO1, Windows XP Professional with SP1a

Only Trial Version Free

Shadow Security Scanner

Detect network vulnerabilities, audit proxy and LDAP servers

Windows but scan servers built on any platform

Only Trial Version Free

Metasploit Framework

Develop and execute exploit code against a remote target Test vulnerability of computer systems

All versions of Unix and Windows

Free

Brutus

Telnet, FTP, and Http password cracker

Windows 9x/NT/2000

Free

What are the different methods of Penetration Testing?

Different Methods of Penetration Testing

1) External Testing: This method aims for an organization's assets that are visible on the internet to gain access and extra valuable data.

2) Internal Testing: Here the more focus is on testing attacks that could be performed by a competitor who has already gained access within your network and is looking to “elate” himself to gain further control and cause more damage.

3) Blind Testing: The pen tester here is only given the organization's name so that the system security personnel can see how an actual application or system assault happens.

4) Double-Blind Testing: Here, the security personnel within the organization would have no idea regarding the assault, same as in attempted breaches.

5) Targeted Testing: In this method, the pen tester and the security personnel work together for the vulnerabilities. It is a valuable method as it offers instant suggestions from the hacker’s point of view.

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Manual Penetration vs. Automated Penetration Testing

As the name suggests, manual pen-testing is performed by human beings who are experts in this field. Automated pen-testing can be performed by machines only.

Manual Penetration Testing

Automated Penetration Testing

Manual Testing requires expert professionals to run the tests.

Automated test tools provide clear reports with less experienced professionals.

Manual Testing requires Excel and other tools to track it.

Automation Testing has centralized and standard tools.

In Manual Testing, sample results vary from test to test.

In the case of Automated Tests, results do not vary from test to test.

Users should remember Memory Cleaning up.

Automated Testing will have comprehensive cleanups.

The methods included in manual pen-testing are data collection, vulnerability assessment, actual exploit, report preparation, etc.

The automated pen-testing is performed using pen-testing tools like Nmap, Aircrack-ng, Wifiphisher, Burp Site, OWASP ZAP, etc.

Manual penetration testing is of two types- Focused manual pen-testing and Comprehensive manual pen-testing.

Automated pen-testing can be any of the three types: Black box pen-testing, white box pen-testing, and grey box pen-testing.

Also, if you are seriously looking to start your career in Cybersecurity. Check out How to Become a Certified Ethical Hacker?

Penetration Testing Sample Test Cases

  • Check if the web application can identify spam attacks on contact forms used on the website
  • Proxy server – Check if proxy appliances monitor network traffic. The proxy server makes it difficult for hackers to get internal details of the network, thus protecting the system from external attacks
  • Spam email filters – Authenticate if incoming and outgoing email traffic is filtered and unsolicited emails are blocked. Many email clients come with inbuilt spam filters that must be configured per your needs. These configuration rules can be applied to email headers, subjects, or bodies.
  • Firewall – Make sure the entire network or computers are protected with Firewall. A Firewall can be software or hardware to block unauthorized access to a system. A Firewall can prevent sending data outside the network without your permission.
  • Try to exploit all servers, desktop systems, printers, and network devices.
  • Authenticate that all usernames and passwords are encrypted and transferred over a secured connection like HTTPS.
  • Authenticate information stored in website cookies. It should not be in a readable format.
  • Authenticate previously found vulnerabilities to check if the fix is working.
  • Authenticate if there is no open port in the network.
  • Authenticate all telephone devices.
  • Authenticate Wifi network security.
  • Authenticate all HTTP methods. PUT and Delete methods should not be enabled on a web server.
  • Authenticate if the password meets the required standards. The password should be at least eight characters long, containing at least one number and one unique character.
  • Username should not be like “admin” or “administrator.”
  • The application login page should be locked upon a few unsuccessful login attempts.
  • Error messages should be generic and should not mention specific error details like “Invalid username” or “Invalid password.”
  • Authenticate if special characters, HTML tags, and scripts are handled properly as an input value or not.
  • Internal system details should not be revealed in error or alert messages.
  • Custom error messages should be displayed to the end user in case of a web page crash.
  • Authenticate use of registry entries. Sensitive information should not be kept in the registry.
  • All files must be scanned before uploading to the server.
  • Sensitive data should not be passed in URLs while communicating with different internal modules of the web application.
  • There should not be any hard-coded username or password in the system.
  • Authenticate all input fields with long input strings with and without spaces.
  • Authenticate if reset password functionality is secure.
  • Authenticate application for SQL Injection.
  • Authenticate application for Cross-Site Scripting.
  • Important input validations should be done on the server side instead of JavaScript checks on the client side.
  • Critical resources in the system should be available to authorized persons and services only.
  • All-access logs should be maintained with proper access permissions.
  • Authenticate user session ends upon log off.
  • Authenticate that directory browsing is disabled on the server.
  • Authenticate that all applications and database versions are up to date.
  • Authenticate URL manipulation to check if a web application is not showing any unwanted information.
  • Authenticate memory leak and buffer overflow.
  • Authenticate if incoming network traffic is scanned to find Trojan attacks.
  • Authenticate if the system is safe from Brute Force Attacks – a trial and error method to find sensitive information like passwords.
  • Authenticate if the system or network is secured from DoS (denial-of-service) attacks. Hacker can target a network or a single computer with continuous requests due to which resources on the target system gets overloaded, resulting in the denial of service for legit requests.
  • Authenticate application for HTML script injection attacks.
  • Authenticate against spoofing attacks. Spoofing can be of multiple types – IP address spoofing, Email ID spoofing, ARP spoofing, Referrer spoofing, Caller ID spoofing, Poisoning of file-sharing networks, and GPS spoofing.
  • Check for uncontrolled format string attack – a security attack that can cause the application to crash or execute the harmful script.
  • Authenticate XML injection attack – used to alter the intended logic of the application.
  • Authenticate if the error pages show any information that could be helpful for a hacker to enter into the system.
  • Authenticate if any critical data like the password is stored in secret files on the system.
  • Authenticate if the application is returning more data than is required.

Salary is a key factor before approaching any domain. Take a quick look at this article on CISSP Salary: Check Average Salary Before You Start Learning CISSP!

What to do next?

 

So, at the end of this write-up, you are familiar with Penetration testing, its phases, types, tools, and the various penetration testing test scenarios. Penetration testing has always been a bumpy ride. But remember to create new standards by registering for Cybersecurity Certification Training at JanBask Training and enjoy this ride. Tell us in the comments section below when you plan to perform your first hack.

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FAQs

Q1. What are the benefits of JanBask Training’s Online CyberSecurity Courses?

Ans. Our Online CyberSecurity Courses will help you learn in-demand skills from top industry experts and lifetime access to self-paced learning content curated by industry experts.

Q2. Why offline CyberSecurity courses are outdated?

Ans. Offline Cybersecurity Courses are outdated because they lack flexibility and require longer schedules, impacting the overall planning schedule of professionals and students.

This learning mode is expensive and leads to unplanned utilization of time and resources. 

Q3. How can I map my progress using your Cybersecurity Online Courses?

Ans. You will gain access to LMS, quizzes, installation guides, and class recordings which you can access anytime and anywhere at your convenience! You’ll get access to 24*7 live Instructor-led sessions from industry experts. You’ll also earn lifetime access to top cyber security online courses for beginners and experts tailored to suit the changing industry dynamics.

Q4. What are the eligibility criteria for Online CyberSecurity Courses?

Ans. Candidates must have a bachelor’s degree or an equivalent degree with a basic understanding of Database Applications and Network Security.

Q5. What is the CyberSecurity Online admission process?

Ans. The applicants should fill up the application form and submit it to get admission to the cyber security course online. The applicants must pass the entrance exam with the requisite score. After this, there will be reviewing and verification of shortlisted candidates. Once the payment is made, the shortlisted candidates will be enrolled in cyber security courses online.

Q6. Is it possible to get a CyberSecurity job without a Certification exam?

Ans. If you want better job opportunities, you need to be clear of the certification exam; without qualifying for the entrance, job opportunities will be limited.

Q7. What are the top CyberSecurity job roles?

Ans. Here are the top cyber security job roles you can earn.

  • Cryptography Engineer
  • Cybersecurity Manager
  • Penetration Tester
  • Security Engineer
  • Information Security Analyst
  • Digital Forensic Examiner
  • Security Architect
  • Security Systems Administrator

Q8. Overview of JanBask Training’s CyberSecurity Courses Online.

Ans. With the help of this CyberSecurity course, you’ll learn and master various skills and techniques in Cyber Security to protect yourself in the digital world.

Q9. What will I learn in these courses?

Ans. In these comprehensive CyberSecurity Courses Online, you’ll learn cryptography, ethical hacking, computer networks & security, malware threats, DoS, and various security practices with hands-on demonstrations. 

Q10. Why should I take up this course?

Ans.Cyber security is a continuously evolving sector; hence, getting trained in the same under expert guidance can be very beneficial. This course has been designed by industry experts and consists of everything to help you develop a strong career. You will be trained practically in important cyber security concepts such as cryptography, network security, ethical hacking, etc. 


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    Anusha Tyagi

    She is an expert in writing informative blogs and article. She is best known for IT, Technical trends and career path education. Anusha has been producing distinctive and engaging content for the end-users.


Comments

  • R

    Rafael Lewis

    I want to know what the skills required to take up these cyber security courses and this post helped me in understanding well.

     Reply
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  • K

    Kyle Lee

    What a nice informative blog, a must-read for people who want to explore the best courses of cyber security.

     Reply
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      JanbaskTraining

      Glad you found this useful! For more such insights on your favorite topics, do check out JanBask Blogs and keep learning with us!

  • R

    Riley Walker

    Hey, is there any separate guide that you can help me to get prepared for these certification courses?

     Reply
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      JanbaskTraining

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  • J

    Jorge Hall

    Earlier I thought that in a few places, the job opportunities after cyber security courses were not properly explained and after reading this post I got to know the different factors.

     Reply
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      JanbaskTraining

      Glad you found this useful! For more such insights on your favorite topics, do check out JanBask Blogs and keep learning with us!

  • B

    Beckham Allen

    How to choose the best one among the cyber security courses mentioned above?

     Reply
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      JanbaskTraining

      Hi, Thank you for reaching out to us with your query. Drop us your email id here and we will get back to you shortly!

  • C

    Cayden Young

    Can anyone from a Science as well as commerce background join the training? If yes, then whom to contact?

     Reply
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      JanbaskTraining

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  • J

    Jaden Hernandez

    I want to explore a few best courses for career growth, but confused about which one is better, I want to consult a Janbask consultant on this.

     Reply
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