Web application penetration testing includes four main steps which are information gathering, research and exploitation, remediation with ongoing support and reporting, and recommendations. These are primarily performed to secure the software code development throughout the lifecycle. The main purpose of performing these penetration tests are specific requirements, coding mistakes, and lack of knowledge in cyber attack vectors. 

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What is Web application penetration testing?

It involves a methodological arrangement of steps to gather information about the target system, finding vulnerabilities and the faults in them, and researching the exploits that succeed those vulnerabilities to compromise the web application. Online web application penetration testing is a community that focuses solely on discovering web application penetration testing reports.

how to do penetration testing for web applications. Our pen testing methodology delivers tremendous ROI

  • 1. Planning

    The first step of planning generally involves:

    i) Define the goals and the scopes of a test. Also includes the systems to be addressed

    ii) Gather intelligence such as mail servers, domain names to understand better how a target works and the potential vulnerabilities.
  • 2. Scanning

    The next step is to know how the target application will respond to multiple data theft attempts. That typically uses:

    Static analysis: inspects the application’s code to understand the way it behaves while running. This tool can scan the code entirely in a single go

    Dynamic analysis: Inspects the application’s code in an ongoing state. It is a practical way of scanning as it can provide a real-time view of an applicant’s performance.
  • 3. Gaining access

    It uses cyber security penetration testing attacks such as SQL injection, backdoors, and cross-site scripting to undercover the target’s vulnerability. Testers try to exploit these vulnerabilities by stealing data, escalating privileges, etc. to understand the limit of damage it can hold.
  • 4. Maintaining the access

    The goal of this stage is to check if the vulnerability can be used to achieve the presence in the exploited system. The main idea is to imitate the advanced persistent threats that often will remain in a system for a long time in order to steal sensitive data from an organization.
  • 5. Analysis

    The result of pen-testing consists :

    Specific exploited vulnerability

    Accessed sensitive data

    It is analyzed by security personnel to figure out the organization’s WAF setting and application security solutions to minimize vulnerabilities and protect it from future attacks.

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Online Web application penetration testing phases

Data Space Security’s methodology is a fastidious process that is used in every platform.

The first phase of our web application penetration test primarily focuses on collecting as much information as possible about the target application, this is called reconnaissance or in other words information gathering. There are few different types of attack vectors available:

1) Passive reconnaissance generally uses public tools to gather the information that is available on the internet. This is done by search engines and with the help of other methods to find the information.
2) Active reconnaissance involves pentesters that are using more advanced tactics, such as cross-site scripting, sending HTTP requests, scanners, or crafting requests with retrieving output.

Techniques that include system service identification, port scanning, firewall, and intrusion detection, the remote operating system will be used for the pen-testing. For discovery, this phase will use banner grabbing along with passive fingerprinting.

Vulnerability scanning lets a user find out the weakness of the application and along with that one can determine the methods to improve and fix the overall security of an application. It mainly finds out if the security patches are installed, and the scanning is performed using many automated tools along with manual testing methods and custom scripts.

Web penetration testing is a preventive control method that will let you analyze the status and existing security layer. Goals of doing a pen-testing:

Identifying the unknown vulnerability
Checking the effectiveness of security policy
Determine the most vulnerable way to attack
Testing the components, firewall, DNS, and routers
Look for loopholes that can lead to data theft

It is to be done without the need to access the source code. Here are the top 10 web application penetration testing tools, to acquaint ourselves with intent, definition, and security testing.

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1. Zed Attack Proxy
Zed Attack Proxy or ZAP is an open-source web application penetration testing tool. Mainly it is used for obtaining many security vulnerabilities in a web app through construction. It can easily be handled by newbies and experts. It has always been the most notable OWASP project, also it has been awarded flagship status. It is written in Java and free to use along with that it also has a scanner and security vulnerability finder. Features: Private IP disclosure Application error enclosure Cookie SQL injection
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2. W3af
It is one of the web application attack and audit frameworks that use Python. It enables a tester to find over 200 varieties of security problems in web applications. The main part regulates the process which features the plug-ins and utilizes them as an ethical hacking & web application penetration testing platform.
Features:
Play loads injection
CSRF
Blind SQL injection
Cross-site scripting
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3. Arachni
This tool is created to recognize security issues inside a webpage, which is basically an open-source advanced web application penetration testing tool that is capable of several vulnerabilities. It also helps in examining web application security. It works as a meta-analysis on HTTP acknowledgment.

Features:
SQL injection
Invalidated redirect
Local and remote file
XSS injection

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4. Wapiti
Wapiti is the leading web application penetration testing, it is free to open source projects. If anyone wants to check the web application for security vulnerabilities, then it will perform black-box testing. It is a command-line application along with that it is also easy to use for the experienced but newbies can face a few problems using this. However, newbies can find all directions on how to use the official documentation.

Features:
Database injection
XSS injection
File disclosure
XXE injection
CRLF injection
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5. Metasploit
It is one of the most advanced frameworks in ethical hacking & web application penetration testing tools available. It is typically based on the concept of ‘exploit’, the code can exceed security rules and also enter a reliable system.

Features:
Proxy pivot
Anti-virus evasion
Manual exploitation
Next level pen tester
Evidence collection
Gather and rescue credentials
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6. Vega
Vega is a free open-source web scanner and an advanced web application penetration testing platform. One can perform different security testings with this application. It is written in Java that offers a GUI-based environment.

Features:
GUI- based
Automated scanner
Intercepting proxy
Multi perform
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7. Grabber
Grabber is also a scanner that recognizes vulnerabilities on the website. It is simple but not quick, but it is also flexible and manageable. The primary object of the creation of this application is to scan small sites including forums, personal blogs, etc. but not for the big applications, as it would take a lot of time. It is also a web application penetration testing tool.

Features:
Hybrid analyze
File inclusion
Backup file check
Javascript source code analyzer
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8. SQLMap
SQLMap is a user-friendly web application penetration testing tool. It is mostly used for identifying and exploiting SQL injection problems to hack over different database servers. It can also work on different platforms like Apple Mac OS X Linux, Microsoft windows.

Features:
Stacked queries
Robust detection engine
Time-based blind
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9. Ratproxy
Ratproxy is a well-known web application penetration testing tool that can be used to find security vulnerabilities in web page applications. It was created to defeat the problems that users regularly face while using proxy tolls for security audits.

Features:
XSS injection
Adobe-flash content
HTTP and meta redirectors
XSRF defenses
Optional component
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10.Wfuzz
It is a freely accessible tool for web application penetration testing. It can be used to brute strength Get and POST parameters for measuring several kinds of injections like XSS, SQL, and many more. Normally, it supports SOCK, cookie fuzzing, Authentication, multiple proxies.

Features:
SOCK and proxy support
Recursion
Cookie fuzzing
Output to HTML
Multiple threading

Most people choose these tools because they are the easiest and user-friendly.

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