Network Penetration Testing

Importance Of Network Penetration Testing


Network Penetration testing became a crucial element in ensuring the security of networks and systems in today’s digitalized world. It became essential for businesses and organizations to keep cyber threats away from them by performing regular network penetration testing to identify and discover possible vulnerabilities in their system before they turn into an open gate to malicious actors that would help them exploit the vulnerabilities. In this blog, we will take a deep dive into the importance of network penetration testing, a few of the benefits it provides, and types of network penetration tests and we will also discuss the best practices you can implement to conduct an effective test. Without further ado, let’s get into it.



Network penetration testing is a method used to test the security of a computer system, network or web application. It involves simulating a real-world cyber-attack to identify vulnerabilities and exploit them in a controlled environment. The primary purpose of network penetration testing is to evaluate the effectiveness of an organization’s security controls and identify areas where improvements can be made.



According to IBM 2022 Cost of a Data Breach Report, “83% of organizations have had more than one breach”. This signifies the importance of Network Penetration testing. Network Penetration testing is essential for organizations to strengthen their security posture by identifying and addressing vulnerabilities before they can be exploited by attackers. By conducting regular network penetration testing, organizations can reduce the risk of data breaches, avoid financial losses, maintain compliance with industry regulations, and protect their reputation.



A lot of benefits are associated with network penetration testing. The most notable benefits are as follows:

1. Helps in identifying potential security threats

Network penetration testing helps organizations identify and address vulnerabilities by simulating real-world cyberattacks. One of the perks of conducting a network penetration test Is it will allow a security professional to identify the vulnerabilities, and weaknesses in their network infrastructure and their application before the attacker can exploit them. Identifying the vulnerabilities help organisations to implement a plan or take necessary steps to prevent future attacks.

2. Helps in Preventing Data Breaches and Losses

The average cost of a data breach is $ 4.35 million. The cost of recovery from data breaches is expensive. Network penetration test helps to prevent data breaches and the cost associated with them. The impact of a data breach on an organization is very daunting as it leads to financial losses, legal repercussions, and reputational damage. By conducting a test, organizations can prevent data breaches and protect sensitive data.

3. Helps in Compliance with Industry Standards and Regulations

Many industries and organizations are subject to standards and regulations that require regular network penetration testing to maintain compliance. Conducting these tests will let organizations ensure that they’re meeting regulatory requirements and avoid potential fines and legal repercussions.



The types of Network penetration testing are White Box testing, Black Box Testing, and Grey Box Testing.

1. White Box Testing

White Box Testing is a method of testing where the tester has complete knowledge of the system being tested. This type of testing is typically used by internal security teams who have full access to the network infrastructure and applications being tested. White box testing allows testers to identify vulnerabilities that may not be visible to external attackers.

2. Black Box Testing

Black box testing is a method of testing where the tester has no prior knowledge of the system being tested. This type of testing is typically used by external security teams, such as third-party vendors, to test the security of a network or application. Black box testing simulates a real-world attack, where the attacker has no prior knowledge of the target system.

3. Grey Box Testing

Grey box testing is a method of testing that lies somewhere between white box testing and black box testing. In grey box testing, the tester has some knowledge of the system being tested but does not have complete access to it. This type of testing is often used to simulate an attack by a trusted insider who has limited access to the network or application. 


1. Define Objectives

The first step is to define the objectives of the network penetration testing. You should identify what you want to achieve from the testing process, such as identifying vulnerabilities or testing the effectiveness of your security controls.

2. Identify Scope

It’s crucial to identify the scope of the testing, including the systems and networks that will be tested, and any other relevant details. This helps to ensure that the testing process is focused, efficient and effective in achieving the objectives.

3. Develop a Budget Plan

Developing a budget plan is crucial to ensure the success of your cybersecurity efforts. The price of the test completely depends on what kind of test you’re conducting (White box, black box, and grey box testing), the value of your assets, and if you’re going for In-house testing or an external service provider.

4. Choose a right Network Penetration Testing Provider

Choosing the right penetration testing provider depends on what objectives you’ve set. For example, if you’re looking for a Network security assessment, then look no further. Choosing the right network penetration testing provider is a crucial decision for any organization to secure its digital assets and it can be a challenging task. Here are some of the criteria you can consider when evaluating potential providers:

  • Evaluating Credentials and Experience.
  • Assessing Methodologies and tools used.
  • Review customer feedback and References.
5. Prioritize the outcome

It is very crucial to prioritize the outcome of your test. It would help you understand your network posture. Documenting results will help you in understanding the vulnerabilities and recommendations given for securing your systems and networks. It is also important to implement the recommendations made by the penetration testing team to ensure that your systems and networks are secure.


It takes 30 minutes to 10 days for a hacker to breach a network Perimeter. 63% of companies’ internal networks can be accessed in no more than two steps. The statics are terrifying and calls for a need to perform a network penetration test. Network penetration testing is done to strengthen the in-place network security. It helps organisations to understand their network better. By Conducting this test, the companies can establish strong security measures and reduce the risk of falling prey to data breaches, financial losses, and reputational damage.


How Has Ransomware Evolved Over Time?

Overall, there is 53% increase in Ransomware incidents reported in 2022 Year over Year.

               -CERTIN(India Ransomware reports)

Ransomware has become one of the most significant cybersecurity threats facing individuals, businesses, and organizations around the world. It is a type of malware that encrypts data and demands payment in exchange for a decryption key. While ransomware attacks have been around for decades, they have evolved significantly over time, becoming more sophisticated and prevalent. In this article, we will explore the history and evolution of ransomware, from its humble beginnings to the modern era, and examine the impact it has on individuals and organizations. We will also discuss strategies for preventing and responding to ransomware attacks and look at what the future may hold for this dangerous threat.

Introduction To Ransomware

Ransomware has become a popular tool for cybercriminals seeking financial gain, as victims often feel compelled to pay a ransom in order to regain access to their data.

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What is Ransomware?

Ransomware is a type of malware that takes control of a victim’s computer system and demands payment in exchange for releasing the data. It can be delivered through malicious email attachments, infected software downloads, or compromised websites. There are two main types of Ransomware: locker ransomware, which locks the user out of their system or certain files; and crypto-ransomware, which encrypts the victim’s files.

How Ransomware Works

Once the ransomware has infected the victim’s system, it will typically display a message demanding payment in exchange for restoring access to the encrypted files. This message will often include a countdown timer, adding a sense of urgency to the situation. Payment is typically demanded in Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies, making it difficult to trace the identity of the cybercriminals.

Early Forms of Ransomware


The First Recorded Ransomware Attack

Message Displayed After Activation of AIDS (Source: Wikipedia)

The first recorded instance of ransomware was the “AIDS Trojan” in 1989, which was distributed via floppy disks and targeted AIDS researchers. The malicious code targeted filenames instead of the contents of the files as we know today causing major disruptions and downtime. This proves that even simple encryption can have disastrous consequences.

Example of Early Ransomware

Other early forms of ransomware examples included the “Gpcode” ransomware in 2004, which used weak RSA encryption that was subsequently cracked by security researchers. And “Archiveus” trojan encrypted the entire files in the “My Documents” folder.

Both of these early examples utilized simple encryption methods and were relatively easy to decrypt without paying a ransom. However, they laid the groundwork for more sophisticated attacks that we see today. The evolution of ransomware has made it increasingly complex, using advanced encryption algorithms and bypassing traditional security measures to extort money from victims by exploiting their data as leverage to achieve financial gain.

Evolution Of Ransomware Tactics

2005-2009: Early Ransomware Tactics


Early ransomware attacks were relatively simple, displaying a message that would prevent the user from accessing their system until a ransom was paid. These attacks were often easy to circumvent, and victims could restore their systems by removing the infected files or using anti-malware software.

2009-2016: Encryption-based Ransomware Tactics


Encryption-based ransomware is the most common type of ransomware seen today. It uses advanced encryption algorithms to lock files on a system, making them inaccessible to the user. This type of ransomware has become increasingly sophisticated, with some variants even encrypting the filenames themselves. In recent times, Ransomware builders are focusing on speed and performance. Instead of encrypting the whole file, a portion of a file is being targeted for encryption to save time. Multithreading is getting leveraged for faster encryption. A few notable attacks include “Vundo”, and “WinLock”.

2016-2018: Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS)


Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS) is a model in which cybercriminals create and distribute ransomware to other criminals, who then use it to target victims. The original creators of the ransomware typically take a percentage of the profits earned by the secondary criminals. The emergence of RaaS has made it easier than ever for cybercriminals to launch ransomware attacks, leading to a proliferation of providers offering these services on the dark web. Some of the most notorious RaaS providers include “Hive” and “Darkside”. As ransomware continues to evolve, it remains a potent threat to individuals and businesses alike.

2019-2022: Double Extortion


Double extortion is a tactic some ransomware groups use to increase the pressure on their victims to pay the ransom. In addition to encrypting files, they also exfiltrate sensitive data and threaten to publish it unless the ransom is paid. This tactic has become increasingly popular in recent years, with several high-profile attacks leveraging this technique.

Today’s Ransomware Landscape:

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Common Ransomware Delivery Methods

In today’s landscape, common ransomware delivery methods include phishing emails, malvertising, and exploit kits. Phishing emails trick victims into clicking on a malicious link or attachment to an email, while malvertising involves planting malicious code in online advertisements. Exploit kits take advantage of software vulnerabilities to infect the victim’s device without their knowledge.

Ransomware Targeted Industries and Sectors

Ransomware is now a global problem affecting individuals, businesses, and even government entities. Any organization that relies on computers to carry out its operations is at risk of a ransomware attack. However, some sectors, such as healthcare, finance, and education, are particularly vulnerable due to the sensitive nature of their data.

Impact of Ransomware on Business and Individuals

The impact of ransomware can be devastating for both businesses and individuals alike.

The Financial Cost of Ransomware


A report Published by IBM states that “The average cost of a ransomware attack, not including the cost of the ransom is $4.54 million“. However, The financial cost of ransomware extends beyond the ransom payment. It can include lost revenue due to system downtime, data recovery costs, legal fees, and damage to the organization’s reputation. In some cases, victims may choose to pay the ransom to avoid these costs altogether.

Psychological Effects of Ransomware


Ransomware can also have psychological effects on victims. The fear and uncertainty caused by the attack can lead to stress, anxiety, and even depression. Individuals feel violated, and businesses experience a loss of trust from their customers and employees.

Strategies for Preventing and Responding to Ransomware Attacks

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Prevention and response are the keys to minimizing the impact of ransomware attacks.

Preventing Ransomware Attacks

Preventing ransomware attacks involves implementing security best practices such as penetration testing, regularly backing up data, keeping software up-to-date, using antivirus software, and training employees to identify and avoid phishing emails.

Responding to a Ransomware Attack

If a ransomware attack does occur, the organization should first isolate the infected devices, shut down the network if necessary, and contact law enforcement. They should also assess their backup data and determine if paying the ransom is the best course of action.

Future Of Ransomware: Predictions and Trends


As technology continues to evolve, so too does ransomware. Understanding future trends and potential threats is essential for organizations to stay ahead of the curve.

The Increasing Sophistication of Ransomware

Ransomware is becoming more sophisticated, with some variants now capable of evading detection and spreading laterally across networks. This makes it challenging for organizations to detect, prevent, and respond to ransomware attacks.

New and Emerging Ransomware Threats

Emerging ransomware threats include targeting industrial control systems (ICS), as well as the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to enhance ransomware capabilities. As such threats continue to emerge, organizations must remain vigilant and proactive in protecting their critical data and assets.


Ransomware has undergone significant changes throughout its history, from early forms that were relatively simple to today’s sophisticated attacks. While the threat of ransomware is likely to continue to evolve and persist, there are steps that individuals and organizations can take to reduce the risk of falling victim to an attack. By staying vigilant, implementing best practices for cybersecurity, and preparing for the worst-case scenario, it is possible to mitigate the impact of ransomware and other types of malware.


Automating Sql Injection By Bypassing Client-Side Encryption

SQL injection (SQLi) is a web security vulnerability that allows an attacker to interfere with an application’s queries that makes to its database. It generally allows an attacker to view data that they are not normally able to retrieve. This might include data belonging to the other users, or any other data that the application itself can access. In many cases, an attacker can modify or delete this data causing persistent changes to the application’s content or behavior.

It is one of the most common vulnerabilities in web penetration testing. The tools that we used to exploit SQLi are SQLMap, Burp Suite, and online tools. Here, we tried to automated the injection and came across a few problems on the journey. Before addressing the problems, let’s look at the scenario.

About The Application:

The application that we are up against is a portal to deal with suppliers and vendors. Which has various functionalities such as details of suppliers/vendors. Additionally, the creation, modification, deletion, approval, and rejection of tickets generated by other users over an issue, they(supplier/vendors) face during the course of action.


A web application has a table displaying the issues raised by the other users and it has search functionality. Hence, we begin with searching for the issues raised by a specific user’s SSOID that contains 175, and the issues raised by that particular user are returned (Figure 1).


Figure 1

To test, we entered 175’ and it returned no result. Concerning this, we now suspect a possible SQL injection. Subsequently, we tried to balance the query with a “- -” (double-dashed comment) i.e., 175’- –. Due to this, we successfully got the result of the user. Out of all this, we identified that SQL injection is possible.

For further confirmation, we injected a Boolean-based payload. First, we injected a query that returns ‘FALSE’ i.e., 175’ AND 1=2–. The data is not returned (indicating that the web application is vulnerable to SQL injection) as shown in Figure 2.


Figure 2


Later, we injected a query that returns ‘TRUE’ i.e., 175’ AND 1=1–. Thence, we got the result of the user (Figure 3).

Figure 3

To automate the exploitation, we are going to use SQLmap. With the help of Burp Suit, we intercepted the request and figured that the request body is getting encrypted. As the request body is encrypted, we can’t just use SQLmap. To achieve this, we need to decrypt the encryption. As encryption is done on the client side, we looked for the key in the .js file and we found the key in the aes.js file. Looking at the internet, we realized that the developer must have replicated the publicly available code from the internet and didn’t change the key. To make SQLmap work explicitly, we’ve added a parameter. (e.g., itest=QWERTYUIOP==)

As we now have the key. We decrypted the encryption using an online tool and we got the request body in plain text.


To get SQLmap to work, we need to decrypt and then encrypt the request body as the server only understands the encrypted data. Now to analyze the response which is again encrypted, we need to decrypt it. Hence, we came up with an optimized solution! we created a tamper script that crafts the query with a payload from an already decrypted query and encrypts the whole request body.


We explicitly told SQLmap to use only Time-Based Queries to analyze the received data. By this, the complexity of the decryption of the response body reduces. After SQLmap encrypts the request body it looks like this “itest=QWERTYUIOP==”. Since the server only understands this form “QWERTYUIOP==” we made Burp Suite a middleman and removed “itest=” using its feature Match & Replace.

In the above scenario, the problems faced during the process are addressed below:

A. Request Body gets encrypted so can’t use tools like SQLmap directly for the exploitation of SQLi. Need to find the key as encryption is done on the client side.

To decrypt the encrypted data, a key is required. We analyzed all the .js files. We found out they are using AES with EBC cipher mode. We found the key but it was encoded in Base64 format. With the help of online tools or Burp suit’s Decoder, we’ve attained the cipher key.

B. Request format for SQLmap differs from the Server acceptance format.

The legitimate request body format for a server is (e.g., QMBCIIOJKLMNBVCZAQWER==). However, SQLmap only understands parameter value (e.g., Q=” Ownux”) to execute the SQL injection. Hence, we need to explicitly add “Q=” before it.

C. We Need to decrypt the request body before sending it to SQLmap.

Theoretically, for successful exploitation, we need to decrypt the data and send it to the SQLmap. Later, SQLmap will insert payload and we need to encrypt the data before sending it to the server. For SQLmap to analyze the response, we must decrypt the encrypted response again.

D. Need to Encrypt the data with a payload before sending it to the server.

An optimized solution has been found. Instead of decrypting the request and response, we wrote a script that crafts the query with payload from an already decrypted query and then encrypted it using the SQLmap’s Tamper functionality. Now comes the data exfiltration which also requires decryption, instead we explicitly told the SQLmap to run only Time-Based queries.

E. Make the request in a server-acceptable format.

Now after the request data is encrypted using SQLmap which is in the format of (e.g., Q=QMBCIIOJKLMNBVCZAQWER==). On the other hand, the server only accepts encrypted data (e.g., QMBCIIOJKLMNBVCZAQWER==). To convert the request, we used Burp suite’s match & replace functionality where we defined the rule like this:

Find: “Q=

Replace: <none>

by this, the request would look from this “Q=QMBCIIOJKLMNBVCZAQWER==” to this “QMBCIIOJKLMNBVCZAQWER==” which is in a server acceptable format.


A few of the problems faced through the process are encryption of the request body which makes the process of exploiting SQLi harder, and so on. In a quest to find the solutions to the problems, we found out that SQL injection is possible and retrieved the data of the user using a Boolean-based payload injection. To automate this, we wrote a tamper script that is compatible with the application’s environment. And that’s how we were able to automate the SQL injection by bypassing client-side encryption.

Mobile Application Security

Here are the 8 Best Practices for Mobile Application Security in 2022

Mobile applications have been the biggest source of revenue for Businesses. Its revenue summed up to $133 billion in 2021 and is anticipated to reach $935 billion in 2023. However, this phenomenal surge has its price of cyber-attack threats. Due to this, mobile application security plays a pivotal role. According to the report produced by the check point research “mobile security report 2021”, 97% of organizations have experienced mobile app attacks, along with 46% of employees installing at least 1 malicious app. Business and user data security has been raised as a result of this interaction with brands for various purposes. With no proper security measures taken, they are exposing sensitive data to brands through applications. For that reason, it’s important to take preventive measures to evade data risks and protect the consumers. Below we have listed down the best ways that ensure mobile app security for your devices.

8 Best Practices for Your Mobile App Security in 2022

Data Encryptions

Utilization of mobile apps in the devices or the OS is growing tremendously. so, you need to make sure that the exchanged data do not get exposed in case the device or the OS enters into vulnerability. Data can be encrypted across applications as one way to accomplish this problem. During encryption, the data is scrambled so that hackers cannot read it. Data encryption can be done in two ways:
  • Symmetric encryption.
  • Asymmetric encryption.
Encryption and decryption of data using symmetric encryption uses the same security key. Asymmetric encryption, however, uses separate security keys to encrypt and decrypt data. For a good mobile app security assurance, it is always a good idea to follow secure coding practices to keep them more secure.

Secure Codes

Many pieces of code make up every application at its core. Due to this, it’s very important to have secure codes. As reported by NowSecure, “82 percent of Android devices were prone to at least one of the 25 vulnerabilities in the Android operating system”. As a result, a bug-free and vulnerability-free source code must be maintained. To ensure code security and that there are no vulnerabilities that the hackers are capable of exploiting, mobile application testing is essential.

User Authentications

User-generated content (UGC) is the most common type of contribution to mobile applications. UGC can be exposed to cyber-attacks because of no proper user authentication in the first place. A social engineering attack can be used by the hackers to access vital information about the users. Through UGC, malicious injection becomes very easy once they have access to the user accounts. Authentication processes such as multi-factor authentication can be used here. A one-time password, token, security key, or other additional layers of security is added over the traditional authentication process. Two-factor authentication, for example, involves receiving an OTP on the device to validate the user’s identity. Compliance is another important aspect of mobile application security.

Compliance & Integrity

For a mobile app to be launched, certain security requirements must be met. The app store may require the developers to follow a few specific security measures under the app store direction. An app could be downloaded and installed through this process. App stores are used in modern smartphones to distribute apps or software that needs to be code signed. Only pre-vetted applications are distributed through this process. In addition to confirming the developer’s identity and the security requirements of the app, the app store validates the app’s security requirements. The application is available for download if everything complies with the guidelines of the operating system. Several coding sign options are available in the market, so it doesn’t need to seem all daunting. A cheap code signing certificate ensures compliance and integrity of your application. It is considered to be cost-effective. It also signifies that it comes from the genuine publisher and that the code has never been tampered with before. Users are provided with a public key that is used to decrypt the information related to their identity, which is encrypted with the help of this certificate. An Application Programming Interface is another aspect of app security that is very essential to understand.

Secure APIs

Third-party APIs play an important role in integrating third-party services as well as improving functionality. It also facilitates the exchange of data among heterogeneous systems. However, for greater app security, APIs should be secured and data that is exchanged should not be exposed. Utilizing data access authorizations is one way to ensure APIs security. There are a few open source and Commercial tools available for automated API testing in the market. It is very crucial to understand the requirement and threats the app and its data might encounter, before opting for a security testing tool.

Security Triggers

If someone tampers with the source code of your application, you can use specific triggers to alert your systems. To detect malicious injections and tampering in cloud-native applications, AWS Lambda functions can be used.

Data Privileges

By identifying data privileges, you can also minimize the risk of malicious cyber-attacks against your application. Provide limited access to sensitive data to users according to the principle of least privilege. By doing so, sensitive information will not be accessible to someone without data access or with malicious intent.

Secure Containers

Security keys is the most crucial aspect of encryption. If you are encrypting data for your application, don’t store security keys in local data centers. In most organizations, sensitive information is stored in local data centers in hybrid clouds, where you can use secure containers to protect the keys. AES encryption and SHA-256 hashing, for example, can ensure the security of such keys with advanced security protocols.

Bottom Line

As the usage of various mobile applications by users grow on daily basis, the need to secure and protect the data grows too. Users must prioritize the security of their mobile applications. As hackers are turning more efficient at malicious injection attacks and many more that would provide them a backstreet to access the data very quickly. Hence, the user should focus on improving their security to secure their data that prevents the hackers to take control of the applications. We hope that the above tips have genuinely helped you and we also hope that you’ve learnt the cruciality of mobile application security.
Web Application Penetration Testing (1)

Web Application Penetration Testing: Steps, Methods, & Tools

Phishing attacks are responsible for 90% of security breaches in companies. The primary concern, however, is web application security.

But, what is web application security? It is the process of protecting websites, web applications, and web services from current and rising security threats that exploit weaknesses in the source code.

Making one small error in the web design or server and it can create a huge loss in the business revenue.

Read further to know how web application penetration testing or web app pen test is done and what are its tools, methods and steps.

Web Application Penetration Testing: Overview

Web app pen test refers to the method of simulating a real-life cyber attack against web services, web apps, or websites to determine potential danger. This technique is performed by the cyber security experts.

It is performed in an attempt to identify existing weak points that the criminals can easily deceive. Potential attacks can happen with the web servers hosted locally or on the cloud. So, they are at a substantial risk of would-be attacks from malicious sources.

Cyber Security Experts conduct penetration testing to verify the extent of vulnerabilities, identify loopholes, and evaluate the effectiveness of the enterprise’s overall application security posture.

What Steps are Used to Perform a Web App Pen Test?

1. Pre engagement Activity
Distinguishing the scope of activities, organization’s targets, and its security goals.

At this phase, the tester takes into account the virtual and physical assets that the organization utilizes. Following that, they perform black box, white box, and gray box tests on the system.

2. Intelligence Gathering
In this phase, we analyze how the web application is set up. The intelligence gathering consists of the two types:
• Passive Phase

Here the tester collects information which are easily accessible on the internet without engaging directly with the application.

• Active Phase

Penetration testers probe target systems in the active phase in order to extract information that can be used to analyze the system further.

3. Vulnerability Scanning & Analysis
After comprehensive examination of critical control points in the system, pen testers can then make detailed examination of the possible attacks.

To identify security loopholes, Zed Attack Proxy (ZAP), Burp Suite Pro or Acunetix and other open source tools that are used to scan target applications for vulnerabilities.

In this state, the main task for the testers is to validate if the important company information is safe.

4. Exploitation Phase

In this phase the collected data are analyzed. It is essential to test the discrepancies along with maintaining the data while determining threats.

By performing various exploitation techniques against the vulnerabilities identified during the scanning phase, this step allows obtaining unauthorized access to the database, circumventing authorizations with brute force tools, and uploading malicious scripts to the application server to gain command-line shell access.

5. Enlisting Threats & Devising Remediation

Upon the completion of the assessment, a comprehensive report is generated that summarizes the results, the probable threats, the threat scorecard, and the expert advice provided by the pen tester.

In order to verify that the errors have been fixed and the vulnerability has been removed, a retest is conducted by the designated IT team.

Top Standards, Controls, and Methodologies Used for Identifying Threats Through Penetration Testing

Security testing methodologies listed below are used by all competent cybersecurity penetration experts.

OWASP – Open Web Application Security Project

There are 10 most critical threats a web application might face outlined in the OWASP Top 10 document, which is regularly updated.

By ranking the top 10 threats from highest to lowest, OWASP is working towards strengthening the software security system.

Specialists from around the world participate in OWASP, sharing knowledge on threats and attacks.

PCI DSS – Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard
Credit card information should be processed, stored, and transmitted in a secure environment as a result of these obligations.

In addition to improving customer trust, it prevents sensitive information from being compromised by unassuming breaches. Due to its connection to payment, this is of particular importance.

In order to protect payment information, organisations that follow this methodology are regarded as the gold standard worldwide.

OSSTMM – Open Source Security Testing Methodology Manual
Security testing done using open-source software is regularly updated every six months with the latest cyber threats.

It is a systematic and scientific method of correlating reliable penetration test reports, analysing vulnerabilities, and performing red-teaming exercises.

As part of the OSSTMM testing program the following are included:

• Human Security Testing
• Telecommunications Security Testing
• Wireless Security Testing
• Data Network Security Testing.
• Physical Security Testing

With OSSTMM, you can streamline your security testing protocol.

ISSAF – Information Systems Security Assessment Framework

It comprises nine steps that evaluate the security of the network, application control, and system monitoring.

As part of the ISSAF, information is gathered; the network is mapped; vulnerabilities are identified; penetrations are made; basic access privileges are obtained, and then elevated; access is maintained, remote users and remote sites are compromised, and the tester’s digital footprints are hidden.

In comparison to other more commonly used penetration testing methods, this type is rather complicated.

Web Application Penetration Testing Tools

In spite of the wide range of web application penetration testing tools available, their effectiveness depends on the type of tasks they are intended to handle. Open source tools for penetration testing web applications are listed below:

1. Zab Proxy
2. Nikto
3. Nuclie
4. Wfuzz
5. SQLMap
6. DirSsearch
7. Commix
8. XssHunter

Wrap Up!

Your organization’s sensitive data can be safeguarded with Web Application Penetration Testing Services.

In this blog, we attempt to summarize the important facets of web application penetration testing, but this only scratches the surface. Each day, technological and operational advancements bring better options to the field, which is quite vast and evolving rapidly.

We at Ownux can help you safeguard sensitive organisational data by conducting web application penetration testing.


4 Reasons Why You Should Choose Manual Penetration Testing And How It Could Benefit The Business

Manual Assessments are the hackers’ best friend

What is a manual security assessment?

An assessment of IT assets executed manually, one by one is called manual assessment.

These assessments can be conducted on the cloud, mobile applications, web applications, networks, and devices.

We receive a lot of questions from students and blue team professionals asking why we need to have manual assessments when there are automated scanners doing the job. These scanners are too expensive and developed by giant companies with solid research and still why manual assessments are insisted on?

Legit. The concern is legit, however, scanners are great up to some extent. They cover most of the issues however, several high-severity bugs are missed.

Why Automated Security Scanners Fail?

To understand this, let’s dive deeper into how pen testing is done.

Penetration Testing includes 2 aspects: 1. Coverage. 2. Vulnerability Discovery. Automated scanners are not a complete solution in both scenarios.

Security Issues scanners miss:

– Less coverage
– Chances of high false-positives
– Miss the business logic issues
– Miss the Information Disclosure Vulnerabilities

Scenario 1:
Coverage includes finding every corner of the application and noting it down (in any form) to refer to later in the pen-testing stages. There will be some parts of the application that remain unassessed which be prone to attackers if not done with a proper strategy for that application.

Automated scanners can miss this and there are chances that some stones may remain unturned. Though a lot of parts are covered but missed too. Here’s where the manual assessment’s role takes place.

Scenario 2:
Vulnerability Discovery includes hunting for security issues in the target. Scanners do miss security issues. Yes, you heard that right, scanners do miss issues hunting for vulnerabilities. PS: We are not talking about false positives. This may lead to exploitation, of course.

Though automated scanners are good, however, if you really want to get the best out of scanners, you should know how to configure them properly and that is the reason we always say: “Scanning is an Art”.

Scenario 3:

Logical issues are fairly missed by the scanners. Each application is different and varies according to the business requirement. A business logic vulnerability is a flaw in the design and implementation of an application that allows an attacker to cause unintended behaviour. This could allow an attacker to manipulate legitimate functionality to achieve malicious goals. These flaws are usually due to the fact that abnormal application conditions that may arise are not anticipated and, as a result, are not safely handled.

Scenario 4:

Scanners often miss information disclosure vulnerabilities. We did a security assessment for one of the Hong-Kong based organization where we were able to find hardcoded sensitive information in the website javascript where we were able to log in to the application without having any username and password. It is impossible to have such findings from a

For all the above reasons, we believe manual pen testing and automated scanning conducted parallelly give the best engagement results. Ownux does this for you. adopts an abridged version of the PMBOK concept to standardize the management practices for all our Penetration Testing projects.

Cyber security

Top 6 Reasons For Cyber Security Training: A Key Takeaway For Business Professionals

Small business owners are in a misbelief that cybersecurity training is an essential thing for large corporations only – they are more susceptible to risks and dangers as they have a lot at their disposal.

Actually, among small business proprietors, 60% of them believe that it’s unlikely that cyber-criminals will target them. This suggests that small businesses are more vulnerable to threats than large enterprises.

Why so? Large enterprises possess the resources to protect and secure their valuable data assets.

The below reasons justify why small businesses are the major source of target for cybercriminals:

  • Insufficient cybersecurity specialists in the team.
  • Insufficient cyber security training
  • Not updating the security solutions from time to time.
  • Loose endpoints
  • Inadequate awareness

Additionally, with the increase in the work-from-home policy, the number of security breaches is getting much higher. To elaborate, more than 40% of WFH employees committed mistakes that resulted in cybersecurity reverberations for the organizations. Hence, small firms with mobile employees are vulnerable.

Considering these factors, let us now look at what cybersecurity training has in store for business professionals.

An Overview Of Cybersecurity Training

Giving and spreading awareness related to cybersecurity and information security of the business is called cybersecurity training. All the training related to cybersecurity threats is given to the employees and how to mitigate the risk by utilizing an assortment of techniques and learning methods.

The training corresponds to all the employees irrespective of their designation and number of experience. Additionally, the training makes sure that all the employees possess specific skills required to detect attacks. Before expecting the employees to keep your data secure, they must receive a relevant training program including informative and engaging sessions.

Principal Reasons To Inculcate Cybersecurity Training In Your Business

It is important for business office employees as well as IT professionals to receive cybersecurity training that is specific and actionable. Your employees, your business, and you can all benefit from cybersecurity training.

1. Attracts Talent

It might be complex for small business owners to draw skillful talent. A lot of specialists currently comprehend the significance of digital security. The employees’ data must be kept safe and if they find that it is risking their data, they might not be willing to work with your enterprise. 

Moreover, cybersecurity is one of the most crucial aspects of the business world that employers look for in candidates. An Internet-based business is a norm for most companies today. Technology-minded professionals may be attracted to cybersecurity training.

2. Saves Your Business Money

An incident related to cyberspace can be detrimental to your business and cost you a fortune. It is common for small businesses to pay between $84,000 and $148,000 when they experience a cyberattack. The cost of a data breach is outweighed by the investment in cybersecurity. Other potential repercussions of a cyberattack include:

  • Damaged reputation
  • Revenue loss
  • Theft of personal data and intellectual property
  • Client losses
  • When you invest in cybersecurity training, you invest in your company’s future.

3. Ensures Your Business Is Compliant

In recent years, regulators have become more strict about requiring industries to implement cybersecurity training. Compliance is more costly for non-compliant businesses than compliant businesses targeted by cybercriminals, regardless of their scale.

Cybersecurity solutions are essential for compliance. The technology, data, and people of small businesses can all become targets of cybercrime, just like those of large corporations.

4. Builds Up Technological Defenses

In order to prevent breaches, technological defenses are invaluable. Firewalls, acknowledgement of security threats, and software updates will ensure you’re assimilating tech defences.

Currently, there are extremely few businesses that work on technological defences. They are cognizant of the threats. Still, their technological defences won’t be enough to fulfil the potential without the use of cybersecurity training. 

An unprotected network is inherently vulnerable to attack because attackers see it as an easy target.

5. Builds Trust Among Customers

Knowledgeable customers are substantially cognizant of cyber threats. Your customers won’t trust your business if it’s not safe and secure. Consequently, if you suffer a cyberattack, it can lead to a loss of trust from clients and ultimately business losses.

Business leaders who want to gain customer loyalty will improve their cybersecurity. An example of an unsafe security practice would be a company that fails to follow safe procedures. You may be seen as a liability if your customers notice this.

6. Builds Cybersecurity Culture

Despite cybersecurity and data protection regulations, many members of your association may not be aware of their implications. Using a creative password is not enough to conceal sensitive information. Information can be accessed by hackers in more ways as technology advances. Employees can have clear expectations regarding security when they are provided with a comprehensive security plan.

Cyber security education can help your staff recognize and prevent attacks, prevent cyber-related incidents, and respond in the event of a cyber-attack. By taking this protection, business leaders can guarantee the secrecy of susceptible data.

Safeguard Your Business, Employees and Customers

All sizes of companies are targets of cyberattacks on an exponential scale. It is possible that you will lose customer relationships, data, and sales. By enforcing the most promising cybersecurity practices and training your employees, you can ensure the security of your enterprise and confidential information. Contact the industry experts now!

All You Need To Know About OWASP Top 10



OWASP produces free-to-read articles, methodologies, documentation, tools and technologies in the area of web application security. The OWASP Foundation leads the effort. Research based on the OWASP Top 10 – 2021 has been published on information collected from over 40 partners.

The list of Top 10 Vulnerabilities for 2021:

What does Vulnerability mean?

Vulnerability is nothing but the ability of being infected or attacked easily.

1. Broken Access Control.

What is Broken Access Control ?

Attackers are able to access, modify, delete or perform any kind of actions that are not allowed by an application or system due to broken access control.

About Broken Access Control

Access Controls are now the most serious web application security risk; the contributed data shows that, on average, 3.81% of the application tested contained one or more Common Weakness Enumeration (CWEs), totaling CWEs than any other category in applications.

Example of this Attack & How to Prevent it

Using an SQL call that contains unverified data, the application accesses account information.

pstmt.setString(1, request.getParameter("acct"));
ResultSet results = pstmt.executeQuery( );
  • In order to enforce ownership of records, model access controls should enforce that a user cannot copy, create, read, update or delete.

2.Cryptographic Failures.

What are Cryptographic Failures ?

When you fail to protect sensitive data, such as passwords, credit card numbers, and personal information, attackers often target them. The main cause of data exposure is a failure to encrypt the data.

About Cryptographic Failures

As a result, Cryptographic Failures jump to #2, replacing Sensitive Data Exposure, which was a symptom rather than a root cause. As implicitly before, the renewed name focuses on cryptography failures. A breach of this type can expose sensitive information or compromise systems.

Example of this Attack & How to Prevent it

Using automatic database encryption, credit card numbers are encrypted in a database. Due to this Automatic Decryption, a SQL injection flaw can be used to retrieve credit card numbers in clear text.

  • Always use authenticated encryption instead of just encryption.

3. Injection.

What is Injection ?

In an injection attack, the  attacker injects malicious content into a web application. Because of the malicious input, the application behaves unexpectedly. The server or client might be harmed by exposing information that shouldn’t be releaved, giving the user permissions they shouldn’t have, or running harmful code.


About Injection Attack

The injection is now in its third position. With 94% of the applications tested, an average of 3.37% of injections were detected, with a maximum rate of 19%. The 33 CWEs mapped into this category have the second most occurrences in applications with 274k occurrences. The category now includes cross-site scripting.

Example of this Attack & How to Prevent it

The following SQL call is vulnerable because it uses untrusted data.

String query = "SELECT \* FROM accounts WHERE custID='" + request.getParameter("id") + "'";
  • If a SQL injection occurs, use LIMIT and other SQL controls to prevent the disclosure of large amounts of data.

4. Insecure Design

What is Insecure Design ?

This is an area that focuses on flaws in design and architecture. The article addresses threats modeling, design patterns, and principles. Implementations cannot fix flaws in insecure designs.

About Insecure Design

Introducing Insecure Design for 2021, a category focusing on risks associated with design flaws. If we’re truly committed to moving left as an industry, we need threat modeling, secure design patterns, and guidelines. As the design is insecure, it cannot be fixed merely by implementing the required security controls, as they were never created specifically to counter specific hacks.

Example of this Attack & How to Prevent it

There is a cinema chain that offers group booking discounts and requires a deposit after fifteen attendees. A cyber-attacker could threaten to model this flow and test if they could book six hundred seats and all cinemas at once, causing a massive loss of revenue.

  • Limit the amount of resources consumed by users or services.

5. Security Misconfiguration

What is Security Misconfiguration ?

A misconfigured or insecure configuration option can make a piece of software vulnerable to attack and create a security vulnerability.

About Security Misconfiguration

The security controls on your system may be incorrectly configured or not properly protected, increasing the risk to your data. You can come across misconfigurations as a result of poorly documented configuration changes, default options, or technical issues in your endpoints. This category now includes the previous XML External Entities (XXE) risk category.

Example of this Attack & How to Prevent it

Sample applications are not removed from the production server when the application server is installed. There are known security flaws in these sample applications that attackers can exploit to compromise the server. Assume one of these applications is the admin console, and the default accounts have not been changed. In that case, the attacker logs in using default passwords and takes over the account.

  • It is a minimal platform without any unnecessary features, components, documentation, or samples. Deleting or uninstalling unused features and frameworks is recommended.

6. Vulnerable and Outdated Components

What does Vulnerable and Outdated Components mean ?

This kind of threat occurs when the components such as libraries and frameworks used within the app almost always execute with full privileges.

About Vulnerable and Outdated Components

Software components are parts of a system or application that add functionality to it, such as a module, software package, or API. When a software component is unsupported, out-of-date, or vulnerable to a known exploit, component-based vulnerabilities arise. If a vulnerable component is exploited, it makes it easy for the attacker to cause a serious data loss.

Example of this Attack & How to Prevent it

There are few automated tools with help the attacker find misconfigured systems.

For Eg: Shodan search engine

  • Remove unused dependencies, unnecessary features, files and documentation.

7. Identification and Authentication Failures

What is Identification and Authentication Failures ?

This type of threat occurs when a user’s identity or authentication are not implemented correctly or not protected by an application.

About Identification and Authentication Failures

Previously  Broken Authentication, Idnetification and Authentication Failures has slipped from the second spot and now includes CWEs that are more related to identification failures. the availability of standardized frameworks seems to be helping this category remain a part of the Top 10.

Example of this Attack & How to Prevent it

Passwords are the only factor used in most authentication attacks. The rotatino and complexity requirements of passwords, once considered best practices, encourage uesrs to reuse weak passwords. These practices should be stopped and multi-factor authentication should be used instead.

  • To prevent authentication-related attacks, it is critical to confirm the user’s identity, authenticate them, and manage their sessions.

8. Software and Data Integrity Failures

What are Software and Data Integrity Failures ?

This is a scenario where hackers could potentially upload their own updates their own updates to run on all installations.

About Software and Data Integrity Failures

Data and software integrity failures occur when code and infrastructure do not protect against integrity violations.

Example of this Attack & How to Prevent it

The firmware of many home routers, set-top boxes, and other devices does not verify updates via signed firmware. Attackers are increasingly targeting unsigned firmware, and this trend is expected to continue. As a result, there is often no way to fix this other than to wait for a future version to be released and fix the problem.

  • We must ensure that a software chain security tool such as OWASP Dependency Check, is used to verify that components do not contain known vulnerabilities.

9. Security Logging and Monitoring Failures

What is Security Logging and Monitoring Failures ?

It fails to perform by examining electronic audit logs for indications that unauthorized security-related activities have been attempted on a system that transmits / stores confidential information.

About Security Logging and Monitoring Failures

This category helps to detect and respond to active breaches. Without logging and monitoring, breaches cannot be detected.

Example of this Attack & How to Prevent it

A major Indian airline had a data breach involving more than ten years’ worth of personal data of millions of passengers, including passport and credit card data. The data breach occurred at a third-party cloud hosting provider, who notified the airline of the breach after sometime.

  • We must ensure that the log data is encoded correctly to prevent injections or any kind of attacks on the logging or monitoring systems.

10. Server-Side Request Forgery

What is Server-Side Request Forgery ?

In this type of attack, the attacker use the server functionality brutally to access or modify resources.

About Server-Side Request Forgery

It allows an attacker to threaten the application to send a crafted request to an unexpected destination, even though it is protected by a firewall or a VPN.

Example of this Attack & How to Prevent it

Attackers can easily access local files to gain sensitive information such as file:///etc/passwd</span> and http://localhost:28017/.
Most cloud providers have metadata storage such as An attacker can easily read the metadata to gain sensitive information.
  • Disable HTTP redirections.
  • Do not send raw responses to clients.


The Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) provides us with guidance on how to develop and secure software applications.

Considering the possible risks we get to a conclusion that web applications cannot be protected by only one technique.

Vulnerabilities in the platform, such as HTTP are simply as ruinous to the security. Each one has his/her role in protecting applications and one’s critical data. Hence, it is important to note that a complete technique requires collaboration throughout network, safety, operations and development teams.