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Re: Fwd: Article Announcement - Demystifying Penetration Testing
From: Michael Puchol <mpuchol () sonar-security com>
Date: Mon, 13 Dec 2004 09:06:19 +0100

Completely agreed - printing said documents on the CEO's printer is also quite a good effect :)

Jokes aside, I would like to point out that you MUST get yourself a get-out-of-jail-free letter from whoever has the authority, the higher up the better, if you plan to start showing the company what kind of secrets you can grab. You never know what, when or if a legal type will look down upon your work.

Also, have the contact details of someone within the company that you can reach 24/7 in case the law takes a shot at you, if the black helicopters come, you want to be able to call someone to do some explaining fast, before they ship you to Gitmo.

Best regards,


Jeffrey Denton wrote:
On Fri, 10 Dec 2004 23:07:43 +0530, Debasis Mohanty
<mail () hackingspirits com> wrote:

This presentation is targeted for all security practitioners (i.e. Security
Officers / Sys Admins / Security Auditors / Security Enthusiasts.etc). This
presentation will give a clear picture on how pen testing is done and what
are the expected results. Various screenshots are provided as a proof of
concepts to give a brief picture of possible end-results.

Nice, but it doesn't cover the "So what?" question.
If a CEO asks you, "So you broke into my systems, so what?", how do
you answer that question?  When you first sit down with a company to
discuss what you are planning on doing, you should ask them what is
critical to their company.  Have them list what is critical to their
company that would adversely affect them if that information became
public or ended up in the hands of their competitors.  Examples
include new products soon to be released to market, new technologies
in the process of being patented, research, contract bids, pending
lawsuits (tread with caution here, your right to do pen-testing
usually doesn't wave attorney-client privileges), etc.

What I'm trying to say is that data mining should be a part of every
pen-test.  Breaking into their systems in nice, but shocking the
customer with what you've been able to gather about them gets more
results.  Owning a network might end up with your report on some
sysadmins desk with the instructions to "fix this."  But showing the
company that some important research that they have spent millions of
dollars and years of time on could easily be compromised will get the
CEO directly involved.  CEOs don't like having their ass handed to
them (and I feel that should be the goal of any pen-test).

Also, having a goal with pen-testing is more fun than just owning a network.  =)

Some other suggestions, if it's obvious that the sysadmins haven't
detected any of your intrusions, grab the logs from the servers you
broke into.  You'll get a few raised eyebrows when you add to your
report, "we broke into these servers, and these are the log entries
from your servers where you should have caught us."  Your customer
will feel they get more for their money if you help educate them.

Just a suggestion.


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