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Re: RE: Application Assessment
From: <secureuniverse () hushmail com>
Date: Fri, 12 Aug 2005 18:38:41 -0700


I have been a free lance writer and a research analyst and write 
under different pen names. Usually, I don't post message on these 
boards but all the chatter got to me. There are a number of ways to 
assessing your applications. Besides all the open source tools, 
there are a number of commercial tools as well as service providers 
who can help you. Here are the pros and cons of each:

Open Source
-Nessus, Nikto, Whisker etc. - Pros - These are fee. Cons - Very 
limited in functionality, lack of reporting, lack of support. If 
you are serious about testing, you would use these to play with but 
quickly move on to commerical products

- Four key players - Cenzic, Kavado, SpiDynamics, Watchfire. These 
points are based on feedback from various companies, journalists, 
analysts, and indepedent evaluations.

Kavado - Out of business recently 
Watchfire - Had acquired Sanctum for web scanner. Pro - has been 
around for a long time. Cons- Lots of false positives. Lack of 
stability in the product
Spidynamics - Has been around for a while. Pro - has the largest 
installed base. Easy interface. Cons - Lots of false positives. 
Signature based approach for most vulnerabilities
Cenzic - Around for a while but restarted and rearchitected the 
product two years ago. Announced the new products a few months ago. 
Pros - Based on various input points, very different and refreshing 
approach. Doesn't use signature base methodology. Very few false 
positives and exteremely flexible allowing companies to create 
their own test scripts easily. Proven even better than manual 
testing results in many cases. Cons - Newer player with not as big 
an installed base as other companies. 

Service providers

Various SIs - big 5 and many boutique firms who provide pen testing 
and manual security assessments. Pros - manual testing can 
generally provide good results depending on the caliber of the 
consultant. Cons -Generally too expensive and time consuming

Depending on your needs, you can pick one or a combination of 
these. Good luck! 

On Fri, 12 Aug 2005 12:39:11 -0700 Kyle Starkey 
<kstarkey () siegeworks com> wrote:
I would suggest against the appscan product unless you want to use 

developers addition for pre compiled code... There has been very 
r&d time/dollars being allocated to this product in the past 24 
and as such it has lagged behind in functionaliy by comparison to 
webinspect product.. If you only have budget for one tool I would 
suggest webinspect over the others...

On Fri, 12 Aug 2005 1:32 pm, RUI PEREIRA - WCG wrote:

Approx 1 year ago we did an evaluation between Appscan, Kavado, 
WebInspect and AppDetective. We chose WebInspect for the range 
vulnerabilities tested for, the granularity of test selection, 
flexibility of use, etc. Contact me offline if you want more 
detail on 
our selection process.

Thank You

Rui Pereira,B.Sc.(Hons),CIPS ISP,CISSP,CISA
Principal Consultant

WaveFront Consulting Group
Certified Information Systems Security Professionals

wavefront1 () shaw ca | 1 (604) 961-0701

----- Original Message -----
From: Juan Carlos Reyes Muñoz <jcreyes () etb net co>
Date: Friday, August 12, 2005 8:26 am
Subject: RE: Application Assessment

 Hash: SHA256


 One question... have you ever tried Watchfire's Appscan? If 
 which tool
 could be better between Appscan and Webinspect?

 Juan Carlos Reyes Muñoz

 GIAC Certified Forensic Analyst - SANS Institute
 Consultor de Seguridad Informática

 Cel. (57) 311 513 9280

 Miami Mailbox
 1900 N.W. 97th Avenue
 Suite No. 722-1971
 Miami, FL 33172

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 > -----Mensaje original-----
 > De: Brokken, Allen P. [BrokkenA () missouri edu]
 > Enviado el: Jueves, 11 de Agosto de 2005 01:43 p.m.
 > Para: Glyn Geoghegan; goenw
 > CC: pen-test () securityfocus com; Webappsec
 > Asunto: RE: Application Assessment
 > I am a Security Analyst for the University of Missouri -
 Columbia Campus.
 > I came from a systems administration background, and in the 
 18 months
 > have been tasked with application security as just part of a 

 > Information Systems Auditing program.
 > I personally have used
 > SpikeProxy from www.insecure.org
 > Paros, mentioned by others
 > and evaluated a handful of other Proxy/Automated Attack 
 > However, the best tool I've seen and the one we finally
 purchased is
 > WebInspect from SPI Dynamics
 > http://www.spidynamics.com
 > I did some independent test between SpikeProxy and 
WebInspect on
 the a few
 > different applications.  With SpikeProxy it took basically 1
 working day
 > to run the tool, and verify false positives, look up good
 references for
 > the vulnerabilities and write the report.  The same 
application with
 > WebInspect took approximately 15 minutes of my time to
 configure, and
 > generate the final report while taking about 2 hours to 
actually run
 > without my intervention.  It typically found 20% more
 vulnerabilities than
 > I could find by the more manual method with SpikeProxy, and 
 > extensive reports that not only explained the 
 but gave
 > code references the developers could use to fix their 
 > Those were results I got prior to training.  I got some
 extensive training
 > with the tool and on web application testing in general at
 > http://www.securityps.com.  They are a Professional 
 Security> auditing company and they use this as their core 
 because of both the
 > accuracy of the tool and the responsiveness of the company.  

In the
 > training I got to learn how to effectively use the a whole 
 of tools
 > including a Web Brute force attacker, SQL Injector, Proxy,
 Encoders /
 > Decoders, and Web Service assessment tools to name a few.
 > The tool is a little pricey, but I work with litterally 
 of campus
 > departments and have evaluated LAMP, JAVA/ORACLE, 
 Server and
 > even VBScript/Access systems with the WebInspect Suite of 
 The #1
 > comment I get from the developers is how helpful the report 
was in
 > correcting their code. For that broad spectrum of coding
 enviroments I
 > couldn't possibly provide code level help to the developers
 without this
 > product.
 > We've been using it now for almost a year and the 
 of their
 > Sales and Technial staff has been extreme.  I haven't had a
 single issue
 > that wasn't resolved in less than 24 hours.  I've also 
gotten a
 lot of
 > support from their sales staff regarding application 
 awareness> for our campus developers in general.
 > One last thing to mention is the updates.  I have never seen 

 tool that
 > is so consistently updated.  I have run 2 or 3 assessments 
 the same day
 > and had updates for new vulnerabilities made available each 
 I ran the
 > tool.  If a week goes by without using it there can be
 litterally 100's of
 > new signatures it needs to add to the list.
 > If you have more questions and want to talk offline I'd be 
 to answer
 > them.
 > Allen Brokken
 > Systems Security Analyst - Principal
 > Univeristy of Missouri
 > brokkena () missouri edu

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 Comment: Mensaje Seguro, Enviado por Juan Carlos Reyes M.



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