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RE: PT Activity duration/time
From: Michael Gargiullo <mgargiullo () pvtpt com>
Date: Mon, 26 Sep 2005 10:08:47 -0400

While I agree with Mr. Miller on several points, I generally will
exploit holes found, as long as the goal of the exploit is not a DoS
attack.  I do this for several reasons, the most important being the
final deliverable.

If I hand the CIO a report stating he has 3 critical areas to address,
and list them, he nods and gives it to his tech guys.

If I hand him a report that says he has 3 critical areas, and show him
step by step with screenshots how a malicious user could gain access,
they generally get on top of their tech guys until it's fixed. This also
gives the CIO a chance to see if the guy(s) watching the logs (or IDS)
can catch this.  When I grab a box, I don't wipe the logs clean, but
I'll add a line to the effect of "The malicious user has gained access
to this machine, please report this to the appropriate persons".

We also don't just do a PT/VA, it's almost always associated with a
security audit.  The VA/PT is used to vet the company's security
policies.

-Mike

-----Original Message-----
From: Miller, Joseph A [mailto:joseph.miller () eds com] 
Sent: Monday, September 26, 2005 12:23 AM
To: sol () haveyoubeentested org; BSK; pen-test () securityfocus com
Subject: RE: PT Activity duration/time


Sol,

My discussion point is the need to do it at all.

Let us take 2 cases:

1) Penetration Testing

If your requirement is to get as deep into the network as possible doing
a black box penetration and you have no problem crashing boxes trying to
get there, then this is totally acceptable. 

The moment you have to call and ask if a system is important enough that
you need to know whether you can exploit a well know vulnerability on it
or not... You might as well just have a network diagram and say Okay if
I root this box, then I get here on the network and I own this entire
set of systems due to the gain of passwords, etc... So this leads into
2)

If you are doing this (regardless whether it's 10% or 35% of your time)
then you MUST believe that the hole is real, thus is exploitable. So
figure out the workaround or log it and give the client the patch notes.

If you assume that the exploit is real. The hole is real. Why are you
exploiting it? Unless it doesn't matter if you break the system because
it's a REAL full penetration test, you wouldn't spend 35% of your time
exploiting it, because you can just skip it and let the client know to
fix it. If your JOB is to write and get working exploits, that is
completely different from doing an assessment for a client.

2) Vulnerability Assessment

To assess the state of security for a network. I'm sure there are a
million interpretations of what this means, however... Assessing a hole
by writing a vulnerability and researching it on-site doesn't give value
to the client and is NOT doing a vulnerability assessment. That is
research and development. If you wanted to have a exploit ready, then
code it in the lab and then take it with you to help on assessments. The
client wants to be safe not serve as a test bed for new development. I
guess it is an extra bonus and fun if you don't have anything better to
do.

The benefit of pen/assessment for the client is security. Obtaining that
doesn't require actually exploiting the WELL KNOWN exposure you found.
That is just proof that it could happen. However, we don't need to do
something bad to prove it can happen, when we already KNOW it can.

That was my point is all. As far as how long for each of the notes you
have below, I can assure you that most penetration testers hoard
exploits and most likely will rarely ever create one on site. They
either have them on hand when they can use them, or don't need them at
all.


-----Original Message-----
From: Sol Invictus [mailto:sol () haveyoubeentested org] 
Sent: Saturday, September 24, 2005 11:43 PM
To: Miller, Joseph A; 'BSK'; pen-test () securityfocus com
Subject: RE: PT Activity duration/time

Joe and All,

After reading thru both posts, we need to determing what tasks fall
under Vulnerability Exploitation.  Here is what I would say..

1.  Researching the availability of the exploit on the net.
2.  Ensuring that exploit is "trojan free"
3.  Contacting the point of contact at the client to notify them and
request permission to move forward with exploitation.
4.  Using this exploit (or one from your toolkit) to exploit the box.

#1 would probably be the most time consuming of the 35%.  But this is
also a very important step.  Not every malicious hacker out there has
commercial tools with all the latest and greatest exploits out there.
#3 is also a very important task.  Even during a black box test, you
need to keep in touch with your Point of contact to ensure exploiting
the box at that point in time will not cause unreasonable damage to the
target.  With their permission it takes some of the liability off the
tester.

Sol Invictus

-----Original Message-----
From: Miller, Joseph A [mailto:joseph.miller () eds com]
Sent: Friday, September 23, 2005 3:52 PM
To: BSK; pen-test () securityfocus com
Subject: RE: PT Activity duration/time

Perhaps this will start a rant but... Is there really a need to spent
30% of your time breaking into a hole when you can show the exposure as
well documented and exploitable? I understand there is a difference
between full pen and vuln assessment. However, that's like black box
determining the external IPs for an external. The value to any client
for a "hacker"
approach is giddy and fun, but if you were just handed the IPs you could
just show the exposures and not waste your time OR YOUR CLIENT'S.

I guess you have to gauge what you are trying to prove. If your client
requires you to gain root, great. If you are doing a pen, you already
have the understanding from the client. That's what you are there for in
the first place. You are the expert and showing that there is an
exposure for a remote buffer overflow on a given system is your job, and
more so showing the customer how to fix it.

Eventually it all comes down to time, like you said. What amount of time
should you spend on what... I think everyone on this list will agree to
the
following:

1) AUTOMATE as much reporting as possible (35%?????) ouch
2) Define your scope to your client

If they want full stealth black box, ensure they understand the time
limitations... I assume you don't work for free.

IP count is decent, however, the numbers in the open source testing doc
show decent numbers that can help you determine scan times for large
sets of IPs, etc.

Of course, a FULL UDP port scan of a Solaris is a tad different than
other systems... Plan accordingly.

3) Experience... The more you do the more you can optimize, have a game
plan when you show up. You should already be done with your information
gathering before the start time.

..... Did I miss anything?

-----Original Message-----
From: BSK [mailto:bishan4u () yahoo co uk]
Sent: Thursday, September 22, 2005 9:43 AM
To: pen-test () securityfocus com
Subject: PT Activity duration/time

Dear All,

We have been conducting a number of PT's till date. 

1. There is one thing which has always bothered us, a good effort
estimate, especially for Black-box PT. We generally estimate our efforts
based on IP addresses.
I would request other Pen-Testers on this list to share their views and
methods of effort estimation.

2. Secondly, what is the amount of time that should be spent on each
phase of PT?

For e.g:

Information Gathering - 5%
Footprinting - 10%
Vulnerability Scanning - 10%
Vulnerability Analysis - 10%
Vulnerability Exploitation - 30%
Reporting - 35%

Await some input/ feedback from other Pen-Testers on this list.

Thanks,
Bshan  


                
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website. Up to 75% of cyber attacks are launched on shopping carts,
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are 
futile against web application hacking. Check your website for
vulnerabilities 
to SQL injection, Cross site scripting and other web attacks before
hackers do! 
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