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RE: [lists] Re: What to spend on a pentest
From: "Erin Carroll" <amoeba () amoebazone com>
Date: Sat, 5 Aug 2006 22:56:43 -0700

Good point. The majority of companies will farm out the pen-testing to
external parties and from what I've seen costs range from $10-50k+ depending
on size of engagement.

To answer your original question, the driving force I've seen in most cases
is either they've a)been compromised in the past and want to check their new
security products/processes for effectiveness (paranoia/been burned before)
or b)are compelled to do so to meet legal or contractual requirements (PCI,
HIPAA etc... and the cost of non-compliance or not doing it is much higher
than dropping some cash on a pen-test).

I sometimes forget that my company is not the norm as it has dedicated
security staff with VA, audit, and pen-test background and can do the
pen-testing in-house... which allows for a much broader scope in terms of
if, and how far, we can penetrate during testing.

--
Erin Carroll
Moderator
SecurityFocus pen-test list
"Do Not Taunt Happy-Fun Ball" 

-----Original Message-----
From: David M. Zendzian [mailto:dmz () dmzs com] 
Sent: Saturday, August 05, 2006 10:23 PM
To: Erin Carroll; pen-test () securityfocus com
Subject: RE: [lists] Re: What to spend on a pentest

A minor note to your correction :)

You are correct, according to the SAP any who are required to 
perform the full sap audit, level 1 or those who have been 
escalated to level one by having been compromised, can 
perform their own internal pen testing. But as this topic was 
on what to pay for a pen test I assumed it was being done 
externally. Plus from what I'm use to, many companies with 
less than 20MM / year in revenue usually don't have enough 
dedicated staff to have a true expert in pen tests and 
getting extra budget for 10 or 20+k in tests....

When I have asked in the course of performing pen tests for 
pci audits either our contracts or visa has said go only to 
the point of penetrating, do not actually penetrate.

There can be a lot ascertained by thurough analysis of 
investigation that can really assist it and security staff to 
know what to watch and where needs better or other forms of 
protection.

Back to my question, for those able to get full authorization 
to do a full pen test what usually motivates that level of commitment?

David
Qdsp
qabp

-----Original Message-----
From: "Erin Carroll" <amoeba () amoebazone com>
To: pen-test () securityfocus com
Sent: 8/5/06 2:29 PM
Subject: RE: [lists] Re: What to spend on a pentest

I wanted to make a minor correction to David's post since I 
am intimately familiar with PCI at my day job. :)

The PCI standard does require a business obtain quarterly 
vulnerability assessments from an external vendor. PCI also 
requires an annual penetration test. The relevant PCI 
sections are 11.2 and 11.3

----
11.2 - Run internal and external network vulnerability scans 
at least quarterly and after any significant change in the 
network (e.g. new system component installations, changes in 
network topology, firewall rule modifications, product 
upgrades). Note that external vulnerability scans must be 
performed by a scan vendor qualified by the payment card industry

11.3 - Perform penetration testing on network infrastructure 
and applications at least once a year and after any 
significant infrastructure or application upgrade or 
modification (e.g. operating system upgrade, sub-network 
added to the environment, web server added to the environment)
---

You'll notice the annual pen-test requirement in 11.3 doesn't 
specify that an external "qualified" vendor need perform it 
(it can be done in-house) and there is nothing specifying 
that you "stop right at the edge of running the exploit" as 
David states. By definition a pen-test requires compromising 
or exploiting a vulnerability, otherwise it is a 
vulnerability scan. However, nothing in 11.3 specifies that 
the pen-test has to be run on all production systems or all 
at once so that businesses can avoid downtime by creative 
interpretation. I could pen-test and compromise a select 
couple of webservers out of a production cluster to avoid 
downtime to business and that would meet with the 11.3 requirement.

What isn't explicitly defined in 11.2 and 11.3 are where you 
will see businesses diverge in policy and procedures…what 
qualifies to the business as *significant* changes in the 
network? For some companies defining "firewall rule 
modification" as significant would mean they would have to VA 
and pen-test every damned week and I would buy stock in 
several VA companies so fast you'd get whiplash. :)

--
Erin Carroll
Moderator
SecurityFocus pen-test list
"Do Not Taunt Happy-Fun Ball" 


-----Original Message-----
From: David M. Zendzian [HYPERLINK HYPERLINK mailto:dmz () dmzs com
mailto:dmz () dmzs com HYPERLINK mailto:dmz () dmzs com 
mailto:dmz () dmzs com] 
Sent: Saturday, August 05, 2006 11:54 AM
To: Curt Purdy
Cc: 'Intel96'; 'Michael Weber'; pen-test () securityfocus com
Subject: Re: [lists] Re: What to spend on a pentest

I've been following this thread and have noticed that no 
one here is 
considering the liability of a "real" pen test.
Unless you are testing QA or Dev environments, anything you 
find could 
not only prove that a compromise is real but also bring 
that business 
offline, and since you don't know when or where or what you'll find 
the business would need to keep someone "on-call" during the entire 
engagement to restore or fail over.

Plus if you look at some of the pen-test requirements 
(standards(pci, 
...), regulations(sox, hipaa, ...)) and look at what they call for 
when pen-testing.  PCI pen-tests are required yearly, 
however the pen 
test must stop right at the edge of running the exploit, so 
you never 
know if it actually runs. So here we have an industry standard 
"pen-test" (and don't forget that PCI also requires quarterly 
vulnerability
assessments) where the pen-test is specifically required to not 
penetrate.

That tied with most business' not willing to perform social or 
physical testing, it is 90% network based these days; so 
the majority 
of pen-tests are really only expanded vulnerability tests. But also 
remember that most companies only get pen-tests or 
vulnerability tests 
because of these standards or regulations which then bind what they 
testers are able to do.

What I would be interested in is hearing from those 10% of 
pen testers 
who are able to do "real" pen tests, and what motivates 
their clients 
if it is not a "requirement".

David M. Zendzian
dmz

Curt Purdy wrote:
Intel96 wrote:
  
You also need to determine how much manual testing may 
have to be 
performed on the systems.  Such as cracking logins,
cracking cookies,
etc, or searching the systems for embedded passwords in 
script or 
configurations files and looking at the database schemes.
    
<snip>

Unfortunately, most pentest companies don't do manual
testing.  Like
the bank that I was ISO at hired NetBankAudit to "pentest" 
them.  They
likely had a young tech running scripts on a dozen clients
that night
and found one minor problem on our acquistion.  The next
Sunday night
between 10pm and 6am, I manually tested and found six
serious problems.


Curt Purdy CISSP, GSNA, GSEC, CNE, MCSE+I, CCDA Information
Security
Officer Information Systems Security infosysec.net
443.846.4231

-------------

If you spend more on coffee than on IT security, you will
be hacked. 
What's more, you deserve to be hacked. 
-- former White House cybersecurity czar Richard Clarke
 




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This List Sponsored by: Cenzic

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Version: 7.1.394 / Virus Database: 268.10.7/409 - Release 
Date: 8/4/2006
 


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Version: 7.1.394 / Virus Database: 268.10.7/409 - Release Date: 8/4/2006
 


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This List Sponsored by: Cenzic

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