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Re: Get out of jail cards (Statement of work authorizing access, was Re: Pentester convicted..)
From: Jeremiah Cornelius <jeremiah () nur net>
Date: Fri, 12 May 2006 10:03:57 -0700


Michael Sierchio wrote:

I'd be very much interested in whether there is a consensus
document used by those performing vulnerability assessments
that specifically authorizes pen testing which is sufficiently
robust to protect the consultant from civil and criminal
action.

Would anyone care to share, comment, etc.?  Thanks in advance.

- Michael

This should be negotiated "up front", and a signed, "Hold Harmless"
document is conditional for proceeding with any test.  A Hold Harmless
which authorizes the specific testing action and addresses any
indemnification or damages issues that might otherwise arise.

It is usually good to have counsel involved in the drafting and signing
of these. ;-)

If a tester cannot demonstrate that they were specifically authorized
for performing the test, no amount of good intentions can protect them. 
The grey area lies in those vulnerabilities accidentally discovered in
the due course of otherwise authorized activities.

In such cases, prudence is called for.  I would notify the correct
people of my suspicions and request formal authorization for a continued
investigation - with plenty of CYA communications!

 Good judgment is as necessary a part of a penetration toolkit as hping,
dsniff or nmap.

-- Jeremiah



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