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Re: rules of engagement scope
From: "Hylton Conacher(ZR1HPC)" <hylton () conacher co za>
Date: Sun, 21 May 2006 09:45:16 +0200

Marco Ivaldi wrote:
On Sat, 13 May 2006, James Kelly wrote:

I'd be curious to find out what the typical scoping is for a pen test rules of engagement agreement.

Do folks go with a "anything goes" or "no holds barred" approach? What limits on ROE do people normally see in these types of agreements?

Take a look at ISECOM's OSSTMM 2.1 Rules of Engagement:


Someone here mentioned Denial of Service testing, speaking of which:

"6. Distributed Denial of Service testing over the Internet is forbidden." "7. Any form of flood testing where a person, network, system, or service, is overwhelmed from a larger and stronger source is forbidden."

I understand that rules of engagment are/should be required if only a specific item/prorocol is being tested, as with any software testing plan, but for a general penetration test I cannot understand why rules are set for engagement. since when do blackhat hackers and crackers abide by rules?

If you want a physical item checked, you call in the agents/manufacturers and ask them to prove their security claims. Once you have satisfied yourself that you are safe, you assume that that same device would protect you from unauthorized entry ie from a burglar.

When a burglar does decide to visit you for some asset relocation, he is not only going to try and get in via the door that you have just had tested. He needs to penetrate the security in whatever manner he can so as to get what he wants.

In conclusion you hope that the various test that you have done on as many of the components as possible, will withstand a rogue attack. If they don't then it is time to have a rules of engagement created/updated to protect against that particular event.

Remember the old analogy that NO system is fully secure as security is defined differently by different people.

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