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Re: Pentesting vs VA - was Pentesting tool - Commercial
From: dcdave () att net
Date: Tue, 04 Mar 2008 13:40:36 +0000

Perspectives are important in pen-testing.

The Internet Hacker gets one view of a network, the disgruntled (where does that word come from, anyway?) employee gets 
another view, and the  corporate spy-paid sysadmin gets another view. I have seent hem all and more in doing both 
vulnerability assessment and penetration testing.

Penetration testing menas simply finding one avenue into a business which works for the purpose of showing the money 
people that the enterprise is vulnerable.

Vulnerability assessment means finding all avenues for the purpose of mitigating them and protecting the enterprise.

Yes, I have used most of the tools both proffessional and otherwise, with the exception of Core Impact - they would not 
provide me with a demo copy.

I think essential outside views include discovery tools for BGP, IP packet crafting, ICMP, proxy, and SNMP. It is 
amazing how much network discovery you can get from SNMP!

I went head to head against someone hacking a bank (at the bank's request, of course). The code hacker owned the 
sysadmin acount on the network within two days. 

I owned the money transactions server within two hours.

I did that by discovering the network with SNMP (sandstorm's version)(SNMP accidentally or on purpose allowed through 
the firewall), guessing at the naming convention, and using Superscan (freeware) to discover an open port with no 
password, and HTTP tunnelling into a trusted machine first...

Dave Druitt
InfoSec Group
-------------- Original message ----------------------
From: Trygve Aasheim <trygve () pogostick net>

The first question should be if they can be compared.

We use these two different categories of tools for two different 
categories of projects.
As you say, the vulnerability tools are for identifying new 
vulnerabilities, retesting and store trend data.

The penetration testing tools and projects are aimed at finding what the 
consequences of a successful "pwn" in an area of our infrastructure 
would actually mean.
Does our security countermeasures detect the compromise? Is the attacker 
allowed to move through the infrastructure? What can be reached? Are 
there any configuration mistakes that opens up the infrastructure even 
more, when you're already in? Can the countermeasures be reconfigured to 
detect the attack at an earlier stage?

All the stuff that should have been taken care of, and you want to see 
if it works in real life.


Robert E. Lee wrote:
On Wed, 2008-02-27 at 16:48 -0700, Andre Gironda wrote:
Using exploits on production or IT networks is unethical.  This isn't
the wild west.  You're overpaying by about $19K-$26K for what you need
when you go with Core Impact.  I don't know about ya'll, but the idea
of propagating a pseudo-worm through a corporate network seems about
as good of an idea as asking the power company to shut off electricity
to a hospital for "just a minute, to see what will happen".

When using exploits against production systems, in the best case
scenario you've altered the running state of production software.  In
the worst case, you've corrupted data or caused a loss of service.  Most
of us have accepted these potential outcomes as normal during a manual
penetration test.

The concern companies should have with the exploit frameworks is that
many of their users don't understand what the tool is doing.  The users
also don't understand what the exploit is affecting.  These tools can be
disastrous in the wrong hands.

A better use of time for most companies would be to use a thorough
vulnerability assessment and management solution.  VAM solutions can:
* Identify new vulnerabilities - far more than an exploit framework
* Assign vulnerability related tasks to the responsible Sys Admins
* Allow for retesting of the device/vulnerability to ensure the it was 
  properly mitigated
* Show trending over time

Our customers value their ability to actually improve their situation
over their ability "Pwn" the systems they already own.



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This list is sponsored by: Cenzic

Need to secure your web apps NOW?
Cenzic finds more, "real" vulnerabilities fast.
Click to try it, buy it or download a solution FREE today!


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