Penetration Testing: Money Spent, Still Vulnerable

Penetration testing is a real-life test of your security defenses. It is a simulated attack on your computer systems, performed by an external security expert, or “white hat hacker.”

The penetration tester might try different types of attacks to identify key vulnerabilities in your system and provide some evidence of the type and magnitude of damage that a real attack could cause.

Penetration tests, or “pen tests” as they are typically called, are sometimes thought of as insurance policies for your network security. It is assumed that if you have undergone a penetration test, received a report, and fixed the issues discovered, you are secure and immune to devastating attacks.

But data shows that this view is dangerously wrong—organizations that pay big bucks for penetration testing services may find they are still vulnerable.

Why is this the case? In our experience, while a penetration test can expose important security issues, it doesn’t help an organization build up the knowledge and expertise of its internal security team. On the day of an attack, it is that internal team that will have to detect, contain, and remediate a security breach.

White Hat Hacker

Fact 1: Penetration tests leave security holes wide open

A 2015 study by WhiteHat Security examined security activities at 118 organizations. Of the organizations in the study, 92% had done penetration testing at least once as part of their security programs. The study revealed 21% of the organizations surveyed carry out a penetration test every year.

Despite this significant expense, this was the security aftermath:

Penetration Tests Leave Security  Holes Wide Open

The average organization that carried out regular penetration testing had as many as 10 security vulnerabilities, and only 50% of them were eventually fixed.

The situation for organizations that never performed a penetration test was even worse—an average of 32 vulnerabilities, vulnerabilities were left open 431 days on average, and there was a remediation rate of just 22%.

However, it is clear that penetration testing, even carried out regularly on an annual basis, left organizations wide open in their defenses with a huge time gap before security holes were remediated.

Fact 2: External consultant use in a data breach meant bigger financial losses

Ponemon Institute’s 2015 Cost of Data Breach Study surveyed 350 companies from 11 countries that had experienced data breaches. Almost half of those breaches (47%) were due to a malicious attack, and the rest were due to human error and system glitches. These companies reported on factors present in their security organization or computing systems that affected their ability to defend themselves.

One of the findings of the study was that bringing in external consultants to assist with security operations correlated with bigger financial damage from an attack, as opposed to ongoing, in-house security activities, which correlated with reduced financial damage.

Data Breach Cost Analysis Table

While these statistics are not directly related to penetration testing, they reflect what organizations can expect from penetration testing. A security intervention performed by an external consultant, while beneficial on its own, typically does not help the company build proper security practices and the knowledge needed inside the organization, giving teams a false sense of security. On the contrary, in-house initiatives like the creation of incident response teams and employee training not only expose problems and apply fixes, they actually improve an organization’s ability to defend itself.

Penetration testing cannot replace a continuous security process

Penetration testing, while costly, can expose important vulnerabilities and provide valuable security information. However, the data shows that it is not enough on its own. While getting a penetration test through an external security consultant may be sufficient for compliance purposes, it cannot replace the continuous in-house security testing. In our experience, here are a few reasons why:

  • Systems change: Penetration tests provide a “snapshot” of vulnerabilities at a certain point in time—but systems and configurations change frequently, opening up new vulnerabilities. In addition, hackers discover new vulnerabilities on a daily basis.
  • Attacks change: Hackers are constantly devising new more powerful and more sophisticated forms of attack. Your system may have passed the penetration test, but will it stand up to a new type of attack or a similar attack that is a hundred times more powerful?
  • People change: The most important part of your security defense is your security team. You need to ensure that your team is battle trained and ready on an ongoing basis.
  • Application traffic changes: Cyber attacks don’t happen in isolation. While they are happening, there are legitimate users using an organization’s network who may be affected by the attack. This legitimate application traffic is dynamic in nature—loads can change dramatically, as well as the types of traffic (e.g., web browsers, uploads and downloads, video streaming, universal communications)—and this can impact the effectiveness of network security defenses. For example, a web application firewall might miss a vulnerability attack if it is experiencing traffic loads at 99% of its maximum capacity versus only 50%.

Meet Ixia

Meet Ixia, a leader in security testing and network visibility. We work with 77 of the Fortune 100 and 47 of the world’s top 50 telecom carriers. We emulate real attacks, helping our customers practice their defenses through testing and validation of their security architecture in the face of known attacker techniques. Ixia can conduct testing and validation of security components and architecture, obfuscating attacks to determine whether your devices will detect an issue. Our tests are not just centered on the technology, but also the people and processes, involved in citing security threats.

Applications do great things, but they all have bugs and blind spots. Making them stronger means better testing, better security resilience, and better monitoring ability. Ixia takes a three-pronged approach to making applications stronger with IxTest, IxSecure, and IxVision architecture capabilities.

We put together a quick guide that will teach you how to set up continuous and holistic security practices in your organization to complement a one-off penetration test. After the pen test is over and you have implemented the recommendations, you need to battle test your security infrastructure, policies and staff repeatedly to make sure your systems and defenses are up to the challenge of tomorrow’s attacks.

Download our quick guide to creating your continuous security process


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Certified Penetration Testing Specialist (now CPTEngineer) I attended the CPTS course at C-TREC in Houston from July 10 to July 14, taught by Michael Gregg. As a security professional I have several certifications, like MCSE 2003 +security, Security+ and the EC-Council’s Certified Ethical Hacker.The reason that I was still looking for a pentest training, was because of the fact that after the CEH training I felt that I wasn’t ready to do the actual thing. Needless to say that I am feeling really happy that I could participate in Mile2’s training program. In fact it was by far the best train…

Certified Penetration Testing Specialist


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Aramco Oil/August 2012


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“Mr. Aman Bhar. Excellent Instructor. Well prepared, excellent presenter. Very knowledgeable. Thank you!” – Wilfred Liebscher, Department of National Defense, Canada. “Excellent instructor!! Outstanding teacher. Extremely knowledgeable. Made the course fun and interesting. Very helpful.” – Lisa Vance, Department of National Defense, Canada….

Wilfred Liebscher, Department of National Defense


Reproduced with permission from Matthew Webster – MA from New School University , author of three books and possesses the following certifications; MCP, MCSA, MCSE, MCSA Security, MCSE Security, CCSP, CCNP, INFOSEC, CCNA, CQS-CWLSS, CWP, countless security classes, and almost 10 years experience in the IT field. Review: Certified Penetration Testing Specialist – CPTS The Certified Penetration Testing Specialist (CPTS) class is an excellent way to gain a basic introduction to the seventeen aspects of network penetration evaluation. Perhaps its greatest strength is that by it’s step-by-step p…

Matthew Webster


Certified Penetration Testing Engineer The teacher was great ! He was very knowledgeable and could always answer and explain the toughest questions. The lab environment was put together well and really helped in understanding the different parts of actually doing a pentest. Without any doubt I soon will take the CPTE course. Martin de Kok Security Professional Netherlands…

Martin de Kok


Certified Digital Forensics Examiner. I’ve taken computer forensic training before from some of the top forensic software companies. There training was based on their product; Mile2 covers all those products and more with no sales pitches disguised as training, just practical real-world education. I have been a trainer in the data forensics field for 3 years now, and I have made changes to the manner in which I will present what i have learned in this course to what I teach in mine. I thoroughly enjoyed his course and found the contents to be simple presentation and well paced so that even …

LC CEO, Expicor Group Inc


“Mr. Aman Bhar. Excellent Instructor. Well prepared, excellent presenter. Very knowledgeable. Thank you!” – Wilfred Liebscher, Department of National Defense, Canada. “Excellent instructor!! Outstanding teacher. Extremely knowledgeable. Made the course fun and interesting. Very helpful.” – Lisa Vance, Department of National Defense, Canada. “You are more than welcome Aman. Thank you for providing another perfect learning experience to my-our students.” – large Mile2 Security Training Partner in the EU…

C)ISSO & CISSP combo course


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Penetration Testing Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Answers to Your Questions About Penetration Testing

HALOCK Security Pen Test Review Chicago Pen testing

Frequently Asked Questions About Penetration Testing

HALOCK offers comprehensive network, application, wireless and social engineering testing services. A penetration test assesses your unique environment, evaluating its strengths and vulnerabilities and validating existing security practices and controls. Whether you are beginning to research penetration testing or you have a regularly scheduled penetration testing program in place, you should know that a great deal of information and misinformation abound in the marketplace with respect to exactly what penetration testing is and what you should expect from a pen testing company. This page offers comprehensive answers to typical questions about network penetration testing.

Our most Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on penetration testing. If you don’t see your questions about network penetration testing on this page or if you want further clarification, please contact us by phone at 847-221-0200 or fill out the contact form.

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– Technology Solutions company

HALOCK is headquartered in Schaumburg, IL, in the Chicago area and advises clients on information security strategies, risk assessments, compliance, penetration testing, security management and architecture reviews, and compliance throughout the US.

What is a penetration test?

A penetration test, also known as a “pen test” is a method for evaluating the effectiveness of an organization’s security controls. Testing is performed under controlled conditions, simulating scenarios representative of what a real attacker would attempt. When gaps are identified in a security control, a penetration test goes beyond basic vulnerability scanning to determine how an attacker would escalate access to sensitive information assets, confidential information, personally identifiable information (PII), financial data, intellectual property or any other sensitive information. Penetration testing utilizes tools and techniques, guided by a disciplined and repeatable methodology, resulting in a report containing detailed findings and recommendations that allow an organization to implement counter measures and improve the security posture of the environment. These improvements ultimately reduce the likelihood an attacker could gain access.

How does a penetration test differ from an automated vulnerability scan?

Both penetration tests and automated vulnerability scans are useful tools for managing vulnerabilities. While these are different testing methods, they are complementary and both should be performed.

A vulnerability scan is an automated, low-cost method for testing common network and server vulnerabilities. This is sometimes referred to as an automated pen test. Many automated tools are available and most are easily configured by the end user to scan for published vulnerabilities on a scheduled basis. While an automated vulnerability scan is very efficient and cost-effective in identifying common vulnerabilities such as missing patches, service misconfigurations, and other known weaknesses, they are not as accurate in validating the accuracy of vulnerabilities nor do they fully determine the impact through exploitation. Automated scanners are more prone to reporting false positives (incorrectly reporting weaknesses) and false negatives (failing to identify vulnerabilities, especially those impacting web applications). Automated Vulnerability Scanning is mandated by the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) as noted in requirement 11.2.

A penetration test focuses on the environment as a whole. In many ways, it picks up where the scanners leave off to provide a comprehensive analysis of the overall security posture. While scripts and tools are leveraged by a penetration tester, their use is largely limited to reconnaissance activities. The bulk of a penetration test is manual by nature. A penetration test identifies vulnerabilities scanners cannot, such as wireless flaws, web application vulnerabilities, and vulnerabilities not yet published. Further, pen testing includes attempts to safely exploit vulnerabilities, escalate privileges, and ultimately demonstrate how an attacker could gain access to sensitive information assets. Penetration testing frequently applies “test scenarios” specific to an organization as well. For example, a university may grant access to student workers, a hospital may leverage third party service providers, or a consultancy may have unique access rights for their engineers. Each of these scenarios would require different positioning of the penetration tester within the environment and requires adjustments to the methodology. Penetration testing is also mandated by the PCI DSS as noted in requirement 11.3.

Penetration testing and automated vulnerability scans both serve a purpose and both types of testing belong in a comprehensive vulnerability assessment program. Automated vulnerability scanning should be scheduled to run on a frequent basis, ideally at least weekly, with network penetration tests scheduled quarterly or when significant changes are planned to an environment.

What are the goals of a penetration test?

Goals of a penetration test vary greatly based on the scope of review. Generally speaking, the goal of a penetration test is to validate the effectiveness of security controls designed to protect the system or assets being protected.

A Penetration Test should always document the goals of the project. Penetration Test reports and deliverables outline the expectations, scope, requirements, resources, and results. Samples available upon request.

Pen Test Scope HALOCK

HALOCK Penetration Testing Report: Scope & Boundaries

Why should we have a penetration test performed?

Penetration testing should be performed for a variety of reasons. Some of the more common reasons why companies perform network penetration tests include:

  1. Most relevant regulatory standards require penetration tests are performed.
  2. Penetration testing can identify vulnerabilities inadvertently introduced during changes to the environment, such as a major upgrade or system reconfiguration.
  3. Penetration testing can be integrated into the QA process of the Software Development Life Cycle to prevent security bugs from entering into production systems.
  4. Organizations, especially those acting as data custodians, are being required to have testing performed by their customers. Penetration testing can demonstrate a commitment to security from a customer perspective and provide attestation that their assets or services are being managed securely.
  5. Penetration testing is a common requirement for internal due diligence as part of ongoing efforts to manage threats, vulnerabilities, and risks to an organization. Results can be used as input into an on-going Risk Management process.
  6. Penetration testing allows companies to assess the security controls of potential acquisition targets. Most organizations preparing to acquire an organization seek insights into the vulnerabilities they may introduce in doing so and plan for the costs they may be incurring to remediate.
  7. To support a breach investigation, penetration testing may tell an organization where the other vulnerabilities may exist in order to have a comprehensive response to the incident.
  8. Penetration testing allows companies to proactively assess for emerging or newly discovered vulnerabilities that were not known or have not yet been widely published.
  9. Penetration testing serves as an aid to development teams who are writing new web applications. Many development lifecycles include penetration testing at key stages of the process. Correcting flaws are typically less costly the earlier in the development lifecycle that they are discovered. Additional testing prior to go-live on a production-ready build can identify any remaining issues that might require attention before loading users on the application.

“It is better to discover security vulnerabilities in a controlled environment and fix it. The Pen-test provided exactly that.”

– National health professional association

What should we expect from the penetration testing process?

As mentioned earlier, penetration testing is an extremely disciplined process. A penetration testing company should keep all stakeholders well-informed through every key stage of the process. As a company seeking network penetration testing services, you should expect the following (at a minimum):

  • A well-coordinated, planned, documented and communicated approach to know what is happening and when
  • A disciplined, repeatable approach should be followed
  • The approach should be customized to suit the unique environment of the business
  • A clearly defined initiation process, planning process, coordinated testing and a collaborative delivery process to ensure accurate results and a clear understanding of remediation

HALOCK Pen Testing Experience Image

The HALOCK Experience: Penetration Testing

Is pen testing disruptive to our environment? Will our systems go down? What is the pen testing plan?

If the pen test is not properly planned and coordinated, it can be disruptive. This is why it is imperative that the planning is done properly, and comprehensively, to identify potential risks for disruption and adjust the approach accordingly. This planning should be conducted well in advance of any testing start date in order to ensure adequate time for communication to project stakeholders. The communication and monitoring should continue throughout the testing schedule.

HALOCK Pen Test Project Plan

HALOCK Penetration Testing Project Plan Deliverables

How often should we conduct a penetration test?

It depends, as a variety of factors should be thought-through when considering the frequency to conduct penetration tests. When determining what is appropriate include considerations such as:

  • How frequently the environment changes: Tests are often timed to correlate with changes as they near a production ready state.
  • How large the environment is: Larger environments are frequently tested in phases to level the testing effort, remediation activities, and load placed on the environment.
  • Budgetary factors: Testing should be scoped to focus on the most critical assets according to a timeline that is supported by the allocation of security budgets.

Remember that the frequency of the testing needs to be adjusted to meet the unique needs of the organization; and it’s important that those needs are understood and incorporated into the testing approach from the beginning.

Testing too infrequently allows for a window that increases an organization’s exposure. On the other hand, if testing is done too frequently, there is inadequate time to remediate before testing resumes. Therefore it is important to strike a balance.

Companies that recognize the importance of network penetration testing will implement testing on a recurring basis. Recurring pen testing programs allow the schedule to be more adaptable and is better suited to take these factors into consideration. Recurring pen testing programs also allow companies to spread the tests out over a longer horizon and increase frequency to narrow the window for exposure.

How is the scope of a penetration test defined?

Collaboratively, the scope of a penetration test should always be customized to suit the unique nature of the business. A variety of considerations, both internal and external to an organization, impact and guide the scope of a penetration test:

  • The nature of the business and types of products/services offered
  • Compliance requirements and deadlines
  • Geographic considerations
  • Organizational structure
  • The organization’s strategic plans
  • Customer expectations, especially when an organization acts as a custodian of that customer’s data
  • The value of the company’s assets
  • Redundancy in the environment that may impact sampling thresholds
  • Network segmentation and connectivity
  • The age of different components of the environment
  • Recent or planned changes to the environment

All of these factors need to be discussed and understood to make sure that the scope is appropriate and to ensure that the testing is focused in the areas of the environment that warrant it.

Pen Test Scope HALOCK

HALOCK Penetration Testing Deliverables & Samples

What are the different options for pen testing?

The most common areas selected for scope typically include external networks, internal networks, web applications, wireless networks, and employee security awareness (through social engineering). These are typically all performed as part of a single engagement, but differ in their testing approach.

Web Application Penetration Test: Based on the sensitivity or value of a web application, an in-depth review is appropriate. There are over 100 specific areas reviewed within each web application. Testing initially begins with conducting information gathering followed by testing configuration and deployment management, identity management, authentication, authorization, session management, data validation, error handling, cryptography strength, business logic, client side security, and other development language specific tests as appropriate. HALOCK’s approach to assessing web applications provides a flexible framework for comprehensively identifying and evaluating technical vulnerabilities. Testing is typically performed with prior knowledge to ensure a deep understanding of the purpose of the application. Credentials are provided to facilitate a review not only from the perspective of an unauthorized user, but also to identify potential authenticated risks such as privilege escalation from an authorized user’s perspective.

External Network Penetration Test: External network penetration tests focus on the internet facing network as a whole. It begins with reconnaissance to identify potential targets. Any responding network, host, or service may be targeted as a potential entry point into the secured network. While web applications identified may be utilized to gain entry, network penetration testing goes much broader to explore any exposed service and the relationships between them. Vulnerabilities leveraged are pursued to exploit weaknesses and escalate privileges into the internal network.

Internal Network Penetration Test: Internal network penetration tests are very similar to external penetration tests with the exception of perspective. While an external penetration test is performed remotely to simulate an external attacker, an internal penetration test is performed internal to the network from behind the perimeter firewalls. The general approach is the same as an external penetration test, however the target systems and networks are very different. Performing onsite testing allows the penetration tester to target hosts not exposed externally such as file servers, user workstations, domain controllers, internal application servers, databases, and other connected devices.

Internal Wireless Penetration Test: Wireless penetration tests assess the adequacy of multiple security controls designed to protect unauthorized access to your wireless services. Testing analyzes and attempts to exploit wireless vulnerabilities to gain access to private (protected) wireless SSIDs authorized for testing. Additional test scenarios may be performed, such as when guest wireless access is provided to visitors with expectations that access is limited in some way.

Remote Social Engineering: Remote social engineering is a remote assessment performed under controlled conditions designed to validate the effectiveness of user security awareness and incident response processes. Testing includes leveraging a carefully crafted fictitious “malicious” website, email campaigns to targeted employees, phone contact, or through other customized attack scenarios. This is commonly performed shortly after security awareness training or education campaigns to validate their effectiveness.

Remediation Verification: Remediation verification testing validates identified vulnerabilities have been successfully remediated, providing independent confirmation that corrective measures have been implemented in a manner that prevents exploitation.

HALOCK penetration testing services network web app social engineering wireless remediation verification

HALOCK Penetration Testing Services

HALOCK is headquartered in Schaumburg, IL, in the Chicago area and advises clients on reasonable information security and conducts pen test services throughout the US.

What qualifications should the penetration testing team possess?

When a penetration testing provider is hired, the hiring company should expect that every penetration test team includes a dedicated project manager, a skilled and experienced test team, resource coordinator(s), and a point of escalation. The test team should include individuals with in-depth experience across multiple technologies including client platforms, server infrastructures, web application development, and IP networking. The individuals on the team should hold valid certifications relevant to their role such as Project Management Professional (PMP), Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH), Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) or equivalent credentials.

When a network penetration test is being performed to comply with a regulatory requirement, additional experience or certification is required to ensure the approach is appropriate and the results are presented in the correct context. For example, a penetration test performed to validate compliance with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) requirement 11.3 is best delivered by individuals with PCI QSA and PCI PA-QSA credentials. Many skilled penetration testers also typically possess other technology certifications to demonstrate their knowledge and proficiency.

What penetration test documentation should I expect to receive when the test is complete? How are the findings documented?

Once the penetration test is complete, the hiring company should receive pen test documentation in a report or deliverable detailing all of the findings, recommendations, and supporting evidence. The deliverable should clearly document the scope and boundaries of the engagement as well as the dates the testing was performed. Additionally, all detailed findings should be included in their technical format as well as summarized for non-technical audiences. The report should include:

  • Detailed recommendations for improvements that clearly document observed vulnerabilities
  • A discussion of the potential business impacts from identified vulnerabilities
  • Specific instructions for remediating, including instructional references where appropriate
  • Supporting evidence and examples
  • A step-by-step and screen-by-screen walkthrough demonstrating any exploits to allow an organization to understand and reproduce the scenario
  • Executive and summary reports for non-technical audiences

Oftentimes, a separate deliverable is needed that is suitable for consumption by third parties seeking attestation that a network penetration test was performed. A qualified penetration test provider prepares these documents as part of the process when requested by an organization. All deliverables should be of high quality and reviewed with the customer to validate accuracy and ensure recommendations are well understood.

Request samples of reports and documentation.

HALOCK Pen Test Report Reasonable Security Acceptable Risk HALOCK Duty of Care DoCRA

How do we validate vulnerabilities have been remediated?

Validating that vulnerabilities have been remediated can be performed using a variety of methods, either in-house or through external independent verification testing. Some organizations prefer to track remediation in-house and possess the resources to independently validate successful remediation, however most seek independent validation and should have a remediation verification test performed. This is why it is critical that a penetration test be performed in a repeatable manner. Of equal importance is that the individual validating remediation is not the same individual that performed the remediation. Checking one’s own work is not as reliable as having an independent individual check that person’s work.

HALOCK Remediation Verification Pen Test penetration testing Risk Vulnerability

HALOCK Penetration Test: Remediation Verification

How do we prepare for a penetration test?

In general, there is no need for anything special to prepare with respect to how security controls are managed on a day-to-day basis. Remember that a penetration test is a point in time review of the environment. The test is going to assess the security posture at that particular point in time. If patches are deployed every Wednesday, for example, there is no need to change this behavior to accommodate the penetration test itself. If the results of the network penetration test determine this process requires attention, then that would be the appropriate time to adjust.

An organization should expect to participate in preparation activities related to planning the penetration test itself to ensure the test can be performed under controlled conditions. Some preparation related to positioning the tester may also be needed, specifically when testing is being performed onsite.

The hiring company should be prepared to participate in the planning and coordination activities and be ready to have documentation available that details the in-scope IP ranges for testing when pen testing is being performed. Also be ready to prepare test environments and to support test scenarios defined in the scope. During internal onsite network penetration tests, oftentimes visitor access badges are required for the penetration testers. Otherwise, there is not much else that is needed to be done prior to the test.

We have our website hosted with a third party. Should we test it?

Maybe. Is anyone testing it already? The first thing to do is to find out if the third party is already having a reputable network penetration test provider review the website. If so, due diligence is needed to validate the scope is appropriate, review the methodology, and understand if any key findings were observed. An organization should confirm when it was last tested, when it will next be tested, and if there are any security vulnerabilities that were determined to be tolerable by the hosting provider.

If the third party is not testing the site, or if the testing being performed is not adequate, then yes, the site needs to be tested. Obtain the third party’s permission, as they should be involved in planning, to ensure that the site is tested safely and coordinated appropriately. If the third party won’t allow testing, one should strongly consider obtaining a “right to audit” clause in their contract or locate another hosting provider that accommodates the need for ongoing vulnerability management, including network penetration testing.

Should we fix all of the vulnerabilities that are reported?

You should evaluate all of the vulnerabilities using a risk-based model first. Each vulnerability should be evaluated for business impact and probability of being exploited to ultimately assign a risk rating. Companies should have risk criteria defined in order to determine thresholds for remediation. Vulnerabilities above the threshold should be remediated or appropriately compensated for in order to bring them within tolerable risk levels. Vulnerabilities that are within an acceptable threshold may not require remediation and instead may simply be monitored over time in case the risk level changes. The network penetration test deliverables should contribute to this process. In certain compliance situations, specific vulnerabilities may be viewed as compliance gaps; and those gaps typically are either remediated or compensating controls are put in place when remediation is not possible.

What are typical costs for a penetration test?

The cost for penetration testing varies greatly.

A number of factors are used to determine pricing including, but not limited to the scope of the project, the size of the environment, the quantity of systems, and the frequency of testing. It is critical to have a detailed scoping meeting to produce a very clear understanding of the needs, and develop a statement of work prior to engaging any penetration test. Ideally a penetration test should be performed on a fixed-fee basis to eliminate any unexpected costs or unplanned expenditures. The quoted fee should include all labor and required testing tools. Statements of work that only provide estimates of the work effort should not be entertained.

How much time is needed to perform a typical penetration test?

Adequate time should be reserved in advance of a penetration test for planning activities. Additional time should be allocated after testing for report development and subsequent review meetings including remediation discussions. The entire effort varies greatly based on the size and complexity of the network penetration test. The larger or more complex the environment is, the more effort is required. The duration of the test, however, is very controllable. The duration of the test should be compressed to ensure a good, representative view of the environment at a given point in time.

Generally speaking, four to six weeks is a good estimate for the duration of the entire engagement from planning through final delivery. The actual test itself typically varies from one to two weeks depending on the size of the environment. It is very rare for a test to take longer than two weeks and when an environment is large, a larger pen test team should be assigned to keep the test window to one to two weeks max. For larger or more complex environments, testing may be broken into phases.

Can we do our own penetration testing?

It depends, as assigning internal resources may be a viable approach in certain situations; however, if the business is considering performing in-house penetration testing, the following should be considered first:

  • The penetration testers on staff should be experienced, trained, and familiar with a variety of technologies.
  • The penetration test team should have a different reporting structure than engineering or implementation teams. Separation between those managing the environment and those testing the environment is crucial. No one, no matter how skilled, can objectively test their own work.
  • Some regulatory bodies have independence requirements that may require organizational changes or additional layers of oversight before they view the test as truly independent. These considerations should be explored to determine if they apply.
  • A repository of commercial and open source tools should be obtained and updated regularly. As the costs for these tools can be significant, this should be included as part of the decision to avoid unexpected costs.
  • On-staff experienced project management capabilities are needed, especially in larger organizations where coordinating with various business units is needed prior to the test beginning.
  • Continued training and ongoing monitoring of newly discovered vulnerabilities and threats is necessary.
  • Staying current and up-to-date with testing methodologies, planning and deliverable artifacts is also necessary.
  • Penetration testers should have access to a dedicated test lab for developing and testing exploits prior to their use in a production environment.

If these assets are available to an organization or the cost to obtain and maintain them is lower than leveraging a third party, it may be more cost-effective to perform network penetration testing in house. More often than not, it is far more cost-effective to leverage a third party that is already equipped for network penetration testing.

My customer wants to see the results of our penetration test. Should I share the results with outside parties?

It is not a good idea to send results outside of your company; a penetration test report contains extremely sensitive information that is highly confidential and should only be made available to trusted internal resources on a “need-to-know” basis. Sharing detailed reports with external individuals is not recommended. Once the report is shared with an external party, control over its distribution is difficult to guarantee. A penetration test report can be a roadmap to an organization’s vulnerabilities and should not be distributed outside unless absolutely necessary.

A network penetration tester should provide a summary version of the report that details scope, approach, qualifications and categorical results. This summary report is more appropriate for an organization to share. It is common to include summary remediation plans if applicable but ultimately, the third party needs to receive documentation that gives them comfort that there is a mature, ongoing testing program that is proactively assessing the environment, and that key findings are being appropriately addressed. Providing the external party specific test details could present a significant security risk. A summary deliverable can be provided to third parties that provides insight into the testing without revealing sensitive details. Samples of HALOCK pen test deliverables available upon request.

Nonetheless, some customers will still require that they see the full results. If this is a request an organization wishes to accommodate, the customer should be invited onsite and given a printed copy of the detail for onsite review only.

What is the difference between “Ethical Hacking” and other types of hackers and testing I’ve heard about?

It depends on who you ask; you shouldn’t put a lot of stock into these since no industry accepted standard for these terms exist. For example, the approach of the test may be referred to as “Ethical Hacking” (implying legitimacy of the approach), “Black Box Testing” (implying a covert, unassisted, test), “White box Testing” (implying an assisted, non-covert test), or any variety of shades of gray along the way.

These are terms cleverly used for marketing purposes and should not be considered when forming a basis of the qualifications of the test team. When selecting a team to perform the test, the company should focus on the credentials of all team members on the project, their experience, peer references from those that have worked with them, and ultimately that their approach and methodology is industry accepted. These characteristics are what matters to ensure a test is performed safely, comprehensively, and can be relied on.

In the ever-changing world of cyber-security, new terms and names are continually being invented to describe a penetration test. Our recommendation is to call a “penetration test” by what it is…a “penetration test”.

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The Best Ethical Hacking Online Tutorials For Everyone

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Become an ethical hacker that can hack computer systems like black hat hackers and secure them like security experts.

This course is focused on the practical side of penetration testing without neglecting the theory behind each attack. Before jumping into penetration testing, you will first learn how to set up a lab and install needed software to practice penetration testing on your own machine. All the attacks explained in this course are launched against real devices in my lab.

The course is structured in a way that will take you through the basics of linux, computer systems, networks and how devices communicate with each other. We will start by talking about how we can exploit these systems to carry out a number of powerful attacks. This course will take you from a beginner to a more advanced level — by the time you finish, you will have knowledge about most penetration testing fields.

The course is divided into four main sections:

1. Network Penetration Testing — This section will teach you how to test the security of networks, both wired and wireless. First, you will learn how networks work, basic network terminology and how devices communicate with each other. Then it will branch into three sub sections:

  • Pre-connection: in this section, we still don’t know much about penetration testing — all we have is a computer with a wireless card. You will learn how gather information about the networks and computers around you and launch a number of attacks without a password, such as controlling the connections around you (ie: deny/allow any device from connecting to any network). You will also learn how to create a fake access point, attract users to connect to it and capture any important information they enter.
  • Gaining Access: Now that you have gathered information about the networks around you and found your target, you will learn how to crack the key and gain access to your target network. In this section you will learn a number of methods to crack WEP/WPA/WPA2 encryption.
  • Post Connection: Now you have the key to your target network and you can connect to it. In this section you will learn a number of powerful attacks that can be launched against the network and connected clients. These attacks will allow you to gain access to any account accessed by any device connected to your network and read all the traffic used by these devices (images, videos, audio, passwords …etc).

2. Gaining Access — In this section you will learn two main approaches to gain full control over any computer system:

  • Server Side Attacks: In this approach you will learn how to gain full access to computer systems without the need for user interaction. You will learn how to gather information about a target computer system such as its operating system, open ports, installed services and discover weaknesses and vulnerabilities. You will also learn how to exploit these weaknesses to gain full control over the target. Finally you will learn how to generate different types of reports for your discoveries.
  • Client Side Attacks — If the target system does not contain any weaknesses then the only way to gain access to it is by interacting with the user. In this approach you will learn how to launch a number of powerful attacks to fool the target user and get them to install a backdoor on their device. This is done by creating fake updates and serving them to the user or by backdoornig downloaded files on the fly. You will also learn how to gather information about the target person and use social engineering to deliver a backdoor to them as an image or any other file type.

3. Post Exploitation — In this section you will learn how to interact with the systems you compromised so far. You’ll learn how to access the file system (read/write/upload/execute), maintain your access, spy on the target and even use the target computer as a pivot to hack other computer systems.

4. Web Application Penetration Testing — In this section you will learn how websites work. Then you will learn how to gather information about your target website, such as website owner, server location, used technologies and much more. You will also learn how to discover and exploit a number of dangerous vulnerabilities such as SQL injections, XSS vulnerabilities, etc.

At the end of each section you will learn how to detect, prevent and secure your system and yourself from these attacks.

All the attacks in this course are practical attacks that work against any computer device, ie: it does not matter if the device is a phone, tablet, laptop, etc. Each attack is explained in a simple way — first you will learn the theory behind each attack and then you will learn how to carry out the attack using Kali Linux.

Learn how to do ethical hacking, penetration testing, web testing, and wifi hacking using kali linux.

Gain the ability to do ethical hacking and penetration testing by taking this course! Get answers from an experienced IT expert to every single question you have related to the learning you do in this course including installing Kali Linux, using VirtualBox, basics of Linux, Tor, Proxychains, VPN, Macchanger, Nmap, cracking wifi, aircrack, DoS attacks, SLL strip, known vulnerabilities, SQL injections, cracking Linux passwords, and more topics that are added every month.

Learn the Basics Of Ethical Hacking, Penetration Testing, Wifi Hacking.

You are about to be introduced to one of the most powerful penetration testing platforms in the world. Kali Linux is one of the most versatile penetration testing platforms favored by ethical hackers.

This course will introduce you to Kali Linux and explain step by step how to install Kali Linux in a virtual environment on a Windows 10 machine.

You will learn how to install Kali Linux, set up the root username and password, install VirtualBox guest additions, Linux kernels and much more!

You will also be introduced to Nmap and how to use it for security scanning, port scanning and network exploration.

The videos will also guide you on how to install a wireless card within the virtual environment so you can scan wireless networks and devices and take advantage of many of the wireless security tools available in the Kali Linux environment.

You will also learn how hackers use Malware to infect a victim’s computer. In addition, you will also be introduced to Python and how to use it for ethical hacking purposes.

Take this course today and start your Ethical Hacking journey now!

Become Cyber Security Expert and Ethical Hacker. This Course is specially designed to enhance your Hacking Capabilities.

Have you ever wondered exactly how hackers Hack? Have you been looking for a course that teaches you all the basics to Advance of both information and cyber security in a fun relaxed manner? If so then this course absolutely perfect for you.

You Will Be Having Knowledge of These Topics After Completing This Course :

  • Ethical Hacking
  • Bug Bounty Hunting : Web Application Penetration Testing
  • Ethical Hacking & Cyber Security Tools and Techniques
  • Windows Operating System Hacking
  • Account Hacking Techniques
  • Open Source Intelligence
  • Network Hacking and Security
  • Metasploit Extreme on Kali Linux
  • Access Darknet Black Market Using TOR
  • Cyber Crime and Forensics Investigation
  • Mobile Phone Hacking and Tracking

Although Ethical Hacking & Cyber Security Course focused on the practical side of Hacking, the theory behind every attack is also covered along with. Before jumping into Hacking, you will first learn how to set up a lab and install needed software to practice these hacking techniques on your own machine. All the attacks explained in this course are launched against real devices in my Hacking Lab.

The course is structured in a way that will take you through the basics of Ethical Hacking, Hacking using Kali Linux, Gaining Access, Post Exploitation, Covering Tracks and techniques of Police Crime Investigation so you can become untraceable. We will start by talking about how we can exploit these systems to carry out a number of powerful attacks. This course will take you from a beginner to a more advanced level — by the time you finish, you will have knowledge about most Ethical Hacking and Penetration Testing fields.

This Ethical Hacking course is intended for beginners and professionals, if you are a beginner you will start from zero until you become an expert level, and if you are a professional so this course will enhance your Hacking Capabilities.

Learn Ethical Hacking from world-famous Hacker Bryan Seely. Learn real hacker secrets from the real thing.

Learn Ethical Hacking from a world famous Ethical Hacker who has professional endorsements from people like Mark Cuban Billionaire tech entrepreneur, Star of Shark Tank, and the legendary cybersecurity expert John McAfee.

This course is jam packed with content and will take an absolutely beginner in cybersecurity & ethical hacking from zero to being able to actually hack wireless routers, crack passwords, and understand the reasons why those things work. You will be getting live video demonstrations, lectures, and in some video’s ill be on camera explaining something.

We talk about the process of hacking, from gathering information in the Recon phase, to more involved looks at our targets in the scanning phase. Enumeration and System hacking bring the basic “hacking process” to a close, but that is not the end of things, far from it.

Many of today’s large hacks and data breaches that you see all over the news are the result of very clever & persistent social engineers. Social Engineers figure out that you can’t always hack the machines, and sometimes its much easier to hack the unsuspecting person using the machine. Learn valuable skills in conducting Social Engineering Penetration Tests as well as how to protect against social engineering attacks.

You are going to enjoy the demos in the course as they will walk you through the whole process and not just the highlights. You can follow along with every single demo and make them into practice courses for yourself.

In just a few hours, you will already be figuring out new ways to use the software tools and tricks I have shown you and come up with new things to try. It is kind of addicting once you get into it.

Gain the knowledge hackers use to compromise systems and use it to protect your own.

It will cover the following topics in this course:

  • Introduction to ethical hacking
  • Linux installation, terminal basics, and Wireshark Setup
  • Staying anonymous online, proxy servers, and accessing the dark side of the internet using TOR
  • Aircrack-ng, HashCat, and wifi hacking
  • Defending your own networks from attacks
  • Cloning websites
  • Arduino USB keylogger that works out of the box for Windows 7, 8, 8.1, and 10
  • Windows power shell scripting

Network & Security , kali linux , Ethical Hacking , Cyber Security , CISSP , Ethical Hacking, Penetration Testing.

  • This Cyber Security Training will immerse the students into an interactive environment where they will be shown how to scan, test, hack and secure their own systems.
  • The lab intensive environment gives each student in-depth knowledge and practical experience with the current essential security systems.
  • This course is a Complete Course of Ethical Hacking and Pentesting .

Learn How To Use Python for Ethical Hacking and Build an Nmap Network Scanner from Scratch.

This course is strictly for information use only. The course lessons have been designed within a closed network. None of these techniques should be used on public networks as there are serious consequences if you are caught.

You will learn the basics of Python and learn how to install Python on Kali Linux. You will also discover the world of PyCharm and its basic functionality. You will also learn how to install modules including Nmap. You will be introduced to indentation and other basic functions in Python. After taking this course, you will know some of the basic commands in Python, conditional statements, lists, arrays and dictionaries. You will also be introduced to strings and how to manipulate strings. Learn how to manage, read and manipulate files and functions in Python. By the end of this course, you will be able to build your very own Nmap network scanner and your very own brute force password cracker to perform ethical hacking with.

Take this course to learn how to code a fully functional keylogger in C++ for use in Windows.

If you want to learn to code at an advanced level in C++ or build your own fully functional advanced keylogger from scratch for learning ethical hacking, I think you might love this course. In this course you will see exactly how to create an advanced keylogger starting from nothing by literally following the steps I take as I make it.

This keylogger is capable of recording all the keyboard and mouse input! It can even record independent of the language settings because it logs the physical keys on the keyboard first. Next, by using an arbitrary keymap with human friendly names, it translates the machine keys to something that we can understand. It also possesses mail sending capabilities so you can just schedule the logfile to be sent via mail, lets say every 12 hours. In addition to this, it will also keep the logfile encrypted. Therefore, we will create another program which will be able to decrypt the logfile on your end.

For learning C++, this is an ideal course because it is completely hands on learning that provides a functional end product. Some future features that will be added to the keylogger course as I develop them will include but are not limited to taking screenshots, capturing clipboard content (copy-paste), recording website URLs, and so on! Take this course now to get immediate access to the videos and to get answers to every single question you ask in the course.

Professional Level Ethical Hacking & Penetration testing from Beginner to Advanced — From Real World Experience.

If you are wanting to learn Ethical Hacking and Penetration Testing to a Professional Standard, and work online to help companies secure their data, you will love this Udemy Course.

In this highly practical course, you will learn from a Certified Professional Hacker & Penetration tester. You will get practical details about what a modern pen-tester must have in order to be a professional level Penetration Tester.

This course covers, Computer Attacks, Networks Attacks, Web Applications Penetration Testing and Security, Exploits, VAPT, Automated Attacks, Firewall & AV Evasion, Veil-Evasion, DARKNET, Wireless attacks, Social-Engineering attacks, Best Commercial Tools and my tips at professional level from real world examples of penetration testing.

This course has been designed so students from non-technical background can learn with ease and use these skills to be a good Penetration Tester.

All the modules are independent, so you can start any module you want, but I recommend to learn the course in chronological order.

This course is based on the latest tools and complete practical base. This course on Wi-Fi hacking explains the different techniques, which you can hack the WEP, WPA/WPA2 and WPS Wi-Fi router. Continuously updated with new techniques, attacks and Security.

Cracking a wireless network is defeating the security of a wireless LAN. A commonly used wireless LAN is a wifi network. Wireless LANs have inherent security weaknesses.

You will learn:

  • Cracking any WIFI network passwords
  • De-Authentication or DOS attack
  • WIFI jamming
  • How to protect your Wireless network
  • Creating Fake Wi-Fi access point
  • Different tools to hack wifi network

This comprehensive course will cover all aspects of Ethical Hacking as well as integration with Kali Linux. However, this isn’t just a normal theory based courses, but it is an extremely hands-on course, so you will not only read the fundamentals, but you will actually get to work with them using projects! Learning and getting hands-on on Ethical Hacking and Penetration Testing will opens many doors for your career. There are lot of career opportunities in Cyber Security Industry, and there is stunning and amazing opportunities coming in as IoT is becoming tomorrows future.

At the end of this extensive course, you will not only have the knowledge of complete Ethical Hacking, but you will also be able to start your very own career in ethical hacking, as well learn to safe guard your own devices against malicious hackers. This course has been designed as a one-stop-shop for all your Ethical hacking needs!


Wireless Penetration Testing – What You Should Understand

Wireless is here to stay and becoming more and more pervasive. Understanding wireless and the risks and vulnerabilities involved with its use are crucial concerns for your organization’s security staff.


We have all heard the horror stories associated with a company’s Wi-Fi used to breach their security. The most famous case is the TJ Maxx case. TJ Maxx’s parent company secured its wireless LAN (Local Area Network) using Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP). WEP is the weakest form of security available for securing wireless LANs. Hackers broke in and stole records: which included millions of credit card numbers.

The TJ Maxx security breach was many years ago when Wi-Fi security options were fewer and much weaker. In a nutshell, there is a well-known vulnerability in the WEP protocol and because TJ Maxx was ignorant of that fact, or overlooked it, they negatively affected their financial situation and their reputation. Your organization does not want to make similar mistakes, so make sure you do your due diligence to avoid a scenario similar to this one.

A wireless penetration test will examine your network using a methodology similar to the standard wired penetration test. However, they will focus on the wireless as the gateway to exploit your vulnerabilities. Thus selecting the right partner to conduct the wireless penetration testing is an important decision. Look for certifications such as OCSP, OSCE, GPEN, CEH, CPT, and CWNP.

Select a company that has technical expertise. If their knowledge is both deep and wide, they will be able to dig deeper and therefore provide you with information that is more valuable. Ask for an example of a deliverable report from a similar wireless penetration test. The report should be detailed and self-explanatory. With the proper business acumen, the testers can tailor their work to you vertical and its regulatory mandates. Penetration testing should mimic a real-life attack in as many ways as possible.

There are many benefits to conducting a wireless penetration test. Identifying vulnerabilities that threat actors are able to exploit is paramount. Testing the effectiveness of your security posture or exposing unintended weaknesses allows an organization to remediate these problems before they happen for real. This penetration test will also serve as a third-party validation of your company’s threat/vulnerability management.

Finally yet importantly, remember that Wi-Fi is not the only wireless technology a hacker can exploit. There many Bluetooth and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) devices commonly found in the public. There are also other less pervasive wireless technologies, like ZigBee, Z-wave, and DECT (cordless phones).

Understand Data Collection and Analysis

There are phases of conducting a Wireless Penetration Test. The first stage is Data Collection, which is followed by the analysis of that data. For a good tester to understand how to collect data from deep in the wireless network, the tester needs a thorough understanding of some things germane to wireless. The professional conducting the test needs to understand signal leakage.

Essentially signal leakage (or bleed) is any wireless signal that propagates beyond the intended coverage area. Complete suppression of this leakage is impossible. However, minimizing the signal leakage and maintaining knowledge of where the bleed exists is a best practice. The penetration tester also needs to have a detailed understanding of how the security protocols used in wireless operations. When you understand the protocols inner workings, you can better test the exploitation of a vulnerability.

Additionally, the tester needs to understand denial of service (DoS) attacks, Man-in-the-middle (MITM) attacks, and Access Point (AP) attacks to test and protect against them. Lastly, knowledge of the user and their host vulnerabilities is another key aspect to testing for potential exploits.

How a Man-in-the-Middle Attack is Perpetrated

penetration testing

Let us say you are at the coffee shop and you try to connect to any one of the more popular banking institutions with online banking. If you do not verify to which website you are connecting, and it is not a secure sockets layer (SSL) connection to the splash page to accept the terms-of-use, there is a chance you will be compromised. Let us say I am in the diner next door or in the parking lot with a laptop running unix. I can broadcast an SSID and issue IP address info and a DNS server with a free DHCP server running on the same laptop. I can poison your DNS and direct you to a bogus IP address for which a webpage will reply with any number of banking institutions. When you enter your credentials, I collect them and you are compromised.

Yes, it is very scary.

Understand Organizations and Associated Standards

Any good security professional conducting a wireless security assessment should be familiar with all the industry organizations the guidelines they recommend and the standards that they define. A thorough understanding of the associated organizations and their prescriptions is one of the most valuable skills, because testers do not need to reinvent the wheel. They can follow the existing recommendations while addressing the specific needs of a specific customer.

Wi-Fi Alliance makes sure that all Wi-Fi equipment is interoperable. The FCC regulates the RF spectrum from which Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and the other wireless technologies operate. The IETF helped define RADIUS and EAP. The wireless expert should also be well versed in all the flavors of EAP including LEAP, PEAP, EAP, EAP-GTC, TLS, TTLS and the rest.

There are many regulatory bodies as well. Personal Credit Information (PCI) protects consumer’s credit info from exposure by a company not doing their due diligence to protect the info. Health Insurance Portability and Affordability Act (HIPAA) protects the confidentiality of patients’ health info. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) protects the privacy of student educational information. ISO 27001 is a specification for an information security management system (ISMS). An ISMS is a framework of policies and procedures that includes all legal, physical and technical controls involved in an organization’s information risk management processes.

A proper understanding of these diverse bodies is what will make your wireless penetration test relevant, tailored to your technology, and serve as a third-party audit for your company. The experienced tester will know to look at all wireless technologies. This will included looking at point-to-point links that are often licensed links from the FAA. Looking at Bluetooth (802.15) will be helpful exposing any vulnerabilities that exist in the use of that technology within your network.

In summary, the wireless penetration tester needs to be, not only a good penetration tester but also, an expert wireless engineer. Ask questions relevant to your industry or vertical when considering a company to conduct the wireless penetration test. If you do this then you will be able to weed out the less knowledgeable testers from the more expert ones.

Understand Wi-Fi Testing Tools

pen testing

The methodology for testing is as follows:

  1. Wireless LAN (WLAN) Assessment
  2. Rogue AP analysis
  3. Wireless Hotspot
  4. Attacking encryption protocols

WLAN Assessment entails many actions: passive AP fingerprinting techniques, information element disclosure, and client post-processing analysis with Kismet XML files. Identifying the authentication and encryption options used on the WLAN with Kismet and Wireshark and mapping the range of indoor and outdoor WLANs. Assessing traffic captured in monitor mode for information disclosure, identifying multicast protocols with MAC analysis, evaluating encrypted traffic and proprietary encryption functions all help analyze the strength or weakness of your WLAN.

Another aspect of testing is rogue AP analysis. Testers can locate rogue devices through RSSI signal analysis and triangulation. The penetration tester should be aware of Ad Hoc networks. Bogus “Free-Wi-Fi open networks and malicious rogue clients. Also make sure the testers look for devices that are in the environment but connecting to SSIDs that not authorized by your company. By connecting a corporate asset to another Wi-Fi network, it can be unsafe for a plethora of reasons. Some of these are watering hole attack, phishing attack, MITM attack, etc.

In 2017, wireless hotspots are everywhere. Having them at the coffee shop and the pizzeria is certainly convenient, but can be very perilous to your corporate assets. This is especially true when the coffee shop is located next door to your corporate office. Without getting into the details, your employee will expose your company to risk when they join an open network. A good tester will look for this and note where these hotspots are and what the SSID is. Then you can take steps to help educate users and configure endpoints appropriately.

Since the cracking of WEP many years ago, free tools have appeared on the market to help crack pre-shared keys. Unbelievably, these tools can even crack WPA and WPA2. A thorough penetration tester should see if any pre-shared keys can be cracked within a short time frame (hours not days). This is good as a shock factor to illustrate how easily a standard key with 8 or 10 characters can be broken. Then after that testing, feed PSKs into a password strength tool reveal the relative strength of the key.

Understand IEEE 802.11 and Other Wireless MAC Layer Information

This is where you separate the experts from the ankle biters. A good penetration tester who wants to exploit your network using the WLAN needs to possess intimate knowledge of the MAC and PHY layer of 802.11. First, there must be an understanding of how an ad hoc network operates versus an infrastructure network. A full understanding of the phases of station authentication and association will be key. Knowledge of the three packet types: Management, Control, and Data is necessary along with the header and footer format of these. Expert knowledge of the 80.1x framework and the accompanying EAP type is the most important of all.

Any wireless transport mechanism will have a MAC layer with the exception of DECT as it operates in a closed phone system and not over TCP/IP endpoints. Bluetooth, which is a wireless personal area network (WPAN) defined by IEEE 802.15.1. Understand Bluetooth operations and hacking becomes relatively easy. Zigbee is another WPAN. ZigBee is defined by 802.15.4, which was created for low data rate transmission that allows a device a very long battery life. ZigBee also uses the MAC layer so knowledge of its working is also necessary if this technology is in use. As previously explained DECT does not use a MAC and unless there is an IP that makes it an Internet of things (IoT) device the only concern would be decoding and eavesdropping. A DECT device would not be a gateway into your IP network.

Summing It All Up

Selecting a Penetration Tester that focuses on wireless will be expensive and take time and energy. That is why selecting the right one is so important. Make sure you keep in mind all the points presented in this article. Ask him how he does things, which weakness he will focus on. In the end, selecting the right consultant with the right credentials will yield a successful effort. By reading this article you have educated yourself to help make an educated decision on the Penetration Tester you select.

John Busso

Author Bio: John Busso is a Senior Network Engineer/Mobility Specialist at CCSI. He has almost 20 years experience providing secure voice and data solutions. John has been a Subject Matter Expert for Enterprise Mobile Solutions such as Guest WiFi and BYOD, providing vision for diverse clients.

John has been an Adjunct Professor and trainer. He holds numerous Industry certifications, including CISSP CWNP, CCNP, ACMP and ITIL. His experience includes working with retail, TNL-Couriers, DC’s and Airports, Healthcare, Education, DOD, Local Government, Financial, Non-Profit-Public WiFi, Entertainment and Hospitality industries. His expertise is in mobility, security, WLAN, WAN, LAN, VoWiFi, RFID, RTLS, WIPS, WIDS, DAS, licensed/unlicensed PTP and PTMP networks. Connect with John on Twitter via @JohnBusso.


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*AUDLVL System auditing : System auditing events logged and may be audited

*OBJAUD Object auditing : Object auditing activity defined logged and may be audited

*AUTFAIL Authorized failure:All access failure,Incorrect Password or User ID logged and may be audited

*PGMFAIL System integrity violation : Blocked instructions,Validation failure,Domain violation logged and may be audited

*JOBDTA Job tasks : Job start and stop data(disconnect,prestart) logged and may be audited

*NETCMN Communication & Networking tasks :Action that occur for APPN filtering support logged and may be audited

*SAVRST Object restore: Restore(PGM,JOBD,Authority,CMD,System State) logged and may be audited

*SECURITY Security tasks:All security related functions(CRT/CHG/DLT/RST) logged and may be audited

*SERVICE Services HW/SW: Actions for performing HW or SW services logged and may be audited

*SYSMGT System management: Registration,Network,DRDA,SysReplay,Operational not logged and cannot be audited

*CREATE Object creation:Newly created objects, Replace exisitng objects logged and may be audited

*DELETE Object deletion: All deletion of external objects logged and may be audited

*OFCSRV Office tasks: Office tasks(system distribution directory,Mail) logged and may be audited

*OPTICAL Optical tasks:Optical tasks(add/remove optical cartridge,Autho) logged and may be audited

*PGMADP Program authority adoption: Program adopted authority, gain access to an object logged and may be audited

*OBJMGT Object management:Object management logged and may be audited

*SPLFDTA Spool management:Spool management logged and may be audited


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