Re: Why Penetration Test?

From: Tarun The Nut (
Date: 06/14/05

  • Next message: Gareth Davies: "Re: Why Penetration Test?"
    Date: Tue, 14 Jun 2005 11:04:20 +0530

    when i mentioned vulnerabilities that are exploitable, i meant not
    only being able to "exploit" the vulnerability but also map all the
    possible paths of attack.

    Also by plugging a vulnerability does not necessarily means "patching"
    but taking all possible steps (patches/tools/processes blah blah) that
    can help mitigating a possible exploit of the vulnerability.

    The question still remains: Pen Test will always depend on the skill
    set of the company/individual contracted to do Pen Test and results
    will vary from person to person (or company to company).

    Thankx to Pete Herzog for bringing it out. It skipped my mind to
    include that in my previous mails.

    Is it not feasible to assume that the real attacker will be able to
    exploit the vulnerability using any one of the numerous attack paths
    and go about ensuring the vulnerability is "plugged" based on the
    phased approach described in one of my mails earlier?


    On 6/14/05, Gareth Davies <> wrote:
    > wrote:
    > >hi,
    > >thanx to everyone for brain-stroming on this point.
    > >
    > >i asked this question cause i failed to understand why certain clients are bent on penetration testing cause the results totally depend on the skill set of the person/company performing the penetration testing.
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > Yeah that's pretty much how I see it too.
    > Most clients request a pen test because they don't know what it is, it
    > sounds more exciting.
    > What they actually want is a VA, I've had this issue a few times.
    > When it comes down to it, they don't want you to actually exploit their
    > servers, as the machines are live and they can't face the possibility of
    > downtime.
    > They don't mind snapshots of passive intrusion (through non passworded
    > services, or weak/default u/p combinations, open root shares,
    > unprotected NFS mounts and so on).
    > IMHO a full pen-test consists of a VA but it goes one step further, into
    > the realm of actually confirming the exploits will work (as an example,
    > sendmail is often pegged as being vulnerable, but many OS's update the
    > service without changing the banner, so according to the banner it's
    > vulnerable, in reality it's not).
    > I generally like to strike a balance somewhere in between where possible.
    > Cheers
    > --
    > Gareth Davies
    > Manager - Security Practice
    > Network Security Solutions MSC Sdn. Bhd.
    > Suite E-07-21, Block E, Plaza Mont' Kiara, No. 2 Jalan Kiara,
    > Mont' Kiara, 50480
    > Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
    > Phone: +603-6203 5303

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