Re: External Pentests Obsolete?

On 8/9/07, Yiannis Koukouras <d4rw1n@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
Do you think that an external infrastructure pentest is nowadays


What I want to say is that, most of the serious companies nowadays
will only have a few servers on their DMZ (web server, mail server,
SSL concentrator, terminal server, citrix) and will only allow access
to one or two ports for each of them. The rest of the infrastructure
(excluding the internet facing router and firewall) will be completely

Certainly they think this is so, and it may even be true.
Until a test is performed however, one does not know with any certainty.

Thus, if web application testing is out of scope, there isn't much to
test, is it? Only half a dozen of services to check vulnerabilities
and misconfiguration, check if mail rely is on, make a password
bruteforce attack(?), check that the DNS can't be poison and VOILA!
You have finished!

While it may be true that with web application testing out of
scope a (possibly great) wealth of "soft and chewy" is being ignored,
this does not mean that there is nothing else to do.

To my definition, a pentest does more than just "check vulnerabilities",
it attempts to exploit them, and if successful, then proceeds to attempt
to move to the next level of access (whatever that may be).

In this event, compromising the available external services is not
(necessarily) trivial, nor quickly done.

Do you think that it is ethical to consult our clients to "buy" an
external pentest anymore?

I think it is just as ethical as consulting them to buy any other
form of pentest, for the reasons stated above.


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