An Internal penetration test is designed to assess an IT network for vulnerabilities and security issues in its servers, hosts, devices and network services. It particularly focuses on the ‘external view’ as seen by a hacker with respect to Internet-facing assets such as firewalls, intrusion prevention systems, web sites and unauthorised access. Internal penetration testing can also be applied as an ‘internal test’ which assess the risks and vulnerabilities associated with staff and authorised users.
Penetration tests are used as a practical guide to improve the security of an IT system and to meet the organisational requirements for compliance to standards that include the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) and ISO 27001.
With over 15 years combined corporate expertise in the field of information assurance & penetration testing.
Certified by CREST and with qualifications from EC Council, Offensive Security and SANS.
We use open source and commercial tools and our own testing apps developed by our in-house software development team.
Reports including recommendations for remediation and improvement.
We will develop a test that fits your business needs. Talk to us, before you need us.
Fixed price proposals with fully detailed project scope and no unexpected costs.
Woohoo Secure offer a range of penetration testing services to fit your requirements. Please click on the links below to find out more information about each pentest service.
Internal Network Vulnerability and penetration assessment service.
External Network Vulnerability and penetration assessment service.
Web Application Vulnerability and penetration assessment service.
A build review is often included as part of an in-depth cyber security risk assessment.
Our consultants will attempt to access these resources both with the default password and commonly used username and password combinations for services that require a username and password authentication.
In practical terms, the assessment phase typically comprises internal, ‘White Box’ and ‘Black Box’ tests.
In the case of an internal assessment, passive information gathering will also include sniffing wired and wireless networks to collect network protocol information, address details, and user credentials.
Information discovered during the passive information-gathering phase is used to start probing the network, map the network, and identify the active hosts. Once the active hosts are identified, further probes are used to detect any open ports and what services they are running before using fingerprinting techniques to identify the operating system running on the host.
The full assessment report goes into greater detail for each host, including the open ports identified, services available on those ports, identified vulnerabilities and remediation advice.
Penetration testing is where someone takes on a hacker’s role and attempts to compromise or gain unauthorised access to a network or an application. Also known as white hat hacking, a qualified professional will use automated tools and manual processes to uncover any vulnerabilities and misconfigurations that present a cyber-security risk. A penetration test will give companies an overview of their security posture, highlighting flaws and allowing them to be patched before malicious hackers target them. Also known as white hat or ethical hacking, penetration tests are a vital part of an effective security strategy and are a mandatory component of many compliance schemes.
Several types of penetration testing can be defined as either black, white or grey box testing. It’s also worth specifying there is a difference between an application test and an infrastructure test. As the name suggests, an application test is where a tester looks for flaws within an application to see if there’s any way to get at data or manipulate functionality in a way that wasn’t intended. This can involve cookie theft, XSS, man-in-the-middle attacks etc. On the other hand, infrastructure tests are where the tester attempts to gain entrance to a corporate network.
Black box testing
Black box testing is the closest simulation of real-world hacking in that the tester will know very little, if anything, about the target other than what is publicly available. These are often the least time-consuming tests as it relies solely on the tester discovering vulnerabilities in outwardly facing components. However, whilst these tests accurately represent real-life situations, they will not pick up any vulnerabilities, or misconfigurations present internally. Therefore, they cannot predict what damage an internal threat may cause.
White box testing
White box testing offers the most thorough security test. The tester has a full understanding of the application or infrastructure, how it works, and access from various levels. Likely, they’ll even have access to the source code or have a full detailed map of the internal infrastructure. The tester will probe for vulnerabilities and misconfigurations to gain access from an external position and look to see what damage can be done from an internal perspective.
Grey box testing
Grey box testing is a blend of black and white box testing and is often the most popular test type. The tester will have limited knowledge of the target, potentially including some documentation. They will often have basic user-level access, allowing for partial testing of the target’s internals.
The terms penetration test and vulnerability assessment are often wrongly used interchangeably. A vulnerability assessment uses an automated tool to scan a network or application for known vulnerabilities. A penetration test is more involved and encompasses many aspects, providing you with a more comprehensive overview of your overall security.
A vulnerability scan may well be used in the initial stages of a penetration test to see any easily exploited flaws to work with. The tester will then go a step further, using brute-forcing, code injections, social engineering and other methods to exploit the vulnerability to gain access.
All penetration test projects will start with an accurate scoping. Once the boundaries have been agreed upon and a goal decided upon, testers will begin some reconnaissance. This is the starting point for any hacker and the beginning of the cyber kill chain. This may include looking for any related URLs or domains that could be considered in scope and increase the attack area or conducting some vulnerability scans on their target. If social engineering is included in the test, recon activity may include searching publicly available sources for staff contact details, staff pass designs or email address formats.
The testers will then attempt to exploit any weakness found to gain unauthorised access. This can often have a trial and error-based approach. If successful, the tester will find out the extent of a hacker’s potential reach, compile some evidence and then provide a detailed report along with remediation advice.
Tests will often follow these steps:
It’s recommended that businesses perform penetration tests at least annually or whenever a significant change is made to the environment. Certain compliance packages, such as PCI DSS, make regular penetration tests mandatory. If you want good cyber security, you need a penetration test.
The content of a report will always depend on who has written the report. Wizard Cybers reports always contain a high-level business executive summary before drilling into an in-depth breakdown of each vulnerability, weakness or misconfiguration discovered, along with the mitigation and remediation advice. We will provide this in order of severity and priority.
Penetration testing should be conducted at least once per year.
We would also recommend conducting a penetration test any time you make significant changes to your infrastructure or network, such as when you make an upgrade to software or move to a new office. Our team can advise the best solution for your organisation.