Web Penetration Testing: What It Is

Web Penetration Testing is as the name suggestions, a penetration test that focuses solely on a web application rather than a network or company. The underlying concept and objectives for discovering security weakness and strengthening defense mechanisms are the same. In fact, a lot of the same tools and attack vectors are leveraged during the engagement. The key distinction is found in the methodology that web penetration testers use to footprint or map out a web applications functionality and then interrogate entry points (usually user supplied input fields).

Automated tools are absolutely necessary for this type of assessment however a detailed understanding of web-based client/server interaction is required to properly use most of the tools available.

Web Penetration Testing: What It Is Not

You may have heard someone refer to a Source Code Review as Web Penetration Testing. These two types of assessments, although security-driven, are very different and should not be lumped together. A source code review focuses on finding security weaknesses and best practice deficiencies directly at the source code layer. This type of engagement is typically performed on a pre-release timeframe. While web penetration testing targets a live application post-release.

Web Penetration Testing: Tools

Below are just a few of the tools commonly leveraged during a web penetration testing engagement.

Name Additional Information
Burp Suite https://www.pentestgeek.com/what-is-burpsuite
Samurai WTF http://samurai.inguardians.com/
Zed Attack Proxy https://www.owasp.org/index.php/OWASP_Zed_Attack_Proxy_Project
Nikto2 https://cirt.net/Nikto2


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