Web App Penetration Testing (VAPT)
Exploiting website vulnerabilities is Number One problem in the world. This is solely because website are open to internet and hence can potentially expose sensitive data which interests the evil hackers. Thats the reason web security testing services (also called as Web VAPT) are so important for organizations
Websites are typically vulnerable to code based or network based attacks. This enables hackers to take over and control system components such as routers, firewalls, switches and servers and in worst cases, the website code. Even though the website is plain simple and static html based, it needs detailed pen-testing (VAPT or Pentesting), and is often forgotten by IT management. Lately Web security also acts as a backend for mobile app security. Hence security testing (VAPT) of websites, web portals and web applications is highly required. It must be carried out by certified pentesting companies, who are treated as best penetration testing (pentest) companies. Such consultancy companies are expected to follow security testing methodologies based on OWASP Top-10 model. Valency Networks follows best industry practices when it comes to VAPT of the web apps.
Web App Pentesting Facts
Web application vulnerability assessment and penetration testing (known as Web VAPT) is one type of security testing. Vulnerability Assessment involves finding security holes i.e., vulnerabilities in the web application. Penetration Testing involves exploiting the found vulnerabilities to gain unauthorized access to the data or the system itself or making the data unavailable to access, or make changes to the data by compromising its integrity. Web VAPT (also called as Web Pentesting) helps find out common types of weaknesses, before they are exploited by hackers thus making web applications secure.
Web Application penetration testing, not only helps in detecting the vulnerabilities but also helps in prioritizing the identified vulnerabilities and threats, and possible ways to mitigate them. Valency Networks’s expertise, is in the hybrid concept of penetration testing. When searching for vulnerabilities in websites or web applications, manual pen testing is essential since automated penetration testing tools simply can’t find every flaw. It takes the skill and experience of an ethical hacker to identify complex authorization issues or business logic flaws.
Web VAPT stands for "Web Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing." It's a comprehensive security assessment process conducted on web applications and websites to identify vulnerabilities and weaknesses that could potentially be exploited by malicious actors. It's important to note that Web VAPT is not a one-time activity. Web applications are dynamic and evolve over time, as do the techniques used by attackers. Regular assessments are crucial to stay ahead of emerging vulnerabilities and to ensure ongoing protection. When considering Web VAPT services, organizations can choose to perform assessments internally using their own security teams, or they can hire third-party security firms that specialize in these assessments. These third-party services often bring a fresh perspective and a higher degree of expertise in identifying potential vulnerabilities.
More info can be found on:
Web App VAPT
Web Application Security Testing Services
Exploiting website vulnerabilities is Number One problem in the world. This is solely because websites are open to internet and hence can potentially expose sensitive data which interests the evil hackers. That is one of the main reasons why web VAPT or security testing services are so important for organizations.
Even though the website is simple and static, html based, it needs detailed pen-testing (VAPT testing), which is often forgotten by IT management. Thus, security testing of websites or web portals or web applications is highly required. At Valency Networks it is carried out by certified and experienced penetration testers (pentesters, ethical hackers) who follow security testing methodologies based on latest OWASP Top-10 model.
The Web VAPT process helps organizations:
1. Identify Vulnerabilities: Discover and prioritize security vulnerabilities that could be exploited by attackers.
2. Mitigate Risks: Address identified vulnerabilities to reduce the risk of a successful cyberattack.
3. Comply with Standards: Many industries and regulatory frameworks require security assessments, and conducting Web VAPT helps organizations meet these compliance requirements.
4. Improve Security: By regularly performing Web VAPT assessments, organizations can continuously improve their security posture and stay ahead of emerging threats.
5. Protect Customer Data: Especially for web applications that handle user data, Web VAPT ensures that customer information remains secure.
We perform web application penetration testing using world standard OWASP Top 10 model. While we perform testing using automated web security scanners, we prefer to perform manual security testing for the following attacks. More details at OWASP Top-10 model and also at Typical Web Application Security Vulnerabilities Pentesting
We perform web application penetration testing using world standard OWASP Top 10 model. While we perform testing using automated web security scanners, we prefer to perform manual security testing for the following attacks.
|A1||Injection Attacks (SQL injections, Code injections)|
|A2||Broken Authentication and Session Management|
|A3||Cross Site Scripting (XSS)|
|A4||Insecure Direct Object References|
|A6||Sensitive Data Exposure|
|A7||Missing Functional Level Access Control|
|A8||Cross Site Request Forgery ( CSRF)|
|A9||Using Components with Known Vulnerabilities|
|A10||Invalidated Redirects and Forwards|
There are multiple and diverse automated tools available in the market. Automated tools reduce the time and effort required for testing. Also, with wide range of features that these tools offer, it becomes easy to find out the loopholes in the application. Few of pen-tester's favorite tools are mentioned below:
Burp-Suite: Out of all the tools, Burp suite tops the list. Developed by PortSwigger, it is one of the most popular proxy tools used to find out web-based vulnerabilities in the application. It has various tools that work seamlessly together to support the entire testing process, from initial mapping and analysis of an application's attack surface, to finding and exploiting security vulnerabilities.
It has feature named intruder, which actually is a request fuzzer. It allows us to run a series of different values through an input point. The output is observed for success/failure and content length, after running the values. A change of response code or content length of the response is observed when an anomaly occurs. Uses of intruder are as follows: Brute-force attacks on password, pin and other forms.
Metasploit: Metasploit is widely famous tool among security professionals. From identifying the weaknesses in the application and network and exploiting it to gain further access to the host. With extensive and advanced range of exploits for every vulnerability, it has become every pentesters paradise and for all the right reasons.
A user can configure an exploit module, pair with a payload, point at a target, and launch at the target system using various tools, libraries, user interfaces, and modules of Metasploit. Hundreds of exploits and several payload options are also available in its large and extensive database.
SQL-Map: It is an open-source tool. It automated most of the process of finding SQL injection weaknesses and exploiting it. We can use SQLmap to perform a wide range of Database attacks. This includes database fingerprinting, data extraction, and even taking over an entire database. We can also use it to bypass login forms and execute arbitrary commands on the underlying operating system.
In web applications, sqlmap aids in detecting SQL injection vulnerabilities and takes advantage of them. After detecting one or more SQL injections on the target host, there are a variety of options available to perform- an extensive back-end DBMS fingerprint, retrieving DBMS session user and database, enumerating users, password hashes, privileges, databases, dumping entire or user’s specific DBMS tables/columns, running your own SQL statement, reading specific files on the file system and a lot more.
Nikto: It is a scanner which is responsible for scanning web servers against potentially threatening vulnerabilities. According to Nikto’s official website, web servers are scanned for multiple items - 6700 dangerous files/programs, outdated versions of servers and version specific problems.
Nikto vulnerability scanner is an end-to-end scanner for the web server only, it scans the web server and checks against known vulnerabilities and lets you know about the potential security implications of the vulnerabilities that are identified by it. It performs Generic and server type specific checks. Also, any cookies received are captured and printed. Scans for configuration-related issues such as open index directories, SSL certificate scanning. Nikto aids in finding SQL injection, XSS, and other common vulnerabilities, identifying installed software (via headers, favicons, and files), guessing subdomains, reporting unusual headers, guessing credentials for authorization (including many default username/password combinations).
Manual Penetration Testing
All the pentesting details mentioned above are not everything. It takes years of experience and the subject matter expertise in penetration testing, which makes Valency Networks one of the top cyber security companies. With a wider set of provable credentials, our team is capable of performing ethical hacking attacks on a web application, and find security vulnerabilities. This makes us the most preferred vendor or Partner Company in cyber security space. The thumb rule that real life hackers follow, is not to use automated tools, but to do the hacking manually. This is because it is not entirely possible for tools and scripts to find all vulnerabilities. There are some vulnerabilities which can be identified by manual scan only.
Penetration testers can perform better attacks on application, based on their skills and knowledge of system. Just like social engineering can be done by humans only, the same applies to website attacks such as SQL Injection, Cross site scripting (XSS) and cross site request forgery (CSRF). Manual checking also covers design, business logic as well as code verification.
Performing web penetration testing (pentesting) and web VAPT (Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing) services from the best VAPT companies is crucial for several reasons. These companies offer expertise from skilled cybersecurity professionals who stay updated on the latest attack techniques, ensuring the highest level of web security testing services. They provide comprehensive assessments, leaving no stone unturned in identifying vulnerabilities, thereby reducing the risk of data breaches and cyberattacks through thorough web pentesting.
Moreover, top VAPT companies help you meet compliance requirements, which are vital for various industries and regulations, making them the go-to choice for web security testing services. While it may appear as an additional expense, investing in pentesting and VAPT services from reputable firms ultimately saves you money by preventing the costly consequences of successful cyberattacks. It also safeguards your company's reputation and shows your commitment to security. Additionally, top VAPT companies offer actionable insights for continuous security improvement, helping you stay ahead of evolving threats and enhancing your overall security posture in web security testing services.
Engaging with top VAPT companies for web VAPT (Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing) and web security testing services, such as web pentesting, is an indispensable step in fortifying your digital defenses. These companies offer a wealth of expertise from cybersecurity professionals who are at the forefront of the industry's latest developments, ensuring the highest standard of VAPT services. Their comprehensive assessments, which include rigorous web pentesting, systematically uncover vulnerabilities and weaknesses, effectively reducing the risk of data breaches and cyberattacks. Beyond the essential security benefits, partnering with leading VAPT firms guarantees compliance with industry-specific regulations and requirements, making them the trusted choice for web security testing services.
While the initial investment may seem like an added expense, the long-term cost savings are substantial, given that it helps prevent the potentially devastating consequences of successful cyberattacks. Furthermore, it safeguards your company's reputation, demonstrating your unwavering commitment to security. These top VAPT companies also provide invaluable insights for ongoing security enhancement, empowering you to stay ahead of ever-evolving threats and bolster your overall security posture in the realm of web security testing services.
In an increasingly digital world, web applications have become integral to our daily lives. From online shopping and banking to e-learning platforms, web applications store vast amounts of sensitive data, making them prime targets for cyberattacks. As per various research surveys conducted globally and in India, it's evident that data breaches are on the rise. To shed light on the significance of Web Application Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing (VAPT), we present insights based on these findings, highlighting the current trends and the critical need for VAPT services.
Global and Indian Statistics: A Glimpse
As per global cybersecurity reports, cyberattacks have surged in recent years. The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the digital transformation, and malicious actors capitalized on vulnerabilities in web applications. According to India-specific statistics, the country saw a significant increase in data breaches, with a staggering number of records compromised. In such a climate, the importance of VAPT cannot be overstated.
The Current Trend: Rising Data Breaches
Our research, conducted based on hundreds of penetration tests across various industries, demonstrates a disconcerting current trend - the proliferation of data breaches in web applications. A significant portion of these breaches could have been prevented with the adoption of effective VAPT services. Confidentiality and integrity of data are at stake, posing severe risks to businesses and individuals alike.
The Earlier Trend: Ignoring Web Application Vulnerabilities
Historically, many organizations overlooked the significance of VAPT, choosing to prioritize other cybersecurity measures. However, based on historic VAPT trends and research, this approach is no longer viable. With the evolution of cyber threats, web application security has emerged as a critical priority.
Case Study 1: E-Learning Platform Vulnerability
To underscore the implications of inadequate VAPT, consider a recent case in the web-based education industry. An e-learning platform that failed to address vulnerabilities suffered a significant data leak. Personal and educational information of thousands of students was compromised, highlighting the grave consequences of neglecting web application security.
Case Study 2: Online Examination Portal Data Leakage
Another case relates to an online examination portal that experienced a data leakage incident. The breach jeopardized the integrity of examination results, impacting the trustworthiness of the entire system. Our study showed that the breach could have been prevented through a comprehensive VAPT approach.
The Way Forward: We Strongly Recommend VAPT Services
In light of these statistics, case studies, and evolving trends, we highly recommend organizations invest in web application VAPT services. The integrity and confidentiality of data should be of paramount concern, especially in industries like web-based education, where sensitive information is regularly processed. Our research underscores the critical role of VAPT in securing web applications and preventing data breaches.
Conclusion: Prioritize Web Application VAPT
In conclusion, the surge in data breaches, as indicated by various surveys and our research, serves as a stark reminder of the need for robust web application VAPT. Organizations must acknowledge the evolving threat landscape and take proactive measures to protect their web applications and the data they store. By prioritizing VAPT, businesses can ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and security of their web-based assets, thus safeguarding their reputation and the trust of their users.
Web has proved to become hacker's favorite place to exploit the innocent. There has been rise in the number of web application attack lately. Web application attack is nothing but exploiting the unattended and unpatched vulnerabilities in an application to either steal the data, alter the data or make the data or website unavailable to the people in need. Such attacks are proven to be really costly for the businesses and often they were shut completely because of the inability to contain such incidents. Listed below are some popular attacks down below that are more deadly.
Cross Site Scripting
It is all about injecting specially crafted payloads in the URL or unsensitized input fields to steal user's session and gain their privileges to cause further damage. This occurs anywhere a web application uses input from a user within the output it generates without validating or encoding it as the flaws allowing these attacks to succeed are quite widespread. The end user’s browser will execute the script as it does not know that the script should not be trusted thinking that it came from a trusted source. Cookies, session tokens, or other sensitive information retained by the browser and used with that site can be accessed by malicious scripts. These scripts are able to rewrite the content of the HTML page.
XSS enables an attacker to hijack the user’s session and take over the account. Also, it aids in getting the legitimate user privileges (reading data, capturing user credentials etc). Further it can cause virtual defacement of the web site and/or injecting trojan functionality into the web site. This can lead to gaining access to the user’s geolocation, webcam, microphone, and specific files from the user’s file system. XSS can also be used in conjunction with other types of attacks like Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF).
More Info: SQL Injection Vulnerabilities
Since database has its own language, this attack makes use of carefully crafted SQL injection queries to interact with backend database and fetch data from it. The data that is normally not retrievable including data belonging to other users, or any other data that the application itself is able to access, can be viewed by the attacker after performing SQL Injection attack. This vulnerability can give access to source code from files on the database server. The SQL injection attack can be escalated to compromise the underlying server or other back-end infrastructure, or perform a denial-of-service attack. SQL injection aids attackers in spoofing identity, tampering with existing data, causing repudiation issues such as voiding transactions or changing balances, allowing the complete disclosure of all data on the system, destroying the data or making it otherwise unavailable, and gaining admin rights to the database server.
Denial of Service/Distributed Denial of Service:
This attack attempts to overwhelm the target with constant requests either from one source or from different sources. The end goal is to make target slow or unavailable to people using it. DoS uses a single connection, while a DDoS attack uses many sources of attack traffic. The server crashes as it is flooded with more Transmission Control Protocol/User Datagram Protocol (TCP/UDP) packets than it can process. This may lead to data corruption, and resources being misdirected or even exhausted to the point of paralyzing the system.
Cross Site Request Forgery: CSRF is tricking a user into submitting requests to a Web application. Web application being oblivious of the scenario executes the request thinking it came from the legitimate user. In this attack, unwanted actions on a web application in which they’re currently authenticated, are forced on the end user. With the aid of social engineering (such as sending a link via email or chat), an attacker tries to trick the users of a web application into executing attacker's intended actions. This attack may lead to the user to performing state changing requests like transferring funds, changing their email address, and so forth, if the victim has normal user privileges. The entire web application can be compromised if the victim has an administrative account. This may lead to inadvertent client or server data leakage, change of session state, or manipulation of an end user's account. More Info : CSRF (Cross Site Request Forging) Vulnerability
Server Site Request Forgery: SSRF leads to disclosure of sensitive information from the back-end server of the application. Malicious packets are sent to any Internet-facing web server by attackers and this webserver sends packets to the backend server running on the internal network on behalf of the attacker. Applications having the facility to feed the URL for fetching data from the respective servers and applications having two or more servers from different hosts communicating with each other for information sharing, are vulnerable to SSRF. SSRF may enable an attacker to perform arbitrary command execution. The functionality of the server to read or update internal resources is abused by the attacker. This attack enables an attacker to read server configuration such as AWS metadata, connect to internal services like HTTP-enabled databases or perform POST requests towards internal services that are not intended to be exposed, by carefully selecting the URLs. Also, they can bypass IP whitelisting and host-based authentication services, perform port scans on the internal network that the server is connected to, view status pages and interact with APIs as the web server, and retrieve sensitive information such as the IP address of a web server running behind a reverse proxy.
Remote Code Execution (RCE): In Remote code execution an attacker can remotely execute commands on someone else’s computing device. Remote code executions (RCEs) can happen regardless of the device’s geographic location and usually occur due to malicious malware downloaded by the host. The attacker scans computers across the internet seeking known vulnerabilities that may support a successful attack or exploit zero-day software vulnerabilities to gain deeper access to a machine, network or web application. RCE enables the attackers to exfiltrate data, divert funds, perform detailed surveillance, edit or destroy important files, steal confidential data, perform DDoS attacks, compromise the entire system and disrupt service. RCE could also lead to privilege escalation, network pivoting, crypto mining and ransomware.
Confidentiality, Authentication, Validation, Sanitization and insecure communication are the primary security issues that all web services need to look into before making their products/services live.
Confidentiality:Includes using encryption mechanism to keep sensitive data secure. This is strongly recommended for applications having payment services as the data to be transmitted are critical data that can be misused by hackers. Also, for the purpose of customer satisfaction and privacy, confidentially is a must.
Authentication:Authentication bypass is a prevalent attack these days by simply implementing brute force attacks and SQL injection attacks. Therefore, secure your login and authentication mechanisms are very essential.
Validation & Sanitization: Many applications perform Validation & Sanitization only on the client side and forget to consider doing the same on their server-side which is equivalent to using a head umbrella during heavy rains.
Insecure Communication:While dealing with sensitive data such as customer details, payment card details, social security numbers, emails, and more every SysAdmin must ensure their application is using a secure mode of communication.
More information can be found here: Typical Web Application Security Vulnerabilities Pentesting
Since the web application vulnerabilities are increasing day by day, its become important to perform VAPT. Also it has become more important to choose the best vendor company who will perform the web app pentesting. Choosing the right web Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing (VAPT) company is crucial to ensure a thorough and effective security assessment of your web applications. Here are some key factors to consider when selecting a top web VAPT company:There are multiple parameters to be considered for selecting such a top vapt company, which are listed in the article links below.
Tips to select best cyber security vendor company
Tips to select best Web VAPT vendor company
With growing number and varieties of applications in the market, attackers have also become smart and are continuously finding brand new ways of exploiting the applications for their benefit. Hence, it becomes absolutely necessary to protect the application and implement security strategies that will secure the application from inside out.
With the application security assessment it becomes easy to test the application architecture, software code for underlying weaknesses and fix those before anyone else can take advantage of it.
Timely assessment of application can also help us make the application comply with current and applicable compliance standards so as to avoid any legal disputes later.
Web servers and the application code running on those as a simple website or web portal, are vulnerable to various attacks. In one type of attack, the hacker can simply deface the pages, while in other serious types, the attacker can potentially steal data and disrupt website operations.
Web security testing is especially important in case of e-commerce based portals, wherein the entire business relies on website and its data contents. In case of recent trend the websites cater to mobile based applications which demands for an end to end testing for total app security. Its important to understand that merely having firewalls and Layer-7 devices are not enough because those cannot detect code level vulnerabilities, and hence a detailed website VAPT along with code security review is highly recommended.
Hardening of server:It simply means deploying recommended protection mechanism to boost your server's security. As server is an important element, hackers aim in compromising network infrastructure and applications to try gain access to the back-end server. Server hardening helps in securing your backend server by analyzing the servers current state and suggesting the security measures that can be taken to secure the sever. It also includes eliminating older or unused software and configuring the remaining software in a secure manner thus resulting in minimal chances of server compromise.
Patching of server software:Always keep an eye for vendor approved patches and deploy them diligently. Patching and updating software is an extremely important step if you do not want attackers taking advantage of loopholes. Software developers and creators release updates that fix issues that were found in its previous versions, add new features or functionalities, delete functionalities etc. However, its very important to check what are updates have been made in the latest release and be swift to patch your system if the update is for fixing security issues.
Logging and Monitoring:The audit logs become the most crucial piece of evidence when your server starts behaving abnormally. As much as logging is important, it also equally important to monitor the logs periodically for any traces of wrongdoings. Due to available logs and neglected monitoring, data breach incidents have taken place that has led to reputational and monetary losses. Maintaining logs helps in keeping track of the actions. Example: User login time and date. Monitoring these logs for any unusual behaviors helps in suspecting and preventing any future incidents from taking place. Example: Multiple login retries.
HTTP Headers: Http Headers are integral part of request and response. It’s important to configure the rights headers, with the right values. Certain headers can disclose sensitive information, while others can lead to critical attacks. Below are few HTTP Headers that needs to be configured – Server - This Server header advertises the software being run on the server but the right security practice is to remove this or change this value to any incorrect information so that it doesn’t disclose your server details. Its always better to hide server info such as name and version from the headers. X-Frame-Options - This header tells the browser whether a site can be framed or not. To prevent a browser from framing your site you can set its value to DENY or SAMEORIGIN thus defending against clickjacking attack. Strict-Transport-Security – This header strengthens your implementation of TLS by getting the User Agent to enforce the use of HTTPS. This ensures that the application gets redirected to HTTPS, every time its gets called out in HTTP. X-Content-Type-Options – This header prevents a browser from trying to change the MIME type of the content type and forces it to stick with the declared content-type. The only valid value for this header is ‘nosniff’. Content-Security-Policy - This header protects your site from XSS attacks. It allows whitelisting sources of approved content; and thus prevents the browser from loading malicious ones.
More Knowledge: Web Server Attacks
SQL injection vulnerabilities remain a headache for Web app developers, security professionals and database administrators . In a recent survey of 800 IT security pros and developers by the Ponemon Institute and app security firm Security Innovation, 42% of developers and 46% of security practitioners admitted SQL injection at the application layer had been exploited in a recent breach against their organizations. The responses made SQL injection the most-cited attack vector on a list that included cross-site scripting and privilege escalation.
SQL injection attacks exploit nonvalidated user input to issue commands through an application to a back-end database. Finding the holes through which these attacks can be launched isn't all that difficult. One of the first things attackers like to do is to see how an application handles errors. Another way to search for vulnerable sites is through Google hacking. Google hacking uses search engines to find security gaps by leveraging the mountains of data they index. An attacker might start by entering a search query called a Google Dork designed to locate results that could offer a clue about sites that might be vulnerable. There are a number of Google Dorks that can be useful for a hacker searching for a SQL injection vulnerability to exploit.
Session Fixation is an attack that permits an attacker to hijack a valid user session. The attack explores a limitation in the way the web application manages the session ID, more specifically the vulnerable web application. When authenticating a user, it doesn't assign a new session ID, making it possible to use an existent session ID.
The attack consists of obtaining a valid session ID (e.g. by connecting to the application), inducing a user to authenticate himself with that session ID, and then hijacking the user-validated session by the knowledge of the used session ID. The attacker has to provide a valid session ID and try to make the victim's browser use it.
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