Ethical Hacking: What Are the Steps of Penetration Testing?
There's no similar thing as a fully secure system. Penetration testing, shortened as pentesting, is a technical testing procedure that involves scanning, testing, and fortifying all the structure blocks of an information system against implicit cyber attacks. pots use bug bounty spots to fix security excrescencies in their systems. Cybersecurity experts specializing in penetration testing uncover and expose organizational vulnerabilities fairly with bug bounty systems. So how does this process work?

1. Tolerant Information Meeting and Tracking
Passive information meeting is a fashion used to stock information about a aim without directly interacting along it. This can be done by collecting information that's intimately available on the internet, similar as social media biographies, website content, and news papers. Passive information gathering can also be used to collect information from open- source intelligence( OSINT) tools, similar as Shodan and Censys.

Here are some of the techniques that can be used for passive information gathering:

  1. Search Engine Queries: This is one of the most basic techniques for passive information gathering. By searching for the target's name, domain name, or other keywords, you can often find a wealth of information about them.
  2. Social Media: Social media platforms are a goldmine of information for passive information gathering. You can find out a lot about a target by looking at their social media profiles, including their friends, interests, and activities.
  3. Website Content: The content of a target's website can also provide valuable information. By reading through the website, you can learn about their products or services, their employees, and their financial situation.
  4. News Articles: News articles can be a great source of information about a target. By reading through recent news articles, you can learn about any recent changes to the target's business, as well as any security incidents that they may have been involved in.
  5. OSINT Tools: There are a number of OSINT tools that can be used to collect information about a target. These tools can be used to scan the internet for information about the target, including their IP addresses, hostnames, and open ports.

2. Active Information Deposit and Scanning
Active Information Deposit and Scanning
Active information collection and scanning is a technique used to collect information about a target by directly interacting with it. This can be done by sending packets to the target's network, or by interacting with the target's website or application. Active information collection can be used to collect information that is not publicly available, such as the target's IP addresses, open ports, and running services.

Here are some of the techniques that can be used for active information collection:

  1. Port Scanning: Port scanning is a technique used to identify open ports on a target's network. This information can be used to determine what services are running on the target's system.
  2. Banner Grabbing: Banner grabbing is a technique used to retrieve the banner text from a service running on a target's network. The banner text can often contain information about the service's version number, which can be used to identify vulnerabilities.
  3. OS Fingerprinting: OS fingerprinting is a technique used to identify the operating system running on a target's system. This information can be used to identify vulnerabilities that are specific to the target's operating system.
  4. Web Application Scanning: Web application scanning is a technique used to identify vulnerabilities in a web application. This can be done by sending specially crafted requests to the web application and analyzing the responses.

Active information collection is a important tool that can be used to gather a lot of information about a target. still, it's important to use it precisely and immorally. By following these tips, you can use active information collection to gather information about a target without waking them to your presence or breaking any laws.

3. Analyzing and Testing Step
Analyzing and testing is the step in the cyber security process where the security analyst evaluates the information that has been gathered to identify potential vulnerabilities. This information can be gathered through a variety of sources, including passive information gathering, active information collection, and vulnerability scanning.

The security analyst will use a variety of tools and techniques to analyze the information, including:

  1. Vulnerability Scanning: Vulnerability scanning tools can be used to identify known vulnerabilities in a target's systems.
  2. Penetration Testing: Penetration testing is a simulated attack on a target's systems to identify vulnerabilities that could be exploited by an attacker.
  3. Code Review: Code review is the process of manually reviewing source code to identify potential security vulnerabilities.
  4. Threat Modeling: Threat modeling is the process of identifying potential threats to a target's systems and developing mitigations to reduce the risk of those threats.

The analyzing and testing step is an essential part of the cyber security process. By carefully analyzing the information that has been gathered, the security analyst can identify potential vulnerabilities and develop mitigations to reduce the risk of those vulnerabilities being exploited.

Here are some tips for conducting an effective analyzing and testing step:

  1. Use a Variety Of Tools and Techniques: Don't rely on just one tool or technique to identify vulnerabilities. Use a variety of tools and techniques to get a comprehensive view of the target's security posture.
  2. Be Thorough: Don't just look for the obvious vulnerabilities. Be thorough in your analysis and testing to identify even the most subtle vulnerabilities.
  3. Be Creative: Don't be afraid to think outside the box when testing vulnerabilities. Look for ways to exploit vulnerabilities that the attacker might not have thought of.
  4. Document Your Findings: Document your findings so that you can track your progress and share your findings with others.
  5. Take Action: Once you have identified a vulnerability, take action to mitigate the risk. Don't just leave the vulnerability unaddressed.

4. Manipulation and Exploitation Attempt
Manipulation and Exploitation Attempt

Manipulation involves influencing or controlling someone or something, often through deceptive or dishonest means, to achieve a specific outcome. In the context of information security and technology, manipulation can refer to tactics used by cybercriminals to deceive individuals or systems, such as:

  1. Social Engineering: This involves manipulating people into divulging confidential information or performing actions that compromise security. Examples include phishing, pretexting, and baiting.
  2. Data Manipulation: Maliciously altering or falsifying data to mislead or disrupt systems or processes.
  3. Algorithm Manipulation: Manipulating algorithms or search engine results to influence perception, promote certain content, or deceive users.

Exploitation Attempt:

An exploitation attempt refers to an effort to take advantage of a vulnerability or weakness in a system, software, or individual for unauthorized access, control, or gain. In cybersecurity, an exploitation attempt typically involves identifying and exploiting vulnerabilities to gain unauthorized access or compromise a system:

  1. Software Exploitation: Exploiting vulnerabilities in software applications to gain unauthorized access or control over systems.
  2. Zero-Day Exploits: Targeting undisclosed vulnerabilities that have not yet been patched by software developers.
  3. Network Exploitation: Attempting to breach a network's defenses to gain access to sensitive data or systems.
  4. Social Exploitation: Exploiting human behavior, trust, or psychological factors to manipulate individuals into revealing sensitive information or taking specific actions.

It's important to note that both manipulation and exploitation attempts are often carried out with malicious intent and can have serious consequences, ranging from financial loss to data breaches and compromised security. Protecting against these threats requires a combination of awareness, education, vigilant practices, and robust security measures.

5. Privilege Elevation Attempt
Privilege escalation attacks can be very dangerous because they can allow attackers to do a lot of damage. It is important to take steps to protect your systems from privilege escalation attacks. Here are some tips:

  1. Keep Your Software Up To Date: Software updates often include security patches that can help to protect you from privilege escalation attacks.
  2. Use Strong Passwords and Two-Factor Authentication: This will help to protect your accounts from being hacked.
  3. Be Suspicious Of Emails and Text Messages From Unknown Senders: Don't click on links in emails or text messages unless you are sure that they are from a legitimate source.
  4. Don't Give Out Your Personal Information: Over The Phone Or online unless you are sure that the person you are talking to is legitimate.
  5. Use a Firewall and Antivirus Software: This will help to protect your systems from malware and other threats.
  6. Educate Your Employees About Privilege Escalation Attacks: Your employees should be aware of the risks of privilege escalation attacks and how to protect themselves.

6. Reporting and Presenting
Reporting and Presenting
Here are some tips for reporting and presenting:

  1. Know Your Audience: The first step to giving a good report or presentation is to know your audience. Who are you talking to? What do they need to know? What are their interests? Once you know your audience, you can tailor your report or presentation to their needs.
  2. Be Clear and Concise: When you are reporting or presenting, be clear and concise. Don't use jargon or technical terms that your audience may not understand. Get to the point quickly and make sure your message is easy to understand.
  3. Use Visuals: Visuals can be a great way to break up your report or presentation and make it more engaging. Use charts, graphs, and images to illustrate your points and make your report or presentation more visually appealing.
  4. Practice: The more you practice your report or presentation, the more confident you will be when you deliver it. Practice in front of a mirror or with a friend or family member. This will help you to smooth out any rough spots and make sure your delivery is smooth and confident.
  5. Be Prepared For Questions: It is always a good idea to be prepared for questions when you are reporting or presenting. Think about the questions that your audience might ask and have answers ready. This will help you to come across as confident and knowledgeable.
  6. Relax And Enjoy It: Presenting can be nerve-wracking, but it is important to relax and enjoy it. If you are nervous, it will show in your delivery. Take a deep breath, smile, and remember that you are the expert on the topic you are presenting.

Why Is the Penetration Test Important?
A penetration test, also known as a pen test, is a simulated cyberattack that's conducted on a computer system or network to assess its security. The thing of a penetration test is to identify and exploit vulnerabilities in the system or network so that they can be fixed before they're exploited by real bushwhackers.

Penetration tests are important because they can help to identify vulnerabilities in a system or network that would otherwise be unknown. By identifying these vulnerabilities, organizations can take steps to fix them and improve their security posture.

Penetration tests can also help to identify and test the effectiveness of an organization's security controls. For example, if an organization has a firewall in place, a penetration test can be used to see if the firewall is configured correctly and if it can effectively block attacks.

Penetration tests can also help to educate an organization's staff about security risks. By seeing how a real attacker might exploit a vulnerability, staff members can learn how to better protect the system or network from attack.

Overall, penetration tests are an important tool for organizations of all sizes to assess their security posture and identify and fix vulnerabilities. By conducting regular penetration tests, organizations can improve their security and reduce their risk of being attacked.