In this article, I will give an overview of web application security testing, key tools and terminology used in website security testing along with its testing methodology.
1. What is Security Testing?
Security Testing is the process of testing and evaluating the security of an application or information system. The purpose of security testing is to identify and evaluate security vulnerabilities in an application or system, ensuring that information is well protected and not accessed by unauthorized parties.
1.1. Testing techniques and methods
Security testing includes many different testing techniques and methods, including:
- Authentication testing: check the authenticity of the login and user authentication process, check the security of the access authorization.
- Penetration Testing: testing the security of the application by attacking the system like a hacker to find security holes.
- Denial of Service Testing: test the security of the system by attacking and flooding the system bandwidth.
- Malware testing: check the security of the application by looking for malicious code or malware.
- Code Review: check the source code of the application to detect security holes that may appear in the source code.
- Depending on the scope and complexity of the application or system, security testing can be performed at different levels to ensure security and against external attacks.
1.2. Security test target
The goal of web application security testing is to ensure that the application has no security holes that can be hacked or compromised. Specific goals of web application security testing may include:
1. Identify security holes: Test web application security to detect security holes that can be exploited to attack and penetrate the system.
2. Vulnerability Severity Determination: To assess the severity of detected security vulnerabilities and decide to prioritize them.
3. Improve the security of the application: By identifying and fixing security holes, web application security testing improves the security quality of the application.
4. Ensure compliance with security regulations: Web application security testing also ensures compliance with security regulations, standards and procedures set forth by government and security regulatory organizations.
5. Ensure data integrity: Web application security testing helps to ensure the integrity of data stored and transmitted through the application.
2. Some key terms used in Web security testing
- Exploit: a technique to exploit security vulnerabilities to attack the system, such as executing malicious code, executing unauthorized commands, or accessing sensitive information.
- Penetration testing: a method of testing security by trying to attack the system to detect security holes.
- Security audit: check system security assessment, identify security holes and make recommendations for improvement.
- Security assessment: the process of comprehensive testing of factors related to system security, including checking the design, implementation, configuration and implementation of security components.
- Threat modeling: analyzing potential threats to systems and applications, helping to guide necessary security activities.
- Malware: malicious software, designed to attack systems or steal information
3. Commonly used security testing tools
There are many security testing tools used, depending on the purpose and requirements of the project, choose the right tool. Following are some common tools used in security testing:
1. Acunetix is an automated web security testing tool used to detect security vulnerabilities in web applications. It is capable of detecting most common security vulnerabilities such as SQL Injection, XSS, LFI, RFI, and many more. Acunetix provides users with detailed reports of discovered security vulnerabilities along with solutions to fix them. This tool is widely used by security professionals, web developers and information security organizations.
2. Nmap: Is a network scanning tool, which helps to find open ports on the system and detect hosts in the network. Nmap also provides detailed information about the services running on those ports.
3. Metasploit: Is a widely used intrusion testing platform to detect and exploit security vulnerabilities. It provides tools and resources for developing, testing, and deploying attacks.
4. Wireshark: Is a network packet analysis tool, helps detect network attacks, inspect network traffic and analyze network protocols.
5. Burp Suite: Is a set of web application security testing tools, allowing to detect security vulnerabilities on web applications, including XSS attacks, SQL injection, and buffer overflow vulnerabilities.
6. OpenVAS: Is an open source scanning platform, used to detect security holes in systems and applications.
7. Aircrack-ng: Is a set of tools for testing Wi-Fi network security, helping to detect security holes on Wi-Fi networks and recover access passwords.
4. Security testing method
There are many security testing methods used to ensure that the system is operating safely and reliably. Here are some common security testing methods:
- Source code inspection: This method checks the source code of the system or application for security holes, security flaws, and other weaknesses. Popular tools for testing source code include SonarQube, Veracode, and Fortify.
- Penetration Testing: This method includes testing for security holes by simulating external attacks to assess the system's ability to resist these attacks. Popular tools include Metasploit and Nmap.
- Authentication check: This method ensures that the system only allows access to authorized users and does not allow unauthorized access. Popular tools for authentication include Burp Suite and OWASP ZAP.
- Check management: This method ensures that the system management is correctly configured and secure. Popular tools for management testing include OpenVAS and Nessus.
- Malware testing: This method includes checking malicious code for malware and spyware. Popular tools to check for malware include Malwarebytes and VirusTotal.
- Risk assessment check: This method evaluates security risks to ensure that they are treated effectively. Popular tools for risk assessment testing include OpenFAIR and FAIR.
5. Web Security Testing Method
Web security testing is the process of evaluating, identifying, and addressing security vulnerabilities in web applications. This is an important part of ensuring that web applications are used securely and reliably.
Here are some common web security testing methods:
- Manual Testing: Manual testing is the process of testing web security using manual tools and techniques to look for security holes. Manual testing includes testing and identifying security vulnerabilities using tools such as Burp Suite, OWASP ZAP, and other techniques.
- Automated Testing: Automated testing involves using tools and software to automatically detect security vulnerabilities in web applications. Automated testing tools include W3af, Nessus, Acunetix, and OpenVAS.
- Penetration Testing: Penetration testing involves trying to penetrate a system to look for security holes. Penetration Testing professionals use techniques like SQL Injection, Cross-site Scripting (XSS), and others to try to penetrate the system.
- Static testing: Static testing is a method of testing web security by analyzing the source code of a web application to look for security holes.
- Dynamic Testing: Dynamic testing involves testing web security by running web applications and using tools to look for security holes during runtime.