Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Vulnerabilities / Threats

Hacking Yourself Pays Off In Tighter Security

Whether you build your own penetration test team or hire a third party, pen testing is crucial for security.

The disclosure earlier this year of attacks originating in China and targeting Google and other large corporations proves that today's cybercriminals are sophisticated and out for financial gain, not bragging rights. These targeted, multipronged intrusions draw on a range of techniques and tools, including exploitable vulnerabilities, inside information, and attackers' sheer persistence. Could your systems stand up to these sophisticated threats? For many enterprises, the best way to find out is to attack yourself first, or hire somebody to do so. A good penetration test may spot security vulnerabilities before attackers do.

The issue is that our standard security product lineup focuses on the Internet as an attack vector, but that's not the only way in. A determined attacker can break in by gaining the cooperation of an insider or even through physical access to your buildings. To really test your defenses, you need to attempt penetration via all of these methods.

In the past, penetration test customers were typically limited to institutions, such as banks and government agencies, that had both large amounts of sensitive data and the resources to fund specialized tests. These days, there's a greater awareness of and interest in penetration testing. Some companies use internal assets, others bring in an outsider to rattle IT's cages.

"The two main drivers behind penetration testing achieving more mainstream recognition are the PCI Data Security Standards and boardroom attention," says Nick Selby, managing director of Trident Risk Management, a security consulting firm that conducts assessments. Other compliance standards, such as HIPAA, also carry pen test requirements. Penetration tests conducted by third parties are the norm, but there is a do-it-yourself option thanks to automated pen testing products from vendors such as Core Security Technologies, Immunity, and Rapid7. Open source tools are also available for companies that want to build their own pen test kits.

The Human Factor

A true penetration test involves far more than a scan and a report. Steve Stasiukonis, VP of Secure Network Technologies and a pen tester for more than a decade, says scannable network components are only one of three elements that must be evaluated.

"People, process, and technology are all part of a thorough test," Stasiukonis says. "Of the three, people are the weakest link, and a good pen tester will perform reconnaissance that determines what's needed to get past your people and into your systems."

We all know that employees with weak passwords are weak links. But there's much more to social engineering, in which the attacker gains a target's trust, which can then be exploited. Social engineering attacks are often used to gain physical access to a building or sensitive location. For instance, Stasiukonis and his colleagues will disguise themselves as service technicians--complete with uniforms and logo-emblazoned van--to gain physical entry into a client's business.

InformationWeek: May 24, 2010 Issue To read the rest of the article, download a free PDF of InformationWeek magazine
(registration required)

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Commentary
Cyberattacks Are Tailored to Employees ... Why Isn't Security Training?
Tim Sadler, CEO and co-founder of Tessian,  6/17/2021
Edge-DRsplash-10-edge-articles
7 Powerful Cybersecurity Skills the Energy Sector Needs Most
Pam Baker, Contributing Writer,  6/22/2021
News
Microsoft Disrupts Large-Scale BEC Campaign Across Web Services
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  6/15/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
The State of Cybersecurity Incident Response
In this report learn how enterprises are building their incident response teams and processes, how they research potential compromises, how they respond to new breaches, and what tools and processes they use to remediate problems and improve their cyber defenses for the future.
Flash Poll
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
Recent breaches of third-party apps are driving many organizations to think harder about the security of their off-the-shelf software as they continue to move left in secure software development practices.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2021-32716
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-24
Shopware is an open source eCommerce platform. In versions prior to 6.4.1.1 the admin api has exposed some internal hidden fields when an association has been loaded with a to many reference. Users are recommend to update to version 6.4.1.1. You can get the update to 6.4.1.1 regularly via the Auto-U...
CVE-2021-32717
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-24
Shopware is an open source eCommerce platform. In versions prior to 6.4.1.1 private files publicly accessible with Cloud Storage providers when the hashed URL is known. Users are recommend to first change their configuration to set the correct visibility according to the documentation. The visibilit...
CVE-2021-32712
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-24
Shopware is an open source eCommerce platform. Versions prior to 5.6.10 are vulnerable to system information leakage in error handling. Users are recommend to update to version 5.6.10. You can get the update to 5.6.10 regularly via the Auto-Updater or directly via the download overview.
CVE-2021-32713
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-24
Shopware is an open source eCommerce platform. Versions prior to 5.6.10 suffer from an authenticated stored XSS in administration vulnerability. Users are recommend to update to the version 5.6.10. You can get the update to 5.6.10 regularly via the Auto-Updater or directly via the download overview.
CVE-2021-32710
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-24
Shopware is an open source eCommerce platform. Potential session hijacking of store customers in versions below 6.3.5.2. We recommend to update to the current version 6.3.5.2. You can get the update to 6.3.5.2 regularly via the Auto-Updater or directly via the download overview. For older versions o...