Web applications are emerging and enhancing every day. Their capability is increasing thanks to new web technologies and their integration with other services. The need for security analysts is also increasing. It has been told by experts that the security industry is having a shortage of skilled professionals and this shortage is expected to increase.
When we talk about testing something we talk about going through many instances of a single event which has only slight variation in each instance. Manually going through all of it can be time-consuming hence automation is required. As per the rule of thumb in computer science: repetitive tasks must be automated, so geeks have developed a lot of tools respecting the rule. These tools involve simple scripts as well as all in one testing suites.
Most Useful Tools for Web Application Penetration Testers
1. OWASP ZAP
The Zed Attack Proxy (ZAP) is an easy to use integrated penetration testing tool for finding vulnerabilities in web applications. It is designed to be used by people with a wide range of security experience and as such is ideal for developers and functional testers who are new to penetration testing.
ZAP provides automated scanners as well as a set of tools that allow you to find security vulnerabilities manually.
2. Burp Suite
Burp Suite is a Java-based Web Penetration Testing framework. It has become an industry standard suite of tools used by information security professionals. Burp Suite helps you identify vulnerabilities and verify attack vectors that are affecting web applications. Because of its popularity and breadth as well as the depth of features, we have created this useful page as a collection of Burp Suite knowledge and information.
In its simplest form, Burp Suite can be classified as an Interception Proxy. While browsing their target application, a penetration tester can configure their internet browser to route traffic through the Burp Suite proxy server. Burp Suite then acts as a (sort of) Man In The Middle by capturing and analyzing each request to and from the target web application so that they can be analyzed. Penetration testers can pause, manipulate and replay individual HTTP requests in order to analyze potential parameters or injection points. Injection points can be specified for manual as well as automated fuzzing attacks to discover potentially unintended application behaviors, crashes and error messages.
Arachni is a feature-full, modular, high-performance Ruby framework aimed towards helping penetration testers and administrators evaluate the security of web applications.
Arachni is smart, it trains itself by learning from the HTTP responses it receives during the audit process.
Unlike other scanners, Arachni takes into account the dynamic nature of web applications and can detect changes caused while traveling through the paths of a web application’s cyclomatic complexity.
This way attack/input vectors that would otherwise be undetectable by non-humans are seamlessly handled by Arachni. Arachni yields great performance due to its asynchronous HTTP model.
Vega is an open source platform to test the security of web applications. Vega can help you find and validate SQL Injections, Cross-Site Scripting (XSS), inadvertently disclosed sensitive information and other vulnerabilities. It is written in Java, GUI based and runs on Linux, OS X, and Windows.
Acunetix tests for SQL Injection, XSS, XXE, SSRF, Host Header Injection and over 4500 other web vulnerabilities. It has the most advanced scanning techniques generating the least false positives possible. Inbuilt vulnerability management helps you prioritize and manage vulnerability resolution.
You can use the web-based scanner or the executable.
That’s the list of tools, what else would you like to know about web app penetration test? Share your thoughts in the comments.