The Ultimate Pentesting Checklist: Everything You Need to Know About Conducting a Pentest

The Ultimate Pentesting Checklist: Everything You Need to Know About Conducting a Pentest

What is pentesting? The term “penetration testing”, also known as software penetration testing, refers to the practice of examining a computer system, network, or online application to look for security flaws that an attacker might use.

The goal of pentesting is to identify and address these vulnerabilities before an attacker does.

We will discuss the basics of pentesting, including the relevance of pentesting, the steps involved in conducting a pentest, and some popular tools for pentesting.

Basics of Pentesting

Before we discuss the steps involved in conducting a pentest, let’s take a look at some of the basics of pentesting.

It’s critical to pentest because it allows businesses to discover and repair potential flaws before they can be utilized by a hacker.

It also allows organizations to assess their security measures and the outcomes of those controls.

Black box, white box, and gray box are the three categories of pentests.

Black box pen tests are conducted with little or no knowledge of the target system, while white box pentests involve having complete knowledge of the target system.

In a nutshell, to summarize (and simplify things), a gray box pentest is one that’s halfway between the extremes of black and white box testing.

Now that we’ve discussed some of the basics of Web App Testing pentests, let’s take a look at a helpful checklist that can be used during the pentesting process.

Astra’s Checklist For Conducting A Pentest

Astra’s Pentest Checklist tool is a great way to get started with the pentesting process.

It includes all of the steps outlined in this article and more, so you can use it as a starting point for your own pentest! You can find Astra’s Pentest-checklist here:

1. The tool provides an easy way to follow each step of the pentesting process, as well as links to tutorials on how best to execute each step.

The first step in conducting any penetration test is reconnaissance, which involves gathering information about the target system or network before attempting exploitation.

This can be done through passive means such as searching public records databases (e.g., Whois). Active techniques include sending packets directly to hosts on your target network in order to gather information about them.

2. Once you have gathered enough data from both passive and active reconnaissance methods, it is time for scanning! During this phase of pentesting, one should look for vulnerabilities such as open ports that may allow attackers to enter into a system without authentication or authorization requirements being met first – these are known as backdoor exploits.

Enumeration occurs when an attacker uses the knowledge gained during previous phases (reconnaissance/scanning) in order to identify possible attack vectors against their targets; they might do so by finding out what services run on those machines with specific names associated with them (e.g., FTP port 21).

3. If any of these steps were unsuccessful thus far then most likely your targets are better protected than expected – however if they aren’t then it’s time to move onto exploitation!

Exploitation involves using the information gathered during previous phases of pentesting as well as any vulnerabilities found along the way; this could mean anything from gaining access into a system through weak passwords or by creating custom malware that would be executed when visiting particular websites hosted on them.

4. Once you have successfully gained access, now comes post-exploitation where an attacker will try their best efforts at maintaining persistence within their target network and extracting data such as user credentials for future use later on down the road.

This can take many forms depending upon what type of attack was used earlier (e.g., phishing attacks often require some sort of social engineering skills).

5. The final step in conducting any pentest is reporting! This phase involves presenting your findings to management so they can make informed decisions about how best to protect their organization going forward.

It’s important that these reports are carefully crafted with the intent of providing actionable feedback rather than just highlighting problems; otherwise, there may not be enough time or resources spent fixing them which could lead down a slippery slope where more issues develop as a result.

Other Popular Tools For Pentesting

1. Metasploit Framework is one of the most popular tools, it is an open-source penetration testing platform that allows you to exploit vulnerabilities on systems.

It also includes a library of exploits and modules that you can use during your pentest.

2. Wireshark is a packet analyzer tool that lets you capture, analyze, and save data packets sent between computers or routers over the internet so they can be analyzed later for vulnerabilities such as SQL injections, XSS attacks etcetera.

3. Nmap (network mapper) is a popular network scanner that allows you to scan IP addresses and ports on your network in order to find vulnerabilities.

4. Netcat (NC) is useful for scanning systems for open ports.

5. KALI Linux is a Debian-based Linux distribution that’s geared toward digital forensics and security analysis.

Kali comes preinstalled with many hacking tools, making it the perfect operating system for pentesters!

6. PuTTY SSH Secure Shell (SSH) connections, John the Ripper password cracking tool, OWASP ZAP, Aircrack-ng, and Kismet finally have some alternative pentesting tools available at ease.


So there you have it: The Ultimate Pentesting Checklist! We have discussed the basics of pentesting, the checklist for conducting a pentest, and some popular tools that can be used during the pentesting process.

As always, we recommend that you test these tools out in your own environment to get a better understanding of how they work. Stay safe!


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