Ethical Hacking

11. Identifying Exposed Vulnerabilities

Identifying Vulnerabilities

Successful Hack?

All organisations hope that hackers fail. However rising on-line crime statistics and the increase in the number security breaches show this is not the case. Hackers gain access by identifying vulnerabilities and exploiting them. Ethical hackers do this and report the results to their employers.

A successful hack achieved through the implementation of the pen-tester's plan will reveal vulnerabilities or weaknesses in defence which have to be conveyed to the organisation in such a way that enables positive action to remove the vulnerabilities.

The aim is to have a clear trail between reconnaissance, planning, implementation and recommendations. These recommendations may arise from weaknesses identified:-

  • In working procedures and practices leaving them vulnerable to Social Engineering hacks and the installation of malware. Also includes weak authentication procedures and poor passwords.
  • Out of date software leaving them vulnerable to exploits and payloads created to take advantage of loopholes.
  • Incorrectly configured hardware and software leaving open ports or vulnerable services.
  • Poor physical security allowing unauthorised access or observation of password entry and other security measures.

From the results of the reconnaissance in the preceding exercise

  1. Identify in the report overall areas of weakness leaving the target vulnerable to a successful hack.
  2. Identify the specific vulnerabilities that are going to be used in the progress of the actual attack. For example if a specific payload or exploit is to be used, detail the nature of the vulnerability exploited in the system.
  3. Think about actions that could be taken to close down the vulnerabilities identified above.
Vulnerable access
You should be able to:-
  • Identify at least 3 areas where vulnerabilities can be identified.
  • From a successful hack, identify the vulnerabilities in the system that made it possible.
  • Identify actions that could be taken to close down the vulnerabilities identified.

If you don't feel confident in meeting any of these performance criteria, ask your teacher or re-read the information again.

Cyber Security

  • Security Fundamentals
  • Data Security
  • Digital Forensics
  • Ethical Hacking
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