Benchmarks and Evaluation based on:
→ Range of Attack vectors
→ Protocol Support (HTTP/SSL/TLS)
→ Proxy Support
→ Authentication and Session Management
→ Crawling Capability
→ Metadata functionality
→ Command and Control
→ User Interface
→ Assessment based on
- OWASP Top 10
- WASC Threat Classification
- SANS Top 20
→ Reporting Customization
→ Reporting Format (XML/HTML/PDF)
As a part of recent benchmarking I went over for application scanners at Defencely, the most amazing set of DAST scanners were what originally popped my mind to look over and turn attention into them to seek information if they were as capable of manual vulnerability assessments without risks involved. I found results which were both focused at zero false positive affinity and towards time saving goals of each of these scanners tested. Either way, DAST scanners have been my lunch for today and had to be analyzed to let others know what are some of the most amazing open-source and commercial scanners available. When I began my research, I had to overlook at Burp Suite, since it was the only tool-set with Burp Extenders I would require for any manual vulnerability assessment and penetration testing of web applications. This wasn’t however focused at Burp Suite Professional, and I had to gave our readers some of the points of other scanners which are available at their disposal with costing (for commercial frameworks or scanners). I would list them at ascending order for DAST scanning capabilities they have attracted corporate giants across the globe (but with many limitations, adverse effects and with much cost!):
1. IBM AppScan. (Commercial)
- scans DAST (Dynamic Application Security Testing)
- scans SAST (Static Application Security Testing)
- Wide range of attack vectors on WAVSEP benchmark review (http://code.google.com/p/wavsep/)
- Good score over other web application scanners
- Less false positives
- Download and other references: 01-ibm.com/software/awdtools/appscan/
- 2015 current version: v9.0 (332MB or 513MB on Windows Platform)
- Audit features can be compared to WebInspect, W3af and Acunetix
- Costs $20,300 USD equivalent Rs 877,200 INR
2. WebInspect. |Commercial|
3. IronWASP (Opensource)
- Requires .NET SP2.
- Source code available.
- Less false positives.
- Editable core scripts on RUBY or Python
- Download at: http://ironwasp.org/download.html
- Stable, flexible, and without cost (free)
- Runs on Windows, .EXE support and 5.1 MB zip compressed
4. Acunetix WVS |Commercial|
- Boasts high performance on Windows, with great security audit features.
- Comparable to IBM’s AppScan with less rating on attack vectors and false +’ves
- UI is friendly, great speeds and URL discovery capability.
- Detection Accuracy is high, which makes it a good scanner overall.
- Comparable with Syhunt Mini (Sandcat Mini) and ZAP.
- Download at: acunetix.com/vulnerability-scanner
- For Windows, good fuzzing inbuilt.
- Costs for the Consultant Edition is $7955 USD equivalent Rs 4,37,445 INR.
5. Syhunt Dynamic (Commercial)
- Previously renowned as Sandcat Pro.
- Syhunt Hybrid performs hybrid DAST and SAST.
- Great UI (User Interface)
- Designed for Windows Platform.
- Order at: syhunt.com/?n=Syhunt.Dynamic
- Good user reviews.
- Wide source code analysis and then vulnerability detection.
- Costs high as $8000 USD equivalent Rs 4,39,920 per year.
6. BurpSuite Professional (Commercial)
- Great crawling features with equivalent scanner
- Available for Windows as well as for Linux
- Good Proxy Usage.
- Large database of attack vectors.
- Get at: portswigger.net/burp/
- Costs $299 USD per year. Rs 16,442 INR equivalent.
7. Core Impact (Commercial)
- Good profiling.
- Wide range of attack vectors
- Extreme levels of Pivoting across different multi-layer infrastructure.
- Good report generation capability.
- IPS/IDS evasions, and detection
- Accurate Detection rate with very little or no false positives.
- Costs around $30,000 USD equivalent Rs 1649700 INR
- Available only on contact with the Core Impact Team.
8. Jsky (Commercial)
- Good URI Indexing.
- Great User Interface.
- Comparable to opensource security audit tools
- Is a assessment tool and also a scanner
- Costs on per PC basis
- Contact site: nosec.org/en/evaluate/
9. WebApp360 (Commercial)
- OWASP Top 10 through vulnerability scans.
- Boasts good performance speeds with low false positives.
- Stripped XSS, Reflected XSS and other wide range of Web attack vectors.
- Heuristic Based scans with proper detection rate.
- Proper Web application Sanitizing detection and reporting.
- Latest Joomla, WordPress plugins and web application services based repository.
- Checks Jquery, and java- based scripts and DOM objects.
- Get Webapp360 with a evaluation demo: ncircle.com/index.php?s=products_webapp360
10. Nstalker (Commercial)
- Source code assessment
- Wide attack vectors.
- OWASP top 10 detection with flawless efficiency.
- Very low or no false positives.
- 3rd party package vulnerability detection[s].
- Great reporting and USER REVIEWS.
- Get at: nstalker.com/buy/
- Costs $3,199 USD equivalent to Rs 175913 INR.
11. WA3F (Opensource)
- Independent opensource web application scanner.
- Good OWASP top 10 detections.
- Less speed.
- Less reporting features.
- Medium False positives.
- Great site crawler.
- Considered good among opensource web application audit and security framework.
12. Arachni (Opensource)
- Command Line Utility as well as GUI
- Ruby Library based scanner framework.
- Highly automated.
- Great web application scanning and tuning features.
- Good web application attack vector records.
- Free and opensource framework.
13. Gamja (Opensource)
- Good for common web application attack vectors
- Command line as well as GUI.
- Comparable but not as powerful as other opensource specific attack tools like SQLmap, XSSer, and Vega
- Free and opensource.
14. Vega (Opensource)
- Vega is good for attack vectors.
- Robust but high detection rates.
- False positives quite often detected.
- Opensource and free
15. Nikto (Opensource)
- High false positives.
- Good records of web application attack vectors.
- Opensource and free.
- Included in Linux OS Back|Track
16. Unicorn Scan |Opensource|
- Great number of payloads
- Good records of web attack vectors
- High detecting rate.
- Well documented.
- Operational for initial web application tests
17. WebSecurify (Commercial)
- Wide range of attack vectors.
- Uses XULrunner to perform configurations
- Opensource (previously) as well as commercial.
- Easy to use features.
- Not complex.
18. SkipFish (Opensource)
- Command line utility.
- Wide range of attack vectors.
- Good support and well documeted.
- Less dependencies on a linux based system.
- Opensource and free to use for all.
- Overall good performance.
19. Grendel-Scan (Opensource)
- Wide range of scan criteria
- Well documented.
- Command line Utility.
- Uses Nikto configurations as intake.
- Opensource and free to the community.
Scanners Specifically for an attack vector:
- SQLMAP for SQL Injections
- XSSer for DOM based and persistent XSS.
- Joomscan for Joomla based vulnerability.
- Wpscan for wordpress vulnerabilities.
- Dirbuster for directory crawler.
- Whatweb for web application detections.
The list wouldn’t end if I had to specify each toolset used for a vulnerability assessment and penetration testing. With that said, DAST scanners are sometimes highly discouraged due to their adverse effects on the web-server and the application themselves. Running these DAST scanner with a segregated set-up clone of the original application is a recommendation; however most amateurs use these scanners without having done any risk assessments. Defencely provides a firm grips over DAST automated scanners with it’s manual vulnerability assessments which have zero chances of any false positives (which are a higher amount in aforementioned DAST scanners).
Now, one would question, if DAST scanners have already been in the market and their are available alternatives for the web application vulnerability assessments along with reporting merged with these shipped DAST application scanners, why would an enterprise problem need Defencely Manual Application Penetration Testing and Vulnerability Assessment solutions? Their is a 100 page answer to this, and I would break out some key-points for those who do not have previous technical back-ground and would require a very straight-forward answer!
DAST Scanners for profit?
Or a miss-out on the most important vulnerability not detected?
DAST scanners are notorious for generating random big logs into the web-server but this isn’t that important. While on a vulnerability assessment, the goals for any penetration tester would be to detect the application bugs that count. Since, DAST scanners are per-programmed as per the limited knowledge of how an application “might” work and does not detect the entire work-flow of the application, the logical part misses out or is never counted as a part of the test by default. There are some scanners such as HP WebInspect and other dynamic scanners which focuses on these particular areas, but they as well are limited to external application logic. Apart from what are the cons, I would break down the entire con-list and focus on these below mentioned key-points:
- DAST Scanners does not locate the specific line of code to which the vulnerability is affected against.
- The quality of the code could not be determined even if it was a white-box assessment.
- Because of previous lack of code quality assurance, chances are other vulnerabilities are missed.
- Apart from code level application vulnerabilities, logical bug detection isn’t a part by default.
- The blind test cases are seldom logically imprinted to the payload and hence fails at bypasses.
- Threat Modeling and prior risk assessment is never done which might harm the production-set.
- Scanners generate a lot of traffic, leave behind massive logs with more false positives.
After all of the entire DAST scanning operations, the web application penetration tester is left with false positives and the company with false reports which were originally meant for an initial assessment which had to be investigated by security experts. This again is more consultancy cost and if not, the application is again highly vulnerable since most of the bugs were left alone at their own places which a scanner never pin-pointed and hence developers never patched. This would come up as a risk where the entire goal of the engagement is void because either way the application gets compromised and customer data stolen or out. This shouldn’t likely be the case. Now if the 3rd party company tries to invest in a re-pentest, again additionally a cost revenue has to be re-initiated. This overall is a non-productive task which is repetitive and yet not profitable or has a serious time consumption.
Vulnerability Assessment Solutions
Smart testing that works! for clients, for penetration testers, and the developers.
Methodological vulnerability assessments and penetration tests are never created from heaven nor they free-fall from the sky. Security experts who do what they do and those penetration testers who have been always best proven doing professionally target oriented penetration tests hence will agree on manually preparing test cases after scoping the web applications for a specific goal in an engagement. The client requirement is a the clear goal for the penetration testers, satisfying the developers needs is yet another goal which has to be met and hence a requirement analysis is to be fore-taken by the Red Team (a group of penetration testers). After going through massive enumeration, application scoping, realizing every possible targets doing background and the present status of the application, an entire risk assessment involved with the project is drawn out and presented to the applicable distribution list (those who would be executive, lead and representative).
After the scope creep, subscription prices and a formal meet-up for setting the goals of the penetration testing engagements to follow has been finalized; the testers would now be given with a set of priority list along with the authorization for the manual conduct of engagements. After having taking up the engagement contracts and operationally testing the application for specific loophole which might be a risk to the company in production or development (both cases or either of the two), a progress chart has to be prepared of how much the testing is covered and what assets are saved, and why certain business risks have now been mitigated as per the commitments to the goals of the entire project/engagement. This is highly effective determined, tactical and customized penetration testing designed to deliver the customers of what they deserve.
Defencely has a clean set of effective smart solutions which will work for your business value addition and not only does it project custom penetration testing services which meet up to your requirements but is a proven methodological manual vulnerability testing with man-power working behind the curtains (the entire Red Teaming!). This in turn benefits business with clear understanding workflow and helps developers fix the potential threats which if left open could possibly compromise the entire application as well as escalate to system compromise, web-server compromise and data exfilteration from database back-ends. The Defencely Security solution therefore provides its clients with total 360 degree security and keeps it under the protective umbrella.
About the Author
Shritam Bhowmick is an application penetration tester professionally equipped with traditional as well as professional application penetration test experience adding value to Defencely Inc. Red Team and currently holds Technical Expertise at application threat reporting and coordination for Defencely Inc.’s global clients. At his belt of accomplishments, he has experience in identifying critical application vulnerabilities and add value to Defencely Inc. with his research work. The R&D sector towards application security is growing green at Defencely and is taken care by him. Professionally, he have had experiences with several other companies working on critical application penetration test engagement, leading the Red Team and also holds experience training curious students at his leisure time. The application security guy!
Out of professional expertise at Application Security, Shritam Bhowmick utilizes his knowledge for constructive Red Teaming Penetration Test Engagements for Indian Top Notch Clients and has a proven record for his excellence in the field of IT Security. A Google search with his name would suffice the eye. Shritam Bhowmick has been delivering numerous research papers which are mostly application security centric and loves to go beyond in the details. This approach has taken him into innovating stuff rather than re-inventing the wheel for others to harness old security concepts. In his spare time, which is barely a little; he blogs, brain-storms on web security concepts and prefers to stay away from the normal living. Apart from his professional living, he finds bliss in reading books, playing chess, philanthropy, and basket-ball for the sweat. He wildly loves watching horror movies for the thrill.