Category Archives: Penetration Testing

Session Fixation and XSS Working Hand-in-Hand

Often a combination of security flaws come together to produce a unique attack vector. Individually the flaws may not amount to much but together they make an interesting combo. This is invariably more interesting from a pentesting point of view because you know that a tool couldn’t positively find it. Session fixation is one such scenario because usually a few requirements must be met for the attack to work. I thought I’d write up a recent session fixation flaw because the act of forcing the cookie onto the victim involved a little twist on overwriting session cookies that made a reflective XSS attack last a lot longer while also laughing in the face of httponly. Continue reading

Three Cheers for DirBuster

Not exactly wizard stuff today, more like back to basics perhaps – but sometimes they’re worth revisiting. I’ve had some good DirBuster finds three tests in a row so I thought I’d write them up as a case study. It’s a reminder that there’s some very low-hanging fruit out there that may not always get picked. I’ve also put together a walk-through for many of DirBuster’s features and I aim to show that, as with many tools, a few minutes of manual work can produce a faster set of more meaningful results. Continue reading

A Tricky Case of XSS

On a recent test I came across a reflective XSS condition within a file upload page. When the extension was deemed invalid by the application, it was returned unsanitised within the error message. Not only did this turn out to be an exercise in exploiting reflective XSS in multipart/form-data but there were some pretty hefty restrictions on allowed characters too. Worthy of a post I thought. Continue reading

DOM XSS by Misusing Bootstrap

First of all, let me make it clear that this article is not about XSS in Bootstrap itself (the very popular libraries originally from Twitter to fancify your website), it’s about XSS as a result of using Bootstrap in an insecure fashion. It’s based on a real penetration test – the site in question wasn’t vulnerable but it was immediately clear how things could have gone wrong. I thought it would be an interesting XSS article, being both DOM-based and making use of a big-name library like Bootstrap. Continue reading

Defence In Depth Penetration Testing

Never before has it been more important to think the unthinkable: what if an attack succeeds? (If you need some stats and arguments to persuade the Board of this, try this article of mine, of which this is a summary.) The solution to mitigate the threat of a successful attack is already very familiar to us all: defence in depth. But to what extent are those inner defences tested? What about a “second-level” penetration test, which would start from the assumption that a first-level defence has been bypassed? Continue reading