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2009 International Conference on Software Testing Verification and Validation (2009)
Denver, Colorado
Apr. 1, 2009 to Apr. 4, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-7695-3601-9
pp: 346-355
Penetration testing is widely used to help ensure the security of web applications. It discovers vulnerabilities by simulating attacks from malicious users on a target application. Identifying the input vectors of a web application and checking the results of an attack are important parts of penetration testing, as they indicate where an attack could be introduced and whether an attempted attack was successful. Current techniques for identifying input vectors and checking attack results are typically ad-hoc and incomplete, which can cause parts of an application to be untested and leave vulnerabilities undiscovered. In this paper, we propose a new approach to penetration testing that addresses these limitations by leveraging two recently-developed analysis techniques. The first is used to identify a web application's possible input vectors, and the second is used to automatically check whether an attack resulted in an injection. To empirically evaluate our approach, we compare it against a state-of-the-art, alternative technique. Our results show that our approach performs a more thorough penetration testing and leads to the discovery of more vulnerabilities.

W. G. Halfond, A. Orso and S. R. Choudhary, "Penetration Testing with Improved Input Vector Identification," 2009 International Conference on Software Testing Verification and Validation(ICST), Denver, Colorado, 2009, pp. 346-355.
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