Web Penetration Testing Checklist

Aditya Chauhan
3 min readFeb 14, 2023

Web penetration testing, or web pen testing, is a crucial process for ensuring the security of web applications. It involves assessing the vulnerabilities and weaknesses of a web application, and exploiting them to simulate real-world attacks. A web pen testing checklist can help testers to organize their testing and ensure that all potential vulnerabilities are covered. In this blog, we will provide a comprehensive web pen testing checklist to help testers conduct effective web pen testing.

1.Enumeration

Enumeration involves gathering as much information as possible about the web application and its environment. This can include the following:

  • Domain name and IP address
  • Web server type and version
  • Application server type and version
  • Web application framework
  • Operating system and software versions
  • Directory and file structure
  • User and group information

2. Authentication and Authorization

Authentication and authorization are critical components of web application security. Penetration testers should check the following:

  • Login pages for weak or predictable passwords, password strength requirements, password brute-forcing, password spraying, etc.
  • Session management for session hijacking, session fixation, and session timeouts
  • Authorization for access control, privilege escalation, and boundary checks

3. Input Validation and Output Encoding

Input validation and output encoding can help to prevent many common web application vulnerabilities, such as SQL injection, cross-site scripting, and command injection. Pen testers should check for:

  • Client-side and server-side validation
  • SQL injection vulnerabilities
  • Cross-site scripting vulnerabilities
  • Command injection vulnerabilities

4. Error Handling and Logging

Error handling and logging can provide valuable information about the web application and its environment. Pen testers should check for:

  • Error messages that reveal sensitive information
  • Error messages that can be used to bypass authentication or authorization
  • Error messages that reveal the internal structure of the web application
  • Access logs that contain sensitive information, such as passwords or session tokens

5. Encryption

Encryption is essential for protecting sensitive data in transit and at rest. Pen testers should check for:

  • Use of HTTPS or other secure protocols
  • SSL/TLS certificate validity
  • Use of weak encryption algorithms or protocols
  • Storage of sensitive data in plaintext or weakly encrypted formats

6. Third-Party Libraries and Components

Third-party libraries and components can introduce vulnerabilities to a web application. Pen testers should check for:

  • Outdated or vulnerable libraries or components
  • Known vulnerabilities in third-party libraries or components
  • Misconfigured or insecurely configured third-party libraries or components

7. Denial of Service

Denial of Service (DoS) attacks can be used to overwhelm a web application, causing it to crash or become unresponsive. Pen testers should check for:

  • DoS vulnerabilities, such as buffer overflow, format string vulnerabilities, or race conditions
  • DoS defenses, such as rate limiting, throttling, or load balancing

8. Business Logic

Business logic vulnerabilities can allow attackers to perform actions that are not intended by the web application. Pen testers should check for:

  • Flaws in business logic, such as bypassing validation, authorization, or authentication checks
  • Abusing the functionality of the web application to perform unauthorized actions

Conclusion

Web penetration testing is an essential process for ensuring the security of web applications. A web pen testing checklist can help testers to organize their testing and ensure that all potential vulnerabilities are covered. The checklist provided in this blog is not exhaustive, and testers should always consider the specific context of the web application being tested. By following a comprehensive checklist and staying up-to-date with the latest security trends and threats, pen testers can help to ensure that web applications are secure and protected from potential attacks.

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Aditya Chauhan

ISO 27001 LA | VAPT | Synack Red Teamer | HTB Dante | HTB RASTA | HTB Cybernetics | HTB Offshore | HTB APTLabs | Cyber Security Analyst | Security Researcher