Exploitation techniques are methods used by pentesters to take advantage of vulnerabilities in a target system or network to gain unauthorized access or escalate privileges. These techniques are an essential part of pentesting, as they allow pentesters to test the defenses of a target and identify areas for improvement.
There are many different exploitation techniques that can be used in a pentest, including:
- Buffer overflows: A buffer overflow occurs when a program attempts to store more data in a buffer (a temporary storage area in memory) than it is capable of holding. This can result in the overwriting of adjacent memory, which can be exploited to execute arbitrary code and gain unauthorized access to the system.
- SQL injection: SQL injection involves injecting malicious code into a database through an SQL query. This can be used to extract sensitive data, modify database records, or gain unauthorized access to the system.
- Cross-site scripting (XSS): XSS involves injecting malicious code into a web application through user input, such as a form field or URL parameter. This can be used to steal sensitive information, such as login credentials, or execute arbitrary code on the client side.
- Command injection: Command injection involves injecting malicious commands into a system through user input or a vulnerable application. This can be used to execute arbitrary code and gain unauthorized access to the system.
- Privilege escalation: Privilege escalation involves exploiting vulnerabilities or misconfigurations in a system to gain higher privileges than intended. This can allow an attacker to access sensitive data or perform actions that are normally restricted.
Pentesters should be well-versed in a variety of exploitation techniques and be able to use them effectively in a pentest. It’s also important for pentesters to stay up-to-date on the latest exploitation techniques and vulnerabilities, as these can change rapidly.