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COMP1629 Penetration Testing Assignment Sample

Coursework Submission Requirements

• An electronic copy of your work for this coursework must be fully uploaded on the Deadline Date of Friday 13/03/2020 using the link on the coursework Moodle page for COMP1629.

• For this coursework you must submit a single PDF document. In general, any text in the document must not be an image (i.e. must not be scanned) and would normally be generated from other documents (e.g. MS Office using "Save As .. PDF"). An exception to this is hand written mathematical notation, but when scanning do ensure the file size is not excessive.

• There are limits on the file size (see the relevant course Moodle page).

• Make sure that any files you upload are virus-free for assignment help and not protected by a password or corrupted otherwise they will be treated as null submissions.

• Your work will not be printed in colour. Please ensure that any pages with colour are acceptable when printed in Black and White.

• You must NOT submit a paper copy of this coursework.

• All coursework must be submitted as above. Under no circumstances can they be accepted by academic staff

The University website has details of the current Coursework Regulations, including details of penalties for late submission, procedures for Extenuating Circumstances, and penalties for Assessment Offences. See http://www2.gre.ac.uk/current-students/regs

Coursework specification

Task 1 [15 marks]

Following a web application penetration testing engagement you have identified the following issues. You must complete the issue justification/explanation/CVEs/Vulnerability type as required and write appropriate recommendations for addressing each of the issues identified. You will need to conduct research on the nature and implications of these issues in order to complete the justification/explanation and recommendations. You must use the following issue templates provided. Assume that under “Results” section an actual screen capture or other evidence exists obtained during the assessment exists.

Task 2 [20 marks]

During a build review one of your colleagues acquired the following evidence but did not have time to write up the actual issues (there are two issues). Your task is to write up these issues using the template from Task 1. Hint: These are low rated issues.

Task 3 (65 marks)

As part of this engagement your lecturer will provide you with access to a group of systems (VM based or actual systems or both). You will have, depending on the scenario details, to assess the security of these systems within a given timeframe. There might be certain rules that you might need to follow during testing and these will be provided with the scenario details. An example of this might be” Perform a non-intrusive test” or “Keep bandwidth within or below a certain threshold”. Failing to adhere to any of these scenario rules will result to an automatic mark penalty, details of which will be provided with the scenario.
During the assessment period you will have to run various tools (as required), verify your results and gather all required evidence as needed (e.g. take screen captures, save the output of any tools used etc) so that later you can complete your report (a technical report with your findings using the template that you lecturer will provide). Automated tools such as Nessus, Quallys etc. should not be used for the reporting of the vulnerabilities.


Task 1,2 & 3: A completed professional technical report based on the template that will be provided by your lecturer.

Assessment criteria

Task 1 [15 Marks]
Task 2 [20 Marks]
Task 3 [65 Marks]


Marks may be deducted for:

Lack of technical depth, poor presentation, lack of tables, screen captures that do not provide adequate information or with relevant sections not highlighted as needed, screenshots that are not cropped appropriately, poor tool options, poor tool output explanation, poor recommendation, lack of professionalism in the answers provided, poor spelling/grammar, lack of integration/poor flow, poor references/appendices.

Marks will be awarded for:

Completeness, good technical content and depth and good report writing (including good use of English). Please make sure that you proofread your work. An appropriate professional report structure and presentation is expected.


1. Overview

The overview of the project describes the internet security of a banking organization carried out by a private firm. Several security testing tools will be used in the study. The test of penetration helps the organization in improving its cyber-security. Technically, these tests may not provide complete solutions of security for the organization but can reduce the probability of malicious attacks to systems.

1.1. Introduction

Cybersecurity penetration testing characteristically classifies the physical systems along with a particular goal that examines the available evidence and reveals the hidden information. For the situation of the XXX Bank network frameworks, the infiltration target is a grey box entrance test since it recognizes the change of the white box and black box. This is in the embodiment that the testing crew operations are from the comprehension of a trespasser who is outside to the business. Subsequently, the infiltration analyzer starts by distinguishing the organization map, the security apparatuses executed, the web confronting sites and administrations, among different angles.

1.2. Key Findings and Recommendations

Although, the source of such data is a lot significant for the analyzers to comprehend in the event that it began from metro bases or if the assailant is a disappointed laborer or ex-specialist who has the association's security data; for discovery testing. This is fundamental for XXX’s organization framework since it helps the testing team to examine the specific wellspring of spillage of the security data framework that is utilized by programmers. The white box testing is worried about interior applications that are predetermined for use by workers as it were (Yaqoob et al. 2017). For this situation, the testing bunch is furnished with all accessible objective data, counting the source code of the web utilization of the XXX Bank. Henceforth, examining and observation take a brief timeframe. Notwithstanding, the interface between the two testing boxes; the highly contrasting, is that since the XXX’s network framework is an inner application and given the security data of the framework is as it was controlled by the representatives. Accordingly, on the off chance that one representative is disappointed or terminated, the person in question may release the data to programmers. Subsequently, it is simple for them to pinpoint the shortcomings existing in the organization framework.

This establishes the grey box testing, which is fundamentally expected for testing site applications and is refined by assessing the laborer records to recognize how the assailant got access to the organization framework. The piece of the high contrast testing procedures will accordingly help the entrance analyzers effectively understand the objective framework, hence potentially uncover more generous susceptibilities; with not as a lot of exertion and cost. Since it syndicates the commitment of creators of the organization framework and the analyzers, consequently the item greatness of the framework is moderately overhauled (Furdek and Natalino 2020). Again, since less time is taken in acknowledgment of the specific wellspring of data for programmers, the originator, subsequently, has a ton of available energy to fix the imperfections.

1.3. Summary of Findings

In this experiment, several vulnerabilities that have been discovered through the finding of the study is Apache (Debian), X-XSS-Protection header, X-Content-Type-Options header, Uncommon header 'link' found with multiple values, Apache/2.4.10 appears to be outdated, No CGI Directories found, WordPress Akismet plugins. The followed findings are the coordination of the organization site that are broken down by design testing, to guarantee that the past security dangers or imperfections of the framework are checked on. In this way, the reasons for the earlier disappointment are recognized, and hence the experiments are proposed for discovering different discontents prior to striking creation. This guarantees the improved security of the information put away in that specific organization framework (Alzahrani 2018). Moreover, relapse testing of the product helps in guaranteeing that the recently presented highlights of the framework don't influence the security use of the framework, which may spill data to programmers.

2. 2. Task 1

2.1. CVE

Apache Debian: A vulnerability has been found in Apache HTTP Server 2.4.10 At the point when HTTP/2 was empowered for an HTTP: host or H2Upgrade was empowered for h2 on an HTTPS server (Seyyar, Çatak and Gül 2018). Therefore, having an Upgrade demand from http/1.1 to http/2 on XXX’s system server, has prompted a misconfiguration and cause a crash. The websites that never empowered the h2 convention or that solitary empowered it for HTTPS: and didn't set "H2Upgrade on" are not impacted by this problem.
X-XSS-Protection header: A missing X-XSS-Protection header has been found, which implies that XXX's website could be in danger of a Cross-webpage Scripting (XSS) assault. This issue is accounted for as extra data as it was. There is no immediate effect emerging from this issue.

X-Content-Type-Options header: A missing Content-Type header has been discovered, which implies that XXX's site could be in danger of a MIME-sniffing assault. The X-Content-Type-Options header is utilized to ensure against MIME sniffing risks (Petkova 2019). These risks have happened when the site permits clients to transfer the substance to a site anyway the client camouflages a specific document type as something different.

Apache/2.4.10 appears to be outdated: There are certain risks that have been found regarding Apache/2.4.10. The Apache HTTP Server 2.2.22 and its mod_headers module permits distant aggressors to sidestep unsetdirectives of RequestHeader by implementing a header in the trailer bit of sent information with partially moving code. A race condition in the mod_status module in the Apache HTTP Server 2.4.10 permits the remote aggressors to cause a rejection of administration, which is basically a stack-based support flood through a developed request that triggers inappropriate scoreboard taking care of inside the status_handler work in modules/generators/mod_status.c and the lua_ap_scoreboard_site in modules/lua/lua_request.c.
The Apache HTTP Server 2.4.10 and its mod_cgid module don't have a break component, and so it permits the distant attackers to cause a refusal of administration in XXX’s website by soliciting the CGI contents that don't peruse from its stdin document descriptor.

No CGI Directories found: A break in XXX's site results from feeble CGI contents can happen in an assortment of ways. This might be through accessing the source code of the content and discovering weaknesses contained in it, or by survey data showing registry structure, usernames, as well as passwords (Hamza et al. 2019). By controlling these contents, a programmer can adjust or see touchy information, or even shut down a worker so clients can't utilize the site. As a rule, the reason for poor CGI content can be followed back to the individual who composed the program. Notwithstanding, by following great coding rehearses, one can keep away from such issues and will actually want to utilize CGI programs without trading off the security of the site.
WordPress Akismet plugins: From XXX's website frameworks, a basic XSS vulnerability has been found, which has been influencing Akismet, a mainstream WordPress module conveyed by a great many introduces. This weakness influences everybody utilizing Akismet form 3.1.4 in plain view" alternative empowered which is the situation as a matter of course on any new WordPress establishment (Currie and Walker 2019). The issue can be found in the manner Akismet manages hyperlinks present inside the site's remarks, which could permit an unauthenticated assailant with great information on WordPress internals to embed vindictive contents in the Comment part of the organization board. Doing this could prompt various abuse situations utilizing XSS

3. 3. Task 2

3.1. Issues

After analyzing the server of the organization various network vulnerabilities have been detected by the NTA Monitor Ltd. One of the essential vulnerabilities is found that is the Apache/2.4.10. In this type of vulnerability, various forms of malicious attacks and issues are associated with the network. Some of the issues are the SQL injection, Apache Ranger Security Bypass, and Authentication Bypass. SQL injection is the most common attacking factor that uses malicious SQL code to manipulate the database of the organization (Batista et al. 2019). Here, the database may include sensitive data information and customer details. If the SQL injection is successfully implemented on the server of the organization, then unauthorized access can be launched on the server of the organization by the external attackers. This type of attack may cause both financial and reputation loss for the organization. SQL language can execute commands, data retrieval, and updates on the organization server. There are three types of SQL injection that are In-band SQLi, Out-of-band SQLi, and Inferential SQLi. The same channel is used to launch the attack in the In-band SQLi and this is the simple and efficient type of attack.

While the security bypass is another major issue for the Apache Ranger. Security measures can be avoided by the Apache Ranger. However, a widely employed framework can be enabled by the Apache Ranger to monitor and access the network of the organization. On the other hand, user authentication can also be manipulated by the security threat.

Another malicious technique that is found on the company server is Clickjacking (Possemato et al. 2018). Using this type of attack, an attacker can hack the credentials of the customers who access the company website. The same interface is presented in front of the users. After clicking on the link, all the credentials of the customer are hacked by the hacker. In this type of attack, the X-Frame option does not return to the server. X-XSS-Protection is not defined in the header which is the feature of the modern web browser. This feature mainly protects websites from unprotected links and cyber threats.

Another issue that was raised during the security testing is the missing X-Content-Type-Option. This vulnerability can cause the MIME-sniffing from the declared content. On the other hand, some uncommon header links are found on the company server. This can create a disturbance on the network by initiating the attacking factors. However, the CGI directories are not found on the company server which is essential for configuring the webserver and files.

4. 4. Non-Intrusive Test

4.1. Tool Used

Nmap: Nmap, short for Network Mapper, is one kind of open source and free instrument for vulnerability checking and network revelation. Organization executives use Nmap to distinguish what gadgets are running on their frameworks, the finding has that are accessible and the administrations they offer, discovering open ports, and recognizing security chances. In this project, NMAP has been utilized to checking the vulnerability of the server (Rohrmann, Ercolani and Patton 2017). Nmap also can be utilized to screen single has just as huge administrations that include a large number of gadgets and large numbers of subnets. Despite the fact that Nmap has established during the long term and is incredibly adjustable, on an essential level it's a port-check instrument, collecting data by transfer crude parcels to framework ports. If the ports are open, then the security attack can be triggered on the server of the organization. It tunes in for reactions and decides if ports are open, shut, or sifted here and thereby, for instance, a firewall. Port checking can be identified by the number of the open ports.

Nmap scan


Nikto is an open-source scanner where users can utilize it with any websites like Litespeed, OHS, HIS, Nginx, Apache, and others. It is an ideal internal mechanism for filtering websites (Kim 2017). It is fit for filtering for more than 6700 things to identify misconfiguration, unsafe records, and so forth and a portion of the highlights incorporate;

User can store the reports in CSV, XML and HTML formats

• It upholds Secure Socket Layer
• Sweep numerous ports on the sites
• Find subdomain
• Apache client identification
• Verifies for obsolete segments
• Identify stopping locales
There are numerous approaches to utilize Nikto.
• Utilizing binary on UNIX-based distro or Windows.
• Utilizing Kali Linux
• Docker compartment
• Nikto scan

-Nikto v2.1.6

Nikto v2.1.6

+ Target IP:
+ Target Hostname:
+ Target Port: 80
+ Start Time: 2021-04-10 06:27:25 (GMT-4)
+ Server: Apache/2.4.10 (Debian)
+ The anti-clickjacking X-Frame-Options header is not present.
+ The X-XSS-Protection header is not defined. This header can hint to the user agent to protect against some forms of XSS
+ The X-Content-Type-Options header is not set. This could allow the user agent to render the content of the site in a different fashion to the MIME type
+ Root page / redirects to: http://dc-2/
+ Uncommon header 'link' found, with multiple values: (<http://dc-2/index.php/wp-json/>; rel="https://api.w.org/",<http://dc-2/>; rel=shortlink,)
+ No CGI Directories found (use '-C all' to force check all possible dirs)
+ Apache/2.4.10 appears to be outdated (current is at least Apache/2.4.37). Apache 2.2.34 is the EOL for the 2.x branch.
+ Web Server returns a valid response with junk HTTP methods, this may cause false positives.
+ OSVDB-3233: /icons/README: Apache default file found.
+ /wp-content/plugins/akismet/readme.txt: The WordPress Akismet plugin 'Tested up to' version usually matches the WordPress version
+ /wp-links-opml.php: This WordPress script reveals the installed version.
+ OSVDB-3092: /license.txt: License file found may identify site software.
+ Cookie wordpress_test_cookie created without the httponly flag
+ /wp-login.php: Wordpress login found
+ 7915 requests: 0 error(s) and 12 item(s) reported on remote host
+ End Time: 2021-04-10 06:28:54 (GMT-4) (89 seconds)
+ 1 host(s) tested
5. 5. Conclusion

In this report, a security testing has been illustrated on the server of the XXX bank by the NTA Monitor Ltd. After analyzing the server of the organization, various security vulnerabilities have been found that can damage the entire network of the organization. There are various types of vulnerabilities found that are Apache Ranger, anti-clickjacking, X-XSS-Protection, uncommon vulnerabilities, and word press. The organization needs to take some preventive actions in order to mitigate all the security threats on the server.


Alzahrani, M.E., 2018, March. Auditing Albaha University network security using in-house developed penetration tool. In Journal of Physics: Conference Series (Vol. 978, No. 1, p. 012093). IOP Publishing.
Batista, L.O., de Silva, G.A., Araújo, V.S., Araújo, V.J.S., Rezende, T.S., Guimarães, A.J. and Souza, P.V.D.C., 2019. Fuzzy neural networks to create an expert system for detecting attacks by sql injection. arXiv preprint arXiv:1901.02868.

Currie, J. and Walker, R., 2019. What do economists have to say about the Clean Air Act 50 years after the establishment of the Environmental Protection Agency?. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 33(4), pp.3-26.

Furdek, M. and Natalino, C., 2020, March. Machine learning for optical network security management. In 2020 Optical Fiber Communications Conference and Exhibition (OFC) (pp. 1-3). IEEE.

Hamza, M., Atique-ur-Rehman, M., Shafqat, H. and Khalid, S.B., 2019, January. CGI script and MJPG video streamer based surveillance robot using Raspberry Pi. In 2019 16th International Bhurban Conference on Applied Sciences and Technology (IBCAST) (pp. 947-951). IEEE.

Kim, B.H., 2017. Web Server Information Gathering and Analysis using Nikto. JOURNAL OF ADVANCED INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY AND CONVERGENCE, 7(1), pp.11-17.

Petkova, L., 2019. HTTP SECURITY HEADERS. Knowledge International Journal, 30(3), pp.701-706.
Possemato, A., Lanzi, A., Chung, S.P.H., Lee, W. and Fratantonio, Y., 2018, October. Clickshield: Are you hiding something? Towards eradicating clickjacking on Android. In Proceedings of the 2018 ACM SIGSAC Conference on Computer and Communications Security (pp. 1120-1136).

Rohrmann, R.R., Ercolani, V.J. and Patton, M.W., 2017, July. Large scale port scanning through tor using parallel Nmap scans to scan large portions of the IPv4 range. In 2017 IEEE International Conference on Intelligence and Security Informatics (ISI) (pp. 185-187). IEEE.

Seyyar, M.B., Çatak, F.Ö. and Gül, E., 2018. Detection of attack-targeted scans from the Apache HTTP Server access logs. Applied computing and informatics, 14(1), pp.28-36.

Yaqoob, I., Hussain, S.A., Mamoon, S., Naseer, N., Akram, J. and ur Rehman, A., 2017. Penetration testing and vulnerability assessment. Journal of Network Communications and Emerging Technologies (JNCET) www. jncet.

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