A penetration testing tool is a tool used for testing the security of a Web application. These tools perform a security check by executing an attack on the Web application being tested without enforcing payload on the Web application. That is, they do not delete the database or any of the components used by the application.
The performance of an application is measured based on the number of false negatives and false positives. Almost all penetration testing tools employ a technique called fuzz testing, fault injection, or fuzzing. Fuzzing refers to a testing technique that is highly automated, which covers several boundary cases by means of invalid data as the application input to make sure that exploitable vulnerabilities are absent.
Conventional penetration testing tools can be categorized into several forms based on the type of testing they perform. The different categories are as follows:
- Host-Based Tools: Host-based testing tools usually run a chain of tests on the local operating system to discover its technical weaknesses and strengths. They can also verify other usual configuration mistakes as well as omissions in the OS.
- Network-Based Tools: Network-based testing tools are designed to check the security configuration of an OS from distant locations across a network. These testing tools might assess the patch state of the software for network service, check into any unwanted network services and weak network services that are enabled, and so on.
- Application Testing Proxies: This tool allows the security tester to concentrate more on the graphical user interface side while testing a Web service or Web application.
- Application Scanning Tools: This tool is the latest entry in the category of penetration testing tools. These tools help to perform penetration testing scans of software applications used for general purposes.
Penetration testing tools provide a quick and simple way to identify specific security vulnerabilities. They are extremely intuitive, and can even be operated by novice users.