5 Most Popular Penetration Testing Tools In 2019

Penetration testing (also named as Pen Testing) is a type of Security Testing used to test the insecure areas of the app or system. A penetration test is a broad way of testing the company’s cyber security vulnerabilities. If a hacker were going to target you:

A) Would they be successful? and
B) How would they perform it

The list of the 5 Best Security or Penetration Testing tools used by Software testers are as follows:

1- Wireshark

Wireshark
Wireshark

This tool is an award-winning network protocol analyzer. This open-source tool is available for different systems including FreeBSD, Solaris, Linux, and Windows. With Wireshark software tool, you can rapidly capture & interpret network packets. The details that are retrieved by the use of this tool can be checked through the TTY mode TShark Utility or a GUI.

2- Netsparker

Netsparker
Netsparker

Netsparker Security Scanner is a well-admired tool for penetration testing. The software can track everything from cross-site scripting to SQL injection. Developers can use this tool on websites, web apps, and web services. It is obtainable as an on-premises & SAAS solution.

3- Network Mapper (also called as “NMAP”)

Network Mapper
Network Mapper

This popular tool is used primarily for discovering weaknesses or holes in the network environment of a corporation or a business. Network Mapper can be used at any phase of the Penetration Test procedure, and even has built-in scripting features accessible to help automate any test process. The traits comprise OS, services, host, packet filters/firewalls, etc. It is open- sourced and works in various environments.

4- Metasploit

Metasploit

Metasploit

It is the most used pen-testing framework (automation) in the world. Metasploit is useful for checking security and pinpointing errors, setting up a defense. It also helps expert teams verify & manage security assessments, improves awareness, and empowers protector to stay a step ahead in the game. It has the GUI clickable interface works on Apple Mac OS X, Linux, and Microsoft Windows.

5- BeEF

Browser Exploitation Framework BeEF
Browser Exploitation Framework BeEF

BeEF stands for Browser Exploitation Framework. This is a penetration testing tool which is best suited to check a web browser. It uses GitHub to locate issues. It is also an open-source and is adapted to combat web-borne attacks & could benefit mobile clients. It has a Graphical User interface, works on Apple Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows and Linux.

Nevertheless, penetration test tools dig deeper and examine your environment in a way that a vulnerability scan merely doesn’t.

Assess our exceptional security testing services and combat the vulnerabilities before potential attackers do.

Performance Testing using Blazemeter for NYRR

Performance testing generally checks how the system performs and behaves. Performance testing examines reliability, scalability, responsiveness, stability, resource usage and speed of your software and infrastructure. Different kinds of performance tests give you different information. Before performance testing, it’s significant to determine your system’s business objectives, so you can understand if your system behaves perfectly or not according to the user’s needs.

After carrying out performance testing, you can examine different KPIs, such as errors per second, the number of virtual users, hits per second, latency, response time, and bytes per second (throughput), as well as the connection between them. With the help of such reports, you can recognize bugs, flaws, errors, and bottlenecks, and decide what needs to be done.
When should you use Performance Testing? The moment when you want to test your app and website performances plus networks, servers, databases, etc.

Performance Testing for NYRR (New York Road Runners)

New York Road Runners
New York Road Runners

ImpactQA did performance testing for New York Road Runner (NYRR), a marathon website using Blazemeter. Here is how we carried out the testing:

  • PROBLEM REPORT

We wanted to stress test a .NET application and were not sure if we wanted to test using VSTS or JMeter. VSTS has its special advantages while JMeter could easily be configured in BlazeMeter. The .NET application was to be tested for a load of 10K users and the challenge was to test it remotely. The web server was hosted in the US and the tests were being conducted from a remote location in India.

To simulate a real-time load environment we needed the client machine (load generating machine) in the US (the servers were already hosted in the US). We needed 10 machines of 8 GB RAM and 3.0 GHz processor). Acquiring such machines in a short time frame in the US and that too only 2 weeks was not only an expensive affair but also time-consuming and not worth the price.

That’s where BlazeMeter bring into play. With the help of BlazeMeter, we could easily simulate the load using the BlazeMeter as the client machine. The beauty of BlazeMeter is that it allows you to hit a server as if you are based out of that country – the screenshot below.

Blazemeter Features
Blazemeter Features

There is also yet another user-friendly feature of BlazeMeter that allowed the user to set the parameters by dragging the slider. See below.

JMeter Engines
JMeter Engines

We selected 290 threads (number of concurrent users) to load test. The duration of Load Test was 1 hour..

We also want to share our experience of scripting a .NET application using JMeter where we were faced with a unique problem while scripting – the problem with ViewState. Although this had nothing to do with us using BlazeMeter we thought it would be a good idea to put it in this blog.
The problem is if we do not correlate the ViewState variable the JMeter script may run 1st time but in subsequent run the script will create problems. The reason for this is that in the first run, the application may accept your recorded ViewState value but when you run the script next time, it will fail as it will no longer accept the previous view state value.

  • SOLUTION

Correlate the ViewState in the script if they exist in the application. Execute the following steps:

1- Find the ViewState parameter

Blazemeter Performance Testing Step 1
Blazemeter Performance Testing Step 1

2- Now see the HTTP Request Name (in our case its login)

Blazemeter Performance Testing Step 2
Blazemeter Performance Testing Step 2

3- Search for the ViewState (Search in View Result tree) in the response of the login that is just above the login in which you will find the ViewState parameter.

Blazemeter Performance Testing Step 3
Blazemeter Performance Testing Step 3

4- Extract it by using “Regular Expression Extractor” in the recorded “Login” sampler

Blazemeter Performance Testing Step 4
Blazemeter Performance Testing Step 4

5- Now use the “Reference Name” (in our case it is ViewState_Login) as a variable name.

Blazemeter Performance Testing Step 5
Blazemeter Performance Testing Step 5

Conclusion:

BlazeMeter is a great platform and delivers complete shift left testing. It has been trusted by the big giants and SMEs to deliver shift-left continuous testing at scale. It also saves time, improves coverage, accuracy and reduces complexity.

Through BlazeMeter, we have successfully run performance testing for our client NYRR and fixed all loopholes and glitches.

Why Security Testing is Important for E-Learning Companies?

E-Learning or learning online is the fastest-moving trends in high education. These days E-learning or electronic learning system is an organized and compulsory tool, used in every single Education institute. The advanced system increases the quality of education services, support processes and the productivity of educational institutions. Electronic learning is performing learning activities by electronic means using the Internet. The assets of the E-learning system are online assessments, learning resources, email, forum, and notice; which allow a user to communicate from any place at any time.

Like other web-based method and process, an electronic learning system is also exposed to computer privacy and security threats. Gathering and storage of personal data happen several times in the web-based system, without concern of users. Hence, addressing security concerns and privacy issues are significant and all vital steps should be taken to ensure the security of the vital info of E-learning system. Some of the most common threats of this type of system are a virus, network penetration, eavesdropping, theft, non-availability of server, and unauthorized modification of data. Generally, the user of such systems is anxious to lose the confidentiality and privacy of the sensitive data provided by them (i.e. users). Besides the failure of the accessibility of the system makes the user disappointed.

Learning Management System
Learning Management System

In the electronic learning system, users will feel more convinced and secure to use the system when there will be privacy, security and trust mechanism. The people who are involved in maintaining the E-learning system has also dealt with the security issues in their everyday work. They could also give in-depth knowledge about the security challenges and issues involved in the E-learning system. In addition, the electronic learning system is changing from the old monolithic system to modern e-learning ecosystem or cloud-based architecture. Undoubtedly, this shifting facilitates the learning process and giving a lot of new prospects to the students, teachers, as well as in administrative work.

Why You Need a Secure LMS (Learning management system)?

Data security in the corporate world as well as the e-learning system is vital, and LMSs are packed full of vital information about business procedures and strategies. Destructions or theft of this information would most likely spell disaster for any business. In education, a breach of the LMS would mean loss of secret data and almost cheating. Such an event would make the examination in question void and null. In the end, security measures would have to be revised & students would require retaking the test. At the most terrible situation, cheating would weaken the legitimacy of the educational institution in question; which could have far-reaching result and consequences, both for the faculty and students. A breach of the Learning management system could result in negligence of personal information, damaged reputation, emotional distress, and loss of client confidence, despite of the context in which it occurred. This, in turn, leads to loss of competitive benefit and severe financial damage. In one word, it would be a failure and disaster. That is why security is the most important characteristics of an electronic learning system and software, especially one that is open source. A lot of consideration has to be paid to the security aspect of any LMS.

LMS Data Security Challenges
LMS Data Security Challenges

Benefits of Security Testing

E-learning platforms are very different, which can be classified as Flash-based, Web-based, Server-based & CD-ROM based. The most significant side of the e-learning platform is to make it more easy and learnable for the students. This would ensure the usefulness of the platform, including its great functionality and usability. The focus should be to ensure is accessibility across the world without any obstruction and hindrance. This can be attained by focusing on the following Security testing and accessibility testing on an e-learning platform. Security testing prevents unauthorized access and vulnerabilities to the e-learning platform. Furthermore, it ensures data protection and integrity.

IT security or cyber security testing is the degree of resistance to, or guard from harm, which applies to the computing device (i.e. any device with some memory and a processor), plus the computer network (i.e. private and public network, counting the whole internet). This field includes software, hardware, procedures, data, and people, by which digital system (i.e. information, equipment, and service) are protected from illegal access. Software security is software engineering to make the functionality of the software properly under malevolent attacks. App security is a component of software security, as it is the security of software after the software is already launched.

Purpose of Security Testing

Security issues are vital in this kind of technologies as it makes sure the reliability of the technology in users’ mind to handle it. The prime goal of a pen test (Penetration testing is a typically a form of black box security testing) is to discover weak spots in an organization’s security posture, & test the staff’s awareness of security concerns, compute the compliance of its security policy, and determine whether – and how – the organization would be subject to security misfortune. A pen test can also highlight weaknesses in a company’s (like education institute, etc.) security policies. For example, even though a security policy focuses on preventing & identifying an attack on an enterprise’s systems, that policy may not comprise a procedure to expel a hacker. Hence, using different security testing strategies helps adept software testing teams focus on the desired systems and gain insight into the kinds of attacks that are most threatening to Education institutes.

Which are the Frameworks for Automation Testing?

Test automation framework utilizes software for executing tests and after that find out final the end results and the projected results are the same or not. Each and every company needs software testing satisfactorily and fast too. To achieve this, organizations are changing to utilize automated testing strategies and methods. In short, the best framework or Automation Testing is a valuable mix of a few guidelines, coding ideas, coding standards, methodology, practices, hierarchies, modularity, test data injections, reporting mechanism, and so on to build automation testing. In this manner, the client can follow such core principles while automating application to take the advantages of beneficial results.

Types of Test Automation Frameworks

The best framework for automation testing is as follows:

Carina

Carina is chiefly a Java-based test automation framework built on top of the well-admired open-source solutions (TestNG, Selenium, and Appium) which allows reducing dependence on a specific technology stack. Unites every single testing layers: mobile applications (hybrid, native, web), WEB applications, databases, REST services; Assists each common and the famous browsers (Chrome, Firefox, IE, Safari) and mobile devices (Android/ iOS) – it reuses test automation code between Android/ IOS up to 75-85%; As far as this framework is constructed in Java, it is cross-platform. Tests may be simply executed both on UNIX or Windows OS.

Selenium

Selenium is an incredibly admired open-source automation testing tool. There are two important parts to Selenium. One is Selenium WebDriver, which is the base framework that assists you to deal things like click buttons, set text in fields, and check values on the screen. Another part is known to be as Selenium IDE, a plug-in for FireFox that you can utilize to record the actions you take and the export them to the language (any) to run later.

Serenity

If you are searching for a Java-based framework that integrates with Behavior-driven development (BDD) tools like Cucumber and JBehave (keep your test scenarios at a high level) while accommodating low-level execution facts in your reports, Serenity (also called as Thucydides) might will be the best tool. This tool is perfectly designed to make writing automated acceptance & regression tests easy. It acts as a wrapper on top of BDD and Selenium WebDriver tools.

Cucumber

It is a Behavior Driven Development (BDD) tool which is used for writing acceptance tests for the web applications. The key qualities are as follows:

  • Fast and easy set up and execution;
  • Allows reusing code in the tests;
  • Cross-platform;
  • Previously implemented in Ruby, extended to Java framework;
  • Both specifications, & test documentation, is uploaded in a sole up-to-date document;
  • Useful for the users not familiar with testing. In short, those who can’t read the code;

Cypress

Compared to other tools on this list, Cypress is a more developer-centric framework that significantly focuses to make TDD a reality for developers. It has a separate architecture than Selenium. The fact is while Selenium WebDriver runs slightly outside the browser, Cypress runs inside of it. It also makes it easy for dropping a debugger into your application, which in turn, makes it easier to use the developer tools while you are developing.

Watir

Web Application Testing in Ruby is the oldest framework which is perfectly designed to support users to automate testing a web browser. Just like Selenium, it is a group of tools. The different library in the WATIR suite offers exceptional functions. Whilst WATIR will only support IE running on the Windows Operating System, you can access many others using an exceptional execution of WebDriver called Watir-WebDriver

Appium

Appium is perfectly designed to test mobile applications. It is built with the plan that you shouldn’t be recompiling your application or modifies it in any way to test it.

Apache JMeter

Apache JMeter is flawlessly designed for load testing and can be used to test performance both on static and dynamic resources, Web dynamic apps. This specific tool can simulate a heavy load on a server, network, or object to test its strength or to scrutinize and calculate overall performance under diverse load types.

Robotium

Robotium is a test framework made to make the task simpler to write powerful and solid automatic black-box UI tests, particularly for Android. With the help of Robotium, developers are able to write system, function, & user acceptance test scenarios covering several Android actions.

These are the top test automation frameworks for 2019. It is always better to automate the testing process to save extra money, effort, time, and lessen the number of testing errors.

Increasing Importance of Quality Engineering in Software Testing

How can a company win? One of the key criteria is to ensure good quality of its products and services. But the traditional testing and QC paradigm is not enough in the context of emerging technologies. It has proven to be inefficient: if some shortcomings are revealed, the product may have to be redesigned, requiring additional expenses and extra time. That is why something new is being executed in business — quality engineering solutions. Quality Engineering (QE) is the series of procedures by which software quality is analyzed and improved throughout the application or software development lifecycle. It differs from traditional Quality Assurance in that it prevents defects as well as discovers them.

The QE approach implies that every single stage of the product/ software development cycle is under a scrupulous test of quality engineers. Furthermore, the quality maintenance is offered long after the product is delivered. The execution o such strategy in manufacturing or software development procedures guarantees the sufficiency of the output from the very start reduces imperfections, flaws, and reduces potential losses. In other words, quality engineering is the analysis, development, management, and maintenance of diverse systems compliant with high standards.

What are the rewards of Quality Engineering?

With Quality Engineering, the core benefit for your application development cycle is that you are actually making all the proposed advantages of DevOps and Agile more real. Also the teamwork between developers and testers is more real, more in line with the agile ethos. It is also integrated with Test Management solutions so that the outcomes appear on the dashboard instantly, without a human trigger. With shortened release cycles, time to ensure Quality also reduces considerably. Testers have to be involved at the start of the cycle as they will be setting up the testing environment and framework which will be relied upon for all future sprints. Done right, Quality Engineering offers a great deal more speed in testing. It mainly relies more on Test Automation than manual testing. It is hard to imagine a Quality Engineering function that doesn’t have Test Automation at its center. Yet again, done right, it creates more flexibility and speed for the whole development cycle. It is not considered just functional and non-functional testing, but every single layer and integration that can and should be tested.

In current Digital era, a Quality Engineer should have experience in programming and be supposed to be able to write software as the situations demands. While the Software Development team focuses on constantly upgrading the application, the Quality Engineering team main responsibilities are:

  • Setting up new parameters and standards
  • Optimization of test cases, & improving automation efficiency
  • Identification of drawbacks
  • Generating a plan for improvement
  • Plan execution using different tools and methods
  • Assessing & implementing new technologies and tools
  • Following up to make sure that issues have been solved
  • Creating tailor automation solutions to address application specific use cases
  • Create frameworks & accelerators that help scale QE across manifold channels, Enterprise wide.

Quality engineering is driven by emerging technologies like AI (artificial intelligence), Big Data analytics and IoT. Automation is the driving force behind turning the traditional testing into an effectual quality support model.

Bottom line

Performance of the application/ software is of paramount importance. Every outage, crash, drawbacks, and even slowing down of the app or processing/ working on a client request has the potential to impact revenue directly. It is the responsibility of QE team to not only identify such issues, but also work on identifying/removing the root cause of such problems. This demands a sound understanding of app architecture, monitoring tools, several enterprise sub systems that are catering to the app etc. Overall, Quality Engineering team provides substantial insights about the root cause or issue and solved it in the fastest possible manner.