Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya on Unsplash
Penetration testing is a significant aspect of maintaining the security of your network and ensuring its vulnerability to cyber threats is minimized. In this article, we’ll be discussing a simple penetration test and how to conduct one using three popular tools - Nikto, Nmap, and Metasploit.
Step 1: Scanning with Nmap
• Search and install Nmap on your computer. Please note on Kali Linux, it is pre-installed.
• Open the terminal or command prompt and type “nmap -sS IP address or hostname” to run a stealth scan on your target.
• The results will show you the open ports and services running on your target, which can be used to identify potential vulnerabilities.
Step 2: Vulnerability Scanning with Nikto
• Search and install Nikto on your computer. Please note on Kali Linux, it is pre-installed.
• In the terminal or command prompt, type “perl nikto.pl -h IP address or hostname” to run a vulnerability scan on your target.
• The results will show any vulnerabilities that are present in the target’s web server.
Step 3: Exploiting Vulnerabilities with Metasploit
• Search and install Metasploit on your computer. Please note on Kali Linux, it is pre-installed.
• Start the Metasploit framework by typing “msfconsole” in the terminal or command prompt.
• Search for a suitable exploit to target the vulnerabilities found in the previous step by typing “search <vulnerability name>”.
• Utilize the exploit by entering “use <exploit name>”.
• Show the available parameter options or settings by typing “show options”.
• Set the parameter options or settings by typing “set <parameter name like RHOST> <target IP address or hostname>”.
• Run the exploit by typing “exploit”.
By following these steps, you can conduct a basic penetration test on your network and identify any potential vulnerabilities that need to be addressed. It is important to note that while penetration testing can help increase the security of your network, it can also compromise its security if not done correctly. Therefore, it is recommended to only conduct penetration testing on your own network or with proper authorization. Also, depending on the target, the steps explained above can be varied especially since this is a basic representation of a pen test.