API Penetration Testing Methodology

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Learn more about our methodology and the steps used in our API penetration testing engagements.

RedTeam Security's API Penetration Testing Methodology

The engagement will start with a conversation about the client’s infrastructure and software stack. RedTeam will also request any documentation that exists about the APIs. Malicious actors are able to determine these details with enough time and energy, but we ask because the more of this information you are able to provide, the better value we are able to give you. A malicious actor must dedicate time to answering questions like, “What is the tech stack in use?” before answering questions like, “How could a failure of this system serve (my) malicious ends?”

When you are engaging a company to test the security of your systems, it is usually not a good use of limited resources for the tester to dedicate time to replicating information that is easily shared. Having said this, the tester keeps in mind one of the lessons of the Equifax hack: the more complex the system, the harder it is to keep a complete picture of every element in play. Still, having this discussion at the outset gives the tester a chance to ask the client about any unexpected finds, first and foremost to verify whether or not they are in scope.

This conversation is also where we discuss if there are any special circumstances we should be aware of. Testing in a production environment is a common example. The answers to these questions influence the choices a tester will make during testing. Following this conversation, testing will begin according to a date that will work for everyone’s schedule. 

With API Pen Testing, the tester will often begin with manual testing, executing the API with expected and unexpected data. They will move on to automated means when they have a sufficient understanding of how the APIs work, and likely do some further research as well, given that new vulnerabilities are found all the time. From here, if a suspected vulnerability is found, either through manual or automated means, the tester will work on exploiting it.

Evidence is then gathered and the process of exploitation is documented so that when the report is delivered, the client can see how the vulnerability would impact the business, including detail on the impacts on the Confidentiality, Availability, and Integrity of the systems. Following the delivery of the report, RedTeam is available to answer any questions you may have about how findings were exploited and options for remediation strategies.

Contact one of our cyber security professionals for a free penetration testing consultation, call 612-234-7848 and start protecting your organization today!

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