[OWASP-TESTING] Checking in

Mark Curphey mark at curphey.com
Sun Nov 23 14:39:24 EST 2003

Hi Dafydd,

This is a great start. I have a few suggestions / comments that may be worth
considering ?

Default Files

1. In the description I think it may be worth accentuating the fact that
there is only a security issue in default files when they have security
vulns. One of my pet peeves are consultants reports listing default files
like documentation etc where there is no security issues at all. It's a
housekeeping issue (I guess) but not a security one in my opinion.

2. In the "how to test" description I think it would be worth-while
explaining that you are looking for the instance of the file. To do that you
need to see an HTTP 200 or equivalent server response and this is
essentially what tools like Nikto etc do. Maybe a http trace type sequence
might be a good visual example....That leads neatly onto ...

3. IMHO tools like Nikto and Nessus are really bad at finding default files.
That is because they can't tell the difference between an HTTP 404 (or 400
series server response) from a HTTP 200 carrying an HTML 404. As an example
fire one of them off against OWASP.org and you'll find we have all the IIS
files under the sun (on a Unix box!). The commercial scanners have solved
this by allowing users to define a 404.

4. I am not sure white box and black box are good terms for this on

5. How about tools like IIS lockdown that look for and remove sample files ?
Is there an Apache equiv anyone knows about.

Unreferenced Files

1. This write up focuses solely on pen testing. How about comparing the
deployed content to the CMS or app deployment tool? This is typically what
happens in enterprises in my experience. Maybe we should say that this is
really a pen testing technique only ?

2. Under blind guessing might be worth mentioning the HTTP / HTML 404 again.
Great stuff though!

3. I used to have a list of mutated extensions like ~bak from Vi and so on
(that's wrong, I even forgot that). Maybe we could create that list as an
appendix and we could build that into WebScarab. A simple XML format would
be good such as 


4. Might be worth showing an example of making an HTTP call to list the
directory contents where no default page for that dir has been specified ?

Anyways great job, just a few thoughts I had !



-----Original Message-----
From: owasp-testing-admin at lists.sourceforge.net
[mailto:owasp-testing-admin at lists.sourceforge.net] On Behalf Of Stuttard,
Dafydd N (UK - London)
Sent: Friday, November 14, 2003 6:54 AM
To: Penny Major; Owasp-Testing (E-mail)

All -

Here's my bit on these two little topics.



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