A penetration test, or the short form pentest, is an attack on a computer system with the intention of finding security weaknesses, potentially gaining access to it, its functionality and data (Wikipedia)
Last week I was commissioned by G magazine to come up with idea for a cover dealing with the concept of Penetration tests.
Through the article I have acquainted myself with the topic and came up with two ideas.
Eventually, Both the editors and myself elected to go with B… I felt like I was heading towards a bundle of fun. and so it was.
And here is another well worded description of what penetration tests are all about, which I have found on the site of potech-consulting
Penetration tests are a way to simulate the presence of a hacker trying to attack your information systems. They are a great way to identify vulnerabilities present in a system or network that has existing security measures in place. A penetration test usually involves the use of attacking methods conducted by trusted individuals that are similarly used by hostile intruders or hackers. Depending on the type of test that is conducted, this may involve a simple scan of IP addresses to identify machines that are offering services with known vulnerabilities or even exploiting known vulnerabilities that exist in an un-patched operating system. The results of these tests or attacks are then documented and presented as a report to the owner of the system and the vulnerabilities identified can then be resolved.A penetration test is characterized by a person at a computer behaving as a hacker would, running a series of manual, simulated attacks against your information systems.