Desktop Application Penetration Testing

What’s Desktop Penetration Testing?

Pen testing, also known as penetration testing, is an ethical hacking process that involves testing a desktop application’s or organization’s infrastructure for vulnerabilities. Pen testing is used to identify vulnerabilities in the system. These vulnerabilities can be caused by misconfigurations, poorly-designed architecture, and other factors.

performing pen test eventually helps to identify vulnerabilities. The process produces actionable reports that explain each vulnerability and provide instructions on how to fix them. Each vulnerability is assigned a rating that indicates how the organization should plan for remediation.

Typically, a pen test is an ethical attack simulation that is performed to validate the effectiveness of security controls in a particular environment and highlights the possible vulnerabilities. This pen testing process involves the usage of various manual or automated techniques to simulate an attack on an organization’s information security (in a well informed environment to the organization so there is no actual data loss). The ethical hacking process could be run be from on company’s infrastructure or on employees within the same organization to test the security.

Businesses that store or access sensitive data, such as healthcare providers, banks, financial institutions, and financial institutions, are the most vulnerable. This type of testing is recommended to protect them against any potential vulnerabilities. Businesses that use pen testing have many advantages.

What are Pen Testing’s benefits?

  • Helps to identify vulnerabilities that would remain unidentified otherwise
  • Helps to identify new threats from any attackers or intrusions
  • This tool helps to detect and fix real-time vulnerabilities in desktop applications and systems.
  • Tests the effectiveness of Descktop Application Firewalls
  • Tests the cyber-defence capabilities of an organization
  • Allows you to detect and show real-time vulnerabilities and risks
  • Allows you to identify any insecurity within an desktop application or the system infrastructure network

What is Desktop Pen Testing?

Network penetration testing:

In this type of pen testing, the physical structure of the system is checked primarily to identify risks in the network of the organization. In this testing, the penetration tester performs tests in the organization’s network and tries to find out flaws in the design, operation, or implementation of the respective company’s network. Various components of the organization such as computers, modems, remote access devices are all checked by the tester to exploit the possible vulnerabilities.

Physical penetration testing:

This method of physical penetration testing is done to simulate the real-world threats. The pen tester acts as a cyber-attacker and tries to break the physical barrier of security. This test is done to check for the vulnerabilities in physical controls like security cameras, lockers, barriers, sensors, etc.

Desktop application penetration testing:

This method of pen testing is done to check vulnerabilities or weaknesses within web-based applications. The web penetration testing looks out for any security issues that might occur due to insecure development due to design or code and identified potential vulnerabilities within websites and web apps. This type of testing is most needed for online shopping websites, banking apps, and other eCommerce websites which deal with online transactions.

Wireless network penetration test:

This form of pen testing is done to examine the connection between all devices like laptops, computers, tablets, smart-phones, etc, that are connected to the organization’s Wifi. This form of pen testing is done to prevent any data leakage that can happen while sharing data from one device to another device through the Wifi network.

Who does Pen Testing? What are their responsibilities?

The penetration testing is conducted by pen testers who design and plan simulations and security assessments that are designed to probe any potential weaknesses within the system or IT infrastructure or web apps.

They also have to record all findings and send them to clients, employees, or the organization. This testing is done either manually or using certain tools. There are some basic differences between the two methods.

Differences Between Manual and Automated Penetrating Testing

Manual penetration testingAutomated penetration testing
– manual efforts are more needed to get better results for testing business logic vulnerabilities– Automated tools can be used with very little human intervention, while manual testing cannot be performed for everything
– Manual penetration testing takes longer time– Automated tools work faster and comparatively requires less time and perform the process with high speed
– When there is new vulnerability or exploit released, most of the automated tools will have to wait for next update while humans can learn new technique and implement it quickly– This method of pen testing is best suited for testing targets with large number of pay loads
– With manual testing the false positives are less when compared to automated testing– With automated pen testing, the false positives are comparatively more

What phases are involved in penetration testing?

  • Pre-engagement activities
  • Reconnaissance phase
  • Threat modeling & vulnerability identification
  • Exploitation phase & post exploitation
  • Comprehensive reporting
  • Resolution phase
  • Re-testing phase

What are the various approaches to Pen Testing?

Depending up on the level of information that is available to the pen tester, there are three types of approaches to pen testing .

Black Box:

Black box pen testing is also commonly known as external penetration testing. In this approach, the pen tester has no information about the IT infrastructure of the organization. This process appears to be more like simulation of real-world cyber-attack to check the vulnerabilities in the system.

This is a method where the pen testers are cyber-attackers trying to exploit vulnerabilities in the system. This process can take up to six weeks and takes a lot time.

White Box:

White box penetration testing is also known as internal penetration testing, clear box, or even known as glass box penetration testing. In this approach of pen testing, the pen tester is provided with the complete information of the IT Infrastructure, source code, and environment.

This pen test is very detailed and thorough. It checks every aspect of the desktop application, including the code quality. This type of pen testing usually takes between two and three weeks.

Gray box

In this approach of penetration testing, the pen tester is provided with partial information of IT infrastructure, and code structure. It is a more focused approach as the pen tester has partial knowledge or access to internal network or desktop application and can focus some effort on exploiting the possible vulnerabilities which typically saves a lot of time and cost.

What are the most important Penetration Testing Tools for?


It is an open-source tool used in penetration testing to detect flaws with an SQL Injection into a desktop application. It automates the process of penetration testing and this tool supports many platforms like Windows, Linux, Mac, etc.


The desktop application attack and audit framework (W3af) is used to find any weaknesses or vulnerabilities in web-based applications . It is used to remove threats such as DNS, cache poisoning, cookie handling, proxy support, etc.


This is an open source tool and is available for many operating systems such as Windows, Solaris, Linux, etc. With this tool, the pen tester one can easily capture and interpret network packets. This tool provides both offline analysis and live-capture options.


It is one of the most commonly used desktop testing tools in the world. It is an open source tool that allows the user to verify and manage security assessments , helps in identifying flaws, setting up a defence, etc.


It is also called network mapper and is used to find the gaps or issues in the network environment of the organization. This tool is also used for auditing purposes.


It is one of the most trusted pen testing tools by many companies across the world. It helps in scanning IP addresses, websites, and completing sensitive data searches.

John the Ripper Password Cracker

It is an open-source software which is used to detect vulnerabilities in passwords. This tool automatically identifies different password hashes and finds issues with the passwords within the database. Its pro version is available for Mac, Linux, Hash Suite, and Hash Suite Droid.


Penetration testing, which is a powerful testing process, helps to identify critical security issues in your system. It can also be used to test for exploitable vulnerabilities in their IT Infrastructure or desktop applications. It is vital that companies protect their IT infrastructure, desktop applications, and systems from all possible threats and vulnerabilities, as cyber attacks continue to rise. With increasing cyber-attacks constantly on the move, penetration testing is essential in today’s digital age.

TestingXperts, with its highly qualified security and pen testers, ensures that you get the best pen testing services. This helps identify vulnerabilities in your IT infrastructure and web apps. Contact our security testing specialists today.