After a successful penetration test a re-test is performed. The common approach is that the customer fixes the code and I perform the necessary steps to confirm that that initial security breach was closed. Sometimes it takes the customer a couple of tries to achieve that.
Most security problems (XSS, CSRF, SQLi) can easily be automated tested, but I had problems automating server-side authentication and authorization problems. The test would have to emulate multiple parallel user sessions. The tests mostly consists of one session trying to access the resources of another user session.
Capybara and PhantomJS Setup
Capybara is a driver-agnostic website testing framework (or rather DSL) and is mostly used for acceptence testing in Ruby on Rails. Poltergeist is a phantomjs/webkit-based driver backend for capybara.
Let’s look at a simple test patch script that performs a login at onvista.de, initally we need to perform some setup and create a session:
Login to a site using Capybara
This would already be enough for creating a one-shot test case. But in reality faulty web applications that have problems with server-side authentication and/or authorization all over the place. Writing the whole test setup code over and over again ain’t the best use of time.
A sample test suite could be:
Where to go from here?
Now that we have a simple minitest-based test suite we can easily extend it with addtional functionality. Ideas in my head include:
- utilizing pry-rescue to automatically drop into a debug console in case of errors
- try different backend drivers (for example selenium should be slower but it supports almost all relevant browsers.
- write capybara helpers for common tasks
- maybe even write Cucumber cukes to make test-cases readable for customers
Author Andreas Happe
License CC BY-NC-ND 4.0