Top 30 Security Testing Interview Questions and Answers

In this article we have provided the most common Security testing interview questions with detailed answers.

What is Security Testing?

Security testing is a process intended to reveal flaws in the security mechanisms of an information system that protect data and maintain functionality as intended.

Security testing is the most important type of testing for any application. In this type of testing, tester plays a important role of an attacker and play around the system to find security related bugs.

Here we have listed few top security testing interview questions for your reference.

Top 30 Security Testing Interview Questions and Answers

Q#1. What is Security Testing?
Ans. Security testing can be considered most important in all type of software testing. Its main objective is to find vulnerabilities in any software (web or networking) based application and protect their data from possible attacks or intruders.

As many applications contains confidential data and needs to be protected being leaked. Software testing needs to be done periodically on such applications to identify threats and to take immediate action on them.

Q#2. What is “Vulnerability”?
Ans. The Vulnerability can be defined as weakness of any system through which intruders or bugs can attack on the system.
If security testing has not been performed rigorously on the system then chances of vulnerabilities get increase. Time to time patches or fixes requires preventing a system from the vulnerabilities.

Q#3. What is the Intrusion Detection?
Ans. Intrusion detection is a system which helps in determining possible attacks and deal with it. Intrusion detection includes collecting information from many systems and sources, analysis of the information and find out the possible ways of attack on the system.
Intrusion detection check following:

  1. Possible attacks
  2. Any abnormal activity
  3. Auditing the system data
  4. Analysis of different collected data etc.

Q#4. What is “SQL injection”?
Ans. SQL Injection is one of the common attacking techniques used by hackers to get the critical data.

Hackers check for any loop hole in the system through which they can pass SQL queries which by passed the security checks and return back the critical data. This is known as SQL injection. It can allow hackers to steal the critical data or even crash a system.

SQL injections are very critical and needs to be avoided. Periodic security testing can prevent these kind of attacks. SQL database security needs to be define correctly and input boxes and special characters should be handled properly.

Q#5. List the attributes of Security Testing?
Ans. There are following seven attributes of Security Testing:

  1. Authentication
  2. Authorization
  3. Confidentiality
  4. Availability
  5. Integrity
  6. Non-repudiation
  7. Resilience

Q#6. What is XSS or Cross Site Scripting?
Ans. XSS or cross site scripting is type of vulnerability that hackers used to attack web applications.

It allows hackers to inject HTML or JAVASCRIPT code into a web page which can steal the confidential information from the cookies and returns to the hackers. It is one of the most critical and common technique which needs to be prevented.

Q#7. What is SSL connection and an SSL session?
Ans. SSL or secured socket layer connection is a transient peer-to-peer communications link where each connection is associated with one SSL Session.

SSL session can be defines as association between client and server generally crated by handshake protocol. There are set of parameters are defined and it may be share by multiple SSL connections.

Q#8. What is “Penetration Testing”?
Ans. Penetration testing is on the security testing which helps in identifying vulnerabilities in a system. Penetration test is an attempt to evaluate the security of a system by manual or automated techniques and if any vulnerability found testers uses that vulnerability to get deeper access to the system and found more vulnerabilities. The main purpose of this testing to prevent a system from any possible attacks.

Penetration testing can be done by two ways –White Box testing and Black box testing.

In white box testing all the information is available with the testers whereas in black box testing testers don’t have any information and they test the system in real world scenario to find out the vulnerabilities.

Q#9. Why “Penetration Testing” is important?
Ans. Penetration testing is important because-

  1. Security breaches and loop holes in the systems can be very costly as threat of attack is always possible and hackers can steal the important data or even crash the system.
  2. It is impossible to protect all the information all the time. Hackers always come with new techniques to steal the important data and its necessary for testers as well to perform the testing periodically to detect the possible attacks.
  3. Penetration testing identifies and protects a system by above mentioned attacks and helps organizations to keep their data safe.

Q#10.  Name the two common techniques used to protect a password file?
Ans. Two common techniques to protect a password file are- hashed passwords and a salt value or password file access control.

Q#11. List the full names of abbreviations related to Software security?
Ans. Abbreviations related to software security are:

  1. IPsec – Internet Protocol Security is a suite of protocols for securing Internet
  2. OSI – Open Systems Interconnection
  3. ISDN Integrated Services Digital Network
  4. GOSIP- Government Open Systems Interconnection Profile
  5. FTP – File Transfer Protocol
  6. DBA – Dynamic Bandwidth Allocation
  7. DDS – Digital Data System
  8. DES – Data -Encryption Standard
  9. CHAP – Challenge Handshake Authentication Protocol
  10. BONDING – Bandwidth On Demand Interoperability Group
  11. SSH – The Secure Shell
  12. COPS Common Open Policy Service
  13. ISAKMP – Internet Security Association and Key Management Protocol
  14. USM – User-based Security Model
  15. TLS – The Transport Layer Security

Q#12. What is ISO 17799?
Ans. ISO/IEC 17799 is originally published in UK and defines best practices for Information Security Management. It has guidelines for all organizations small or big for Information security.

Q#13. List down some factors that can cause vulnerabilities?
Ans. Factors causing vulnerabilities are:

  1. Design flaws – If there are loop holes in the system that can allow hackers to attack the system easily.
  2. Passwords – If passwords are known to hackers they can get the information very easily. Password policy should be followed rigorously to minimize the risk of password steal.
  3. Complexity – Complex software can open the doors on vulnerabilities.
  4. Human Error – Human error is a significant source of security vulnerabilities.
  5. Management – Poor management of the data can lead to the vulnerabilities in the system.

Q#14. List the various methodologies in Security testing?
Ans. Methodologies in Security testing are:

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  1. White Box- All the information are provided to the testers.
  2. Black Box- No information is provided to the testers and they can test the system in real world scenario.
  3. Grey Box- Partial information is with the testers and rest they have to rest on their own.

Q#15. List down the seven main types of security testing as per Open Source Security Testing methodology manual?
Ans. The seven main types of security testing as per Open Source Security Testing methodology manual are:

  1. Vulnerability Scanning: Automated software scans a system against known vulnerabilities.
  2. Security Scanning:Manual or automated technique to identify network and system weaknesses.
  3. Penetration testing: Penetration testing is on the security testing which helps in identifying vulnerabilities in a system.
  4. Risk Assessment: It involves analysis of possible risk in the system. Risks are classified as Low, Medium and High.
  5. Security Auditing:Complete inspection of systems and applications to detect vulnerabilities.
  6. Ethical hacking:Hacking done on a system to detect flaws in it rather than personal benefits.
  7. Posture Assessment:This combines Security scanning, Ethical Hacking and Risk Assessments to show an overall security posture of an organization.

Q#16. What is SOAP and WSDL?
Ans. SOAP or Simple Object Access Protocol  is a XML-based protocol through which applications exchange information over HTTP. XML requests are send by web services in SOAP format then a SOAP client sends a SOAP message to the server. The server responds back again with a SOAP message along with the requested service.

Web Services Description Language (WSDL): is an XML formatted language used by UDDI. “Web Services Description Language describes Web services and how to access them”.

Q#17. List the parameters that define an SSL session connection?
Ans. The parameters that define an SSL session connection are:

  1. Server and client random
  2. Server write MACsecret
  3. Client write MACsecret
  4. Server write key
  5. Client write key
  6. Initialization vectors
  7. Sequence numbers

Q#18. What is file enumeration?
Ans. This kind of attack uses the forceful browsing with the URL manipulation attack. Hackers can manipulate the parameters in url string and can get the critical data which generally not open for public such as achieved data, old version or data which in under development.

Q#19. List the benefits that can be provided by an intrusion detection system?
Ans. There are three benefits of an intrusion detection system.

  1. NIDS or Network Intrusion Detection
  2. NNIDS or Network Node Intrusion detection system
  3. HIDS or Host Intrusion Detection System

Q#20. What is HIDS?
Ans. HIDS or Host Intrusion Detection system is a system in which snapshot of the existing system is taken and compares with the previous snap shot. It checks if critical files were modified or deleted then a alert is generated and send to the administrator.

Q#21. List down the principal categories of SET participants?
Ans. Following are the participants:

  1. Cardholder
  2. Merchant
  3. Issuer
  4. Acquirer
  5. Payment gateway
  6. Certification authority

Q#22. Explain “URL manipulation”?
Ans. URL manipulation is a type of attack in which hackers manipulate the website URL to get the critical information. The information is passed in the parameters in the query string via HTTP GET method between client and server. Hackers can alter the information between these parameters and get the authentication on the servers and steal the critical data.

In order to avoid this kind of attacks security testing of URL manipulation should be done. Testers themselves can try to manipulate the URL and check for possible attacks and if found they can prevent these kinds of attacks.

Q#23. What are the three classes of intruders?
Ans. Following are the three classes of intruders:

  1. Masquerader: It can be defined as an individual who is not authorized on the computer but hack the system’s access control and get the access of authenticated user’s account.
  2. Misfeasor: In this case user is authenticated to use the system resources but he miss uses his access on the system.
  3. Clandestine user It can be defined as an individual who hacks the control system of the system and bypasses the system security system.

Q#24. List the component used in SSL?
Ans. Secure Sockets Layer protocol or SSL is used to make secure connection between client and computers. Below are the component used in SSL:

  1. SSL Recorded protocol
  2. Handshake protocol
  3. Change Cipher Spec
  4. Encryption algorithms

Q#25. What is port scanning?
Ans. Ports are the point from where information goes in and out of any system. Scanning of the ports to find out any loop holes in the system are known as Port Scanning. There can be some weak points in the system to which hackers can attack and get the critical information. These points should be identified and prevented from any misuse.

Following are the types of port scans:

  1. Strobe: Scanning of known services.
  2. UDP: Scanning of open UDP ports
  3. Vanilla: In this scanning the scanner attempts to connect to all 65,535 ports.
  4. Sweep: The scanner connects to the same port on more than one machine.
  5. Fragmented packets: The scanner sends packet fragments that get through simple packet filters in a firewall
  6. Stealth scan: The scanner blocks the scanned computer from recording the port scan activities.
  7. FTP bounce: The scanner goes through an FTP server in order to disguise the source of the scan.

Q#26. What is a Cookie?
Ans. Cookie is a piece of information received from web server and stored in a web browser which can be read anytime later. Cookie can contain password information, some auto fill information and if any hackers get these details it can be dangerous. Learn here how to test website cookies.

Q#27. What are the types of Cookies?
Ans. Types of Cookies are:

  • Session Cookies – These cookies are temporary and last in that session only.
  • Persistent cookies – These cookies stored on the hard disk drive and last till its expiry or manually removal of it.

Q#28. What is a honeypot?
Ans. Honeypot is fake computer system which behaves like a real system and attracts hackers to attack on it. Honeypot is used to find out loop holes in the system and to provide solution for these kinds of attacks.

Q#29. List the parameters that define an SSL session state?
Ans. The parameters that define an SSL session state are:

  1. Session identifier
  2. Peer certificate
  3. Compression method
  4. Cipher spec
  5. Master secret
  6. Is resumable

Q#30. Describe Network Intrusion Detection system?
Ans. Network Intrusion Detection system generally known as NIDS. It is used for analysis of the passing traffic on the entire sub-net and to match with the known attacks. If any loop hole identified then administrator receives an alert.

Conclusion

I hope these Security testing interview questions and answers are helpful for you to prepare for the interview. These answers are also helpful to clear your understanding about Security testing topic.

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