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Watch out for these fucking bug bounty idiots.

Some time back I got an email from one shortly after making a website live. Didn't find anything major and just ran a simple tool that can suggest security improvements simply loading the landing page for the site.

Might be useful for some people but not so much for me.

It's the same kind of security tool you can search for, run it and it mostly just checks things like HTTP headers. A harmless surface test. Was nice, polite and didn't demand anything but linked to their profile where you can give them some rep on a system that gamifies security bug hunting.

It's rendering services without being asked like when someone washes your windscreen while stopped at traffic but no demands and no real harm done. Spammed.

I had another one recently though that was a total disgrace.

"I'm a web security Analyst. My Job is to do penetration testing in websites to make them secure."
"While testing your site I found some critical vulnerabilities (bugs) in your site which need to be mitigated."
"If you have a bug bounty program, kindly let me know where I should report those issues."
"Waiting for response."

It immediately stands out that this person is asking for pay before disclosing vulnerabilities but this ends up being stupid on so many other levels.

The second thing that stands out is that he says he's doing a penetration test. This is illegal in most major countries. Even attempting to penetrate a system without consent is illegal.

In many cases if it's trivial or safe no harm no foul but in this case I take a look at what he's sending and he's really trying to hack the site. Sending all kinds of junk data and sending things to try to inject that if they did get through could cause damage or provide sensitive data such as trying SQL injects to get user data.

It doesn't matter the intent it's breaking criminal law and when there's the potential for damages that's serious.

It cannot be understated how unprofessional this is. Irrespective of intent, being a self proclaimed "whitehat" or "ethical hacker" if they test this on a site and some of the commands they sent my way had worked then that would have been a data breach.

These weren't commands to see if something was possible, they were commands to extract data. If some random person from Pakistan extracts sensitive data then that's a breach that has to be reported and disclosed to users with the potential for fines and other consequences.

The sad thing is looking at the logs he's doing it all manually. Copying and pasting extremely specific snippets into all the input boxes of hacked with nothing to do with the stack in use. He can't get that many hits that way.

Comments
  • 8
    I like the analogy of the open door, a pen tester tries to crack the door open and keeps track of evidence, a hacker/dummy blows up the door, opens all the file cabinets and then takes a shit on your desk

    The guy contacting you kinda sounds like someone who likes blackmailing a little too much
  • 6
    Why does penetration test sound so kinky?
  • 2
    @aviophile when you put it that way it sounds worse. You'll either get good news and bad news, or bad news and more bad news.

    If success: The good news is that you couldn't be penetrated! The bad news is you're still a virgin.

    You can probably guess what the fail result is like.
  • 2
    @lkjhgf253 Imagine you wake up and find some guy donning a white hat trying to mount you and he says don't worry ma'am I'm just doing penetration testing it's all ethical before winking and tipping his hat. Creepy as fuck.
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