Tracks Covering in Penetration Testing

  • Er. Ramesh Narwal
  • Er. Gaurav Gupta


After completing episode, covering songs is the next phase in penetration tests. In songs covering after completing invasion we will return to each exploited system to remove tracks and tidy up all footprints we left behind. Monitors covering is important since it gives idea to forensics analyst or Intrusion Diagnosis System (IDS). Sometimes it's difficult to cover all paths but an attacker can manipulate the machine to mistake the examiner and make it extremely difficult to identify the level of the attacker. In such a research paper we describe every one of the methods found in tracks covering and their future opportunity.

Keywords: Exploit, Payload, Vulnerability Analysis, Penetration Testing, Keep track of Covering


Penetration evaluation is nowadays an important organisation security tests method. Penetration tests is also known as Pentesting. Main target of penetration evaluation is to identify the security threats in networks, systems, servers and applications. Penetration screening includes various phases which we discuss in summary of penetration testing. After increasing administrative access on something or server, attacker first process is to pay their tracks to prevent diagnosis of his current and past presence in the system. An attacker or intruder could also try to remove evidence of their identity or activities on the machine to avoid tracing of these identification or location by regulators. To prevent himself an attacker usually erases all problem messages, alerts or security events that contain been logged.

Overview of Penetration Testing

Penetration Tests used for validation and efficiency of security protections and adjustments of an company. It reduce an organisation's expenses onto it security by determining an remediating vulnerabilities or loopholes. It provides preventive steps that can prevent upcoming exploitation. Penetration screening phases

  • Pre-engagement Interactions
  • Intelligence Gathering
  • Threat Modeling
  • Vulnerability Analysis
  • Exploitation
  • Post Exploitation
  • Covering Tracks
  • Reporting

Pre-engagement Interactions

Planning is the first step in pre-engagement. In this phase scope, goal and terms of the penetration test is finalised with your client. Target and methods of planned problems are also finalised in this stage.

Intelligence Gathering

This is most important period if we miss something here we might miss an entire opportunity of harm. All information regarding aim for is obtained by using sociable media systems, google hacking and other methods. Our main aim during this phase to gain accurate information about goal without exposing our presence, to understand how organisation operates and also to determine the best entry point.

Threat Modeling

The information attained in cleverness gathering phase found in this phase to recognize existing vulnerabilities on the target system. In threat modelling, we determine the very best attack methods, the info type we are in need of and how assault can be put in place at an organisation.

Vulnerability Analysis

Vulnerability is loophole or weakness in the system, network or product by using which can bargain it. After identification of all effective attack method, we consider how we can access the target. During this stage we combine information obtained in previous phases and use that information to discover most effective episode. Port and Vulnerability scans are performe in this stage and everything data is also gathered from previous phases.


Exploit is a code which allows an attacker to use advantage of the flaw or vulnerability within system, program or service. We should perform exploit only once we are sure that the particular exploit will achieve success. May be unexpected protective measures might be on the prospective that inhibit a particular exploit. Before result in a vulnerability we should sure that the machine is vulnerable.

Our exploit must do proper clean-up after execution at compromised system and should never cause the compromised system to grow into unstable point out. Given below amount shows some system shutdown quick at compromised glass windows machine due to without proper clean-up of exploit after execution.

After successful exploitation the compromised system is under the control of an attacker. Often attacker or penetration tester need to improve the compromised or breached systems to achieve privilege escalation.

Post Exploitation

Payload is real code which executed on the compromised system after exploitation. Post Exploitation phase starts after compromised a number of systems. In this period penetration tester identifies critical infrastructure, focuses on specific systems, goals information and data that beliefs most and that must be attempted to secure. In Post Exploitation while attacking systems we should remember to understand what the system do and their different individual roles. Every tester and attacker generally spend time in compromised system to understand the info he have and exactly how he can take reap the benefits of that information.

After gaining gain access to of 1 system an attacker can access other systems in that network by using jeopardized as a staging point. This method is recognized as pivoting. Sometimes attackers creates backdoor into the compromised system to get back access of the machine in the future

Covering Tracks

In the prior stages penetration tester or attacker often made significant changes to the compromised systems to exploit the sytems or even to gain administrative rights. This is the final stage in penetration test where an attack clears all the changes made by himself in the compromised systems and earnings the system and everything compromised hosts to the complete configurations because they are before conducting penetration test.


All of the information like vulnerability reviews, diagrams and exploitation results made during penetration assessment must be erased after handover to your client. If any information is not erased it ought to be in the knowledge of customer and mentioned in the technical report which is made after penetration trials.

Reporting is the previous period in penetration test where penetration tester organise available data and related final result sets into survey and present that are accountable to the client. This report is highly private which have all the results of penetration tests like vulnerabilities list in the organisation systems, networks or products and tips to resolve these problems related to the security of the organisation resources, which helps company in halting future attacks.

How to hide tracks

To compromise system efficiently an attacker have to be stealthy and prevent detection by various security systems like firewalls, Intrusion detection systems (IDS). System administrators and other security personals uses similar ways to identify harmful activities, so it's very important for attacker to be remains undetected. A system administrator can look at functions and log data files to check harmful activities. There are many challenges which can be faced by the penetration tester after effectively compromise of concentrate on system. Now we express various problem confronted with a penetration tester in covering tracks

Manipulating Log Documents Data

To manipulate log data data an attacker must have nice understanding of commonly used operating systems. An attacker must aware of two types of log data system produced and application produced.

Penetraion tester or attacker have two options when manipulating log data first one is to delete complete log and second is to modify this content of the log record. After deleting whole log an attacker you can find surety of undetectability. But you can find disadvantage of deletion of whole log is diagnosis.

Second option an attacker have to manipulation of log data data within the log files so that system administrator struggles to notice attacker existence in the machine. But sometimes if attacker removal of a great deal information make gap between logs documents makes it notable.

Log Documents Management in a variety of System

Main reason for log files in a variety of os's is to check on health and talk about of operating system, to detect destructive activity, to analysis system if something bad happens(system troubleshooting). Here we show locations of log data in commonly used operating systems House windows, Linux/Unix, Apple pc.


In home windows log data or stored in event audience, which is simple to find simply search event viewer and run it. Event audience is simply appear to be the figure as listed below, where we can see all log documents of the machine and applications.

Figure : Log Files Managements in Windows


In mainly all linux and unix operating systems log data files are stored in the /var/log index. Mainly system log documents are concealed in linux and unix os's to see complete set of log data from shell simply type ls -l /var/log/ command in shell. Within the below body we show log data files in BackTrack linux operating system

Figure : Log Documents Management in Linux/Unix


To get or access log data in MAC operating system simply open up finder and select "Go to Folder" in the Go menu. Type in /Catalogue/Logs and strike Enter here you get the display screen like as given in amount which is made up of all log data.

Figure : Log Data files Management in Mac OS X

To manipulation of log data files data an attacker will need to have main privileges.

Challenges in Manipulation of Log Files

If the machine administrator configures its system to copy all log data on the distant server time to time, if so an attacker or penetration tester can only just stop log data copy process except it they haven't any other way.

Hiding Files

Various Tools for Covering Tracks

There are so many to bargain something but after reducing the system the harm must need to pay their monitors because every single activity that attacker can do is stored or recorded by the system. Every system have different way to track record the activity occurring in the system. Every attacker must includes their paths that are noted by the machine so that no-one can identify him.

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