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Frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions about Continuous Hacking.

  1. What is Continuous Hacking?

    Continuous Hacking is a security testing service that allows the hacking process to begin at an early stage in the software development cycle. Its purpose is to guarantee 100% testing coverage of the application.

  2. What are the benefits of Continuous Hacking?

    Continuous Hacking:

    1. Minimizes the cost of remediation (repair) of a vulnerable security risk while the software is in development rather than when it is in production.

    2. Reduces application certification time to zero because the hacking is done during development.

    3. Provides clear and detailed information about vulnerable security risks and facilitates a coordinated effort between external project personnel (Fluid Attacks experts) identifying security risks, and internal project personnel (client company) fixing security issues without delays.

  3. In what industries does Fluid Attacks have experience?

    Along our career trajectory we have been working with companies from different sectors. Please refer to our customers page for further information.

  4. How does Fluid Attacks stay on top of new techniques and changes?

    We ensure to constantly research and keep updated with the new techniques and changes related to cyber security and IT. Either through blog entries or hacking/programming challenges we keep our team updated with the state of art.

  5. What are the necessary inputs and requirements for Continuous Hacking?

    The necessary inputs and requirements are

    1. Phase 1: Access to the integration branch of the repository for the, not-yet deployed, application’s source code. Ethical Hacking focuses on the source code.

    2. Phase 2: When the project has a deployed application (Integration Environment) the hacking coverage expands to include application security testing.

    3. Phase 3: This phase applies only if the infrastructure supporting the application is defined as code and kept in the integration branch of the repository referred to in Phase 1. This phase includes infrastructure hacking.

  6. What are the technical conditions that I must meet to perform a continuous

    hacking?

    Access to Git and monitored environment in the branch are required, through automated Linux. Environments that are not supported:

    1. Access to environments through a VPN that only runs on Windows.

    2. VPN in Windows that requires manual interaction as OTP token.

    3. VPN Site to Site

  7. What type of hacking is included in Continuous Hacking?

    Continuous Hacking includes source code analysis, application hacking (see question 5), and infrastructure hacking (see question 5).

  8. What is a vulnerability?

    A vulnerability is anything that represents a security risk (Integrity, Availability, Confidentiality, Non-repudiation) to the application.

  9. What is an active author and how can I identify it?

    An active author is a user with access to the Git repository who made changes over the stored code in the repository during the analyzed month.

  10. Does Continuous Hacking use a series of automated tools

    or is it the result of a manual (by hand) process?

    Automated tools, by themselves, are not capable of extracting sensitive business information, such as client or employee information . Continuous Hacking uses a series of tools acquired and developed by Fluid Attacks and a detailed review process performed by our expert technical staff. We go the extra mile because automated tools present the following problems:

    1. Vulnerabilities leakages (detection of a minimal percentage of existing security risk vulnerabilities).

    2. Detected vulnerabilities are primarily false positives.

    3. Incapable of combining individual vulnerabilities in order to reveal additional vulnerabilities which may be an even greater security risk than the individual vulnerabilities alone.

  11. If Continuous Hacking includes a manual review how does Fluid Attacks

    ensure that development cycles are not slowed down?

    Continuous Hacking is first performed on the source code. This allows for parallel hacking and development simultaneously. This minimizes the dependency on functional environments and the need for coordination between hackers and developers. The client prioritizes detected vulnerabilities. The decisions regarding what findings are prioritized for each sprint rest solely with the client. Unless we are dealing with a company with daily CI/CD (Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment) not all sprints generate code eligible for release and deployment, which improves the remediation (repair) time for detected vulnerabilities.

  12. If Continuous Hacking is done manually how can a big project move rapidly

    and expand as more active authors (developers) join the team?

    Standard Continuous Hacking covers 95% of all business applications being developed, because the subscription is taken according to the number of active developers in the project and defines the amount of resources assigned to the project.

  13. If Continuous Hacking is done manually how does it move rapidly

    when a client has a big application portfolio that is constantly increasing?

    According to Fluid Attacks historical data, recruitment and training capabilities, and our ability to innovate internal processes, Fluid Attacks is fully capable of taking on between 5 and 10 new applications each month.

  14. What kind of information does Fluid Attacks need

    in order to serve a quotation?

    To serve a proposal, Fluid Attacks needs to determine what will the target of evaluations (scope) be. So, here we ask you for the following items:

    1. One-shot hacking (by project):

      1. How many ports are included in the scope?

      2. How many inputs of applications are included in the scope?

      3. How many LoC are included in the scope? Fluid Attacks suggest to you, running CLOC on it for quantifying it.
        Note: It would be desirable to get the credential to access (standard user, not privileges) to the applications in the cases that it will be included.

    2. Continuous hacking (SDLC): Under this model, we should know how many active authors will be involved in the project.
      Regarding the health check estimation, it will be considered as one-shot hacking. So, the customer should provide these answers as well.

  15. Does the cost of Continuous Hacking vary according to the scope

    or development phases?

    Yes. The service cost varies depending on the amount of active authors identified in the project each month.

  16. Why is it necessary for Continuous Hacking to have access

    to the source code stored in the repository?

    Continuous Hacking needs access to the source code because it is based on continuous attacks on the latest version available.

  17. When does Continuous Hacking begin?

    Continuous Hacking begins immediately after receiving the purchase order.

  18. Why there is a month 0 and how does setup work?

    Month 0 begins the test setup and is the start of the monthly payment. A project leader is assigned who is responsible for managing the connection of environments, profiling, user creation, allocation of privileges, and all the necessary inputs to begin the review without setbacks.

  19. Is it possible to hire On-the-Premises Continuous Hacking?

    No. Due to the operational model that supports Continuous Hacking it can only be done remotely.

  20. Is it possible to schedule follow-up meetings?

    Yes. All applications covered by the contract for Continuous Hacking are assigned to a specific project leader who is available to attend all necessary meetings. We simply require sufficient notice of an impending meeting in order to schedule availability.

  21. How is a project’s progress determined?

    A project’s progress and current state is determined using the following metrics:

    1. Source code coverage indicator.

    2. Percentage of remediated (repaired) security risk vulnerabilities.

  22. When does Continuous Hacking end?

    Continuous Hacking is contracted for a minimum of 12 months and is renewed automatically at the end of the 12 month time period. Continuous Hacking ends when we receive a written request through previously defined channels to terminate the contract.

  23. Can the contract be canceled at any point in time?

    You can cancel your contract at any time after the fourth month. Cancellation can be requested through any communication channel previously defined in the contract.

  24. When the coverage of my application reaches 100% is Continuous Hacking

    suspended until new code is added to the repository?

    No. Even if 100% of coverage is reached, we continue checking already attacked source code to identify any possible false negatives, including components developed by third parties in our hacking process.

  25. How is the severity and criticality of the vulnerability calculated?

    Fluid Attacks uses the CVSS (Common Vulnerability Scoring System), an international standard using a “standardized framework used to rate the severity of security vulnerabilities in software.” It gives us a quantitative measure ranging from 0 to 10, 0 being the lowest level of risk and 10 the highest and most critical level of risk based on the qualitative characteristics of a vulnerability.

  26. How do I get information about the vulnerabilities found in my application?

    Continuous Hacking has an interactive reporting platform called Integrates. Integrates gives all project stakeholders access to details concerning vulnerabilities reported by Fluid Attacks. We have recently released Integrates source code to our public repository.

  27. What types of reports does Continuous Hacking generate?

    Continuous Hacking generates and delivers, through Integrates, a technical report available in Excel and/or PDF format during the execution of the project contract. Once the project ends, Integrates delivers a presentation and an executive report also in PDF format.

  28. What happens after Fluid Attacks reports a vulnerability?

    Once Fluid Attacks reports a vulnerability, the main objective, for developers, is to eliminate it. Through Integrates a client company’s developers can also access first-hand detailed information regarding a vulnerability in order to plan and execute corrective measures to remove it from the application.

  29. What communication does Fluid Attacks provide? When? How?

    For continuous hacking, day to day basis is made via Integrates between developers and hacker. In one shot hacking communication is made through the project manager (PM) as single point of contact (SPOC).

  30. How does Fluid Attacks know a vulnerability

    has been eliminated or remediated?

    Through Integrates any user with access to the project can request verification of a remediated vulnerability. A request for verification that a remediated vulnerability no longer poses a risk must be accompanied by notification from you that the planned remediation has been executed. Then Fluid Attacks performs a closing verification to confirm the effectiveness of the remediation. Results of the closing verification are then forwarded to the project team by email.

  31. How many closing verifications are included in Continuous Hacking?

    Continuous Hacking offers unlimited closing verifications.

  32. Why do I need to notify Fluid Attacks that a remediation has been executed

    if you already have access to the source code repositories?

    One of Continuous Hacking’s objectives is to maintain clear and effortless communication between all project members. This is accomplished when you notify Fluid Attacks because the message goes through Integrates and by doing so, the entire project team is notified.

  33. What happens if I do not consider something a vulnerability?

    Within Integrates there is a comment section. A client company can post its reasons for believing a vulnerability finding is not valid. Then, Fluid Attacks experts and all other project members can interface and discuss the relative merits of the vulnerability finding and the validity of it as a security risk, and a final determination can be made.

  34. Do all reported vulnerabilities have to be remediated?

    No. However, this decision is made entirely by the client, not by Fluid Attacks, and the client assumes all responsibility for possible negative impacts of non-remediation. In Integrates, under the treatment option, a client company indicates whether it will remediate or assume responsibility for an identified vulnerability.

  35. If a client decides not to remediate a vulnerability, thus assuming

    responsibility for it, is it excluded from the reports and Integrates?

    No. Reports and Integrates include information regarding all vulnerabilities, along with whether vulnerabilities were remediated or not. Your report and Integrates will include all the information with nothing excluded.

  36. If the application is stored along multiple repositories,

    can they all be attacked?

    Yes, with one condition. The code must be stored on the same branch in each repository. For example: If it is agreed that all attacks will be performed on the QA branch, then this same branch must be present in all of the repositories included for Continuous Hacking.

  37. If I have code that was developed a long time ago,

    is it possible to still hire Continuous Hacking?

    Yes, it is still possible to use Continuous Hacking. There are two possible options available:

    1. A Health Check can be performed testing all existing code. Then, Continuous Hacking is executed as usual within the defined scope (see question 11). This option is better suited for applications under development.

    2. Start with the standard limits (see question 10) increasing the coverage on a monthly basis until 100% is reached. This option is better suited for applications no longer in development.

  38. What does Fluid Attacks do to catch up with the revision

    of the existing code before starting the hacking process?

    Fluid Attacks recommends that application development and the hacking process begin simultaneously. However, this is not always possible. To catch up with developers we perform a HealthCheck (additional fees apply). This means all versions of the existing code are attacked up to the contracted starting point in addition to the monthly test limit. This allows us to catch up with the development team within the first 3 contract months. Then, we continue hacking simultaneously with the development team as development continues.

  39. What happens if I don’t want to perform a Health Check, but I want

    the Continuous Hacking service?

    This is a risky choice. Not performing a Health Check means there will be code that is never going to be tested and, therefore, it’s not possible to know what vulnerabilities may exist in it; those vulnerabilities are not going to be identified. Fluid Attacks guarantees that 100% of the code change is going to be tested, but what cannot be reached, cannot be tested.

  40. Do the repositories need to be in a specific version control system?

    Continuous Hacking is based on using GIT for version control. Therefore, GIT is necessary for Continuous Hacking.

  41. Does Fluid Attacks keep or store information

    regarding the vulnerabilities found?

    Information is only kept for the duration of the Continuous Hacking contract. Once the contract has ended, information is kept for 7 business days and then deleted from all Fluid Attacks information systems.

  42. How will our data be erased?

    Integrates uses an automated erasing process, removing all the project information from our systems and generating a Proof of Delivery signed via Docusign.

  43. Does Continuous Hacking require any development methodology?

    No. Continuous Hacking is independent of the client’s development methodology. Continuous Hacking test results become a planning tool in future development cycles. They do not prevent the continuation of development.

  44. Will Fluid Attacks periodically do presentations via teleconferencing?

    How do I set one up?

    Yes. Fluid Attacks can schedule periodic presentations via teleconferencing. To set up a teleconference presentation you will need to provide us with the emails of attendees, and 3 optional time periods of 1 hour duration for the teleconference. We will then notify you of the best time for the teleconference based on your availability and ours. And, we will send emails to your list of attendees inviting their participation.

  45. Does the use of the Continuous Hacking model

    depend on the type of repository where the code is stored?

    No. The client can use whatever repository they deem appropriate. Fluid Attacks only requires access to the integration branch and its respective environment.

  46. Who would be performing the work?

    All the hackers. all the team.

  47. Can we see resumes?

    Yes, in our people page you can check the LinkedIn profiles of some members of our team.

  48. What certifications does Fluid Attacks have?

    Please refer to our certifications page for further information.

  49. Do I lose my property rights if Fluid Attacks reviews my source code?

    No. Reviewing your code in no way compromises your proprietary rights to that code.

  50. Does Fluid Attacks have a tool that enables

    automatic remediation and closing of previously confirmed vulnerabilities?

    Yes. Asserts is Fluid Attacks' automated engine, checking remediation of previously confirmed vulnerabilities. Asserts operates in the JOB of continuous integration. It can break the build sent by the programmer in the event of a breach of security requirements. We have recently released Asserts source code to our public repository.

  51. Does Continuous Hacking only focus on source code?

    Is it possible to include the infrastructure associated with the app?

    Fluid Attacks has improved the Continuous Hacking model to now include infrastructure within the Target of Evaluation (ToE). This includes the application’s ports, inputs, infrastructure, and an application itself.

  52. What external tools does Fluid Attacks use to perform pentesting?

    We use Burp Suite for web testing, CANVAS and Core Impact for infrastructure testing with additional exploits.

  53. How will our data be transmitted?

    It is up to you, however, we recommend the use of HTTPS for application tests and SSH (git) for source code analysis.

  54. How will our data be stored?

    • AWS on the cloud (mainly S3 and DynamoDB, all security enabled)

    • Hacker’s computers with disk encryption in all partitions.

  55. Where does Integrates run?

    The platform Integrates, runs in the cloud.

  56. Does Fluid Attacks manage the access credentials to Integrates?

    No. We use federated authentication. Google and Azure (Microsoft 360) are the entities who validate your user access credentials.

  57. Is it possible to activate the double authentication token?

    Yes, it is, and we recommend that you do so. Using double authentication will increase the security level of your credentials. This will help prevent unauthorized users from accessing and compromising your information. This feature is enabled through Gmail or Azure.

  58. If I make a commit, how long does it take you

    to review the commit and test it?

    The goal is 100% coverage. Therefore, there will be results regarding system vulnerabilities continuously throughout the contract period. Fluid Attacks takes into account all pushes to the tested branch, which are monitored using automated scripts (robots) that extract and analyze the changes made to the source code every night.

  59. Does Fluid Attacks test every time I make a push

    in the subscription branch?

    During the execution of a project the following scenarios can occur:

    1. Application in development without overdue code (100% coverage): The robot detects the change and generates the updated control files. This allows our hackers to attack the application bearing in mind the changes. This means that no specific file or commit is audited, the change analysis performed by the robot is considered when the hacker takes the environment and the branch and tries to attack the application taking into account the changes made.

    2. Application in production without overdue code (100% coverage): Even when there are no changes, the application is attacked. Internally, we have processes that help us identify why we haven’t found vulnerabilities in the application in 7, 14 and 21 days. These processes include such things as hacker rotations or increasing the number of hackers assigned to the project in order to find undiscovered vulnerabilities.

    3. Application in development with overdue code (<100 coverage): Same as the first scenario, but attacks are only related to the change that was made. The attack surface that existed before the subscription point is not attacked.

    4. Application in production with overdue code (<100% coverage): Same as the second scenario, but if in a specified month there is no new code, it is hacked only to the extent of the changes made by 1 active author in 1 previous month.

  60. What options for retesting are available?

    One shot Hacking includes one retest. Continuous Hacking includes infinite retest during the subscription time.

  61. What are the scheduled activities during the continuous hacking test?

    Once the setup has been completed, and everything is ready for the service to begin, the security tests start. The steps are:

    1. Request approval (purchase order confirmed).

    2. Project leader assignment.

    3. The project leader schedules the start meeting (teleconference).

    4. Service condition validation.

    5. Supplies request (access to environments and code).

    6. Project leader receives supplies, and programs the setup of the verification and access robots.

    7. The project leader creates an admin user in Integrates for the client.

    8. The admin user invites all project stakeholders including the developers. (They must have Google Apps or Office365)

    9. Vulnerabilities are reported in Integrates.

    10. Project stakeholders access vulnerabilities and start remediation.

    11. If any questions or problems arise, they can be addressed through the comments or chat available in Integrates.

    12. When the client has remediated the reported vulnerabilities, they may request validation of their repairs through Integrates.

    13. Our hacker performs the closure verification and updates the report.

    14. Steps 3 - 7 are repeated until subscription ends.

  62. What technical conditions do I need to meet

    if I want to use Asserts inside my continuous integrator?

    Asserts runs on any continuous integration platform that supports Docker (Docker engine 18.03.1) and has access to the internet.

  63. Is there documentation for Asserts?

    Yes, it is available by going into Asserts page.

  64. Is it possible to group multiple applications into one subscription?

    How would I recognize the vulnerabilities within each application?

    According to the active authors model, it is possible to create a large cell with all the developers or to divide it into applications according to the customer’s needs. When managing only one cell it is important to consider that:

    • All the users in the project can see all the vulnerabilities of the application inside the same cell.

    • When the same vulnerability appears in several applications the only way to identify/locate each one, in each individual application is by checking the vulnerability report under the heading, location. There it will specify where each can be found.

  65. Is it possible to change the environment

    when the subscription is already active?

    Yes, it is possible with the condition that the new environment must be the same branch environment where the source code is reviewed, thus Fluid Attacks can test statically and dynamically the same version of the change.

  66. How will you ensure the availability of my systems and services

    while the test is taking place?

    It is possible to cause an accidental DoS during the hacking service. We recommend including only the staging phase in the scope. However, many customers decide to also include the production stage in the tests. It is unusual for us to take down environments because when we foresee a possible breakpoint, we ask the customer for a special environment for such a test.

  67. What happens if I want to review different environments

    of the same application?

    The service includes the environment of the reviewed code (see question 52). It is possible to include different environments for an additional fee.

  68. If I ask a question in the comment system,

    how long does it take to get an answer?

    All questions made through the vulnerabilities comment system, have a 4 business hours SLA. M - F from 8AM to 12 noon and 2PM to 6PM. (UTC-5 Colombia = same as Eastern Standard Time USA). SLA is not contractually defined, it is our value promise.

  69. Do you have liability insurance?

    Yes, 1M USD.


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