Uptime and Network Monitoring While Pentesting: Ensuring Service Continuity and Early Detection

Pentest Team @greenhats.com
3 min readJul 26, 2023

In the realm of penetration testing, it is essential to maintain an overview of the target environment while conducting simulated attacks. Ensuring that critical services of the client remain unaffected during the testing process is crucial for a successful and comprehensive assessment. Network monitoring, specifically uptime monitoring, plays a pivotal role in achieving this objective. By monitoring specific targets, a pentester can detect potential service disruptions early on and respond swiftly to any unforeseen issues.

The Importance of Uptime Monitoring in Pentesting

Uptime monitoring serves as a vital safeguard during penetration testing engagements. It enables the pentester to observe the availability and stability of essential services on the client’s network infrastructure continually. This monitoring approach provides several key advantages:

  1. Service Continuity: Penetration testing, by its nature, involves simulating attacks and probing various systems and services. However, it is crucial to avoid any significant disruption to business operations during this process. Uptime monitoring helps to ensure that critical services remain up and running, minimizing the impact on the client’s daily operations by providing quick feedback on any interference attempts.
  2. Early Detection of Service Failures: During the penetration testing process, certain actions might inadvertently trigger service failures, such as hitting a blocking firewall rule. With uptime monitoring, the pentester can promptly identify any service interruptions, enabling them to adjust their tactics and minimize any potential downtime.
  3. Network Connectivity Awareness: Apart from monitoring services, uptime monitoring also assists in keeping track of the pentester’s network connectivity. This monitoring ensures that the pentester is instantly alerted if their network connection is interrupted or blocked, allowing them to address the issue promptly.

Uptime Kuma: An Efficient Monitoring Tool

https://github.com/louislam/uptime-kuma

At evait security, we rely on the tool to fulfill our uptime monitoring needs during penetration testing engagements. This powerful tool is deployed using Docker, requiring just one command to set up. After creating an account, the local instance becomes readily accessible, simplifying the monitoring process.

Uptime Kuma in action: Monitors the internal DC with ping, an internal http service and the internet connection via google.com
docker run -d --restart=always -p 3001:3001 -v uptime-kuma:/app/data --name uptime-kuma louislam/uptime-kuma:1

Monitoring Multiple Services Simultaneously

Uptime Kuma supports various monitoring options, including HTTP, TCP, DNS, and Ping, allowing the pentester to monitor multiple services simultaneously. By configuring short intervals for monitoring, the pentester can obtain real-time insights into service availability.

Timely Notifications for Proactive Response

When a service becomes unreachable, Uptime Kuma provides timely notifications through a wide range of communication channels. These notifications can be sent via popular messaging platforms, push or email services, or even as local alerts. Such proactive alerts allow the pentester to respond swiftly, mitigating potential issues before they escalate.

Interpreting Network Disruptions

In cases where all monitored services become inaccessible simultaneously, this may indicate a larger network issue. It could be due to the intervention of a firewall solution or a direct disruption from a network switch. Uptime monitoring helps in quickly pinpointing such disruptions, enabling the pentester to focus on identifying the root cause and rectifying the problem.

Conclusion

Uptime and network monitoring are invaluable tools in the arsenal of a penetration tester. Maintaining service continuity and being aware of network disruptions are crucial aspects of ethical hacking engagements. With the open source solution Uptime Kuma, pentesters can efficiently monitor multiple services and receive real-time notifications, empowering them to respond proactively to any service interruptions. By employing such monitoring practices, pentesters can ensure a comprehensive assessment while minimizing the risk of causing disruptions to their clients’ critical systems.

--

--

Pentest Team @greenhats.com

evait security GmbH (aka pentest team of greenhats): full time white hacking / pentesting company who always stays on bleeding edge - https://www.greenhats.com