Penetration Testing

Penetration Testing

SEC302 Coursework 2015



You are required to produce a report outlining how you would approach the process of conducting a Penetration Test for an organisation.  The report should cover the principal phases illustrated below and should provide an example of an approach/tool for each phase (describing the purpose, operational use and results). The report should also contain a section covering the legal and ethical issues surrounding the process of penetration testing.

1 Reconnaissance
2 Scanning
3 Gaining access
4 Maintaining access
5 Covering tracks


Relevant supporting information may be included as appendices if required.   Your report can be supported by references where appropriate.  Any such information that you present must be appropriately cited and referenced in your report. If you are unfamiliar with referencing styles, then visit the university referencing guide or the library guide.  Alternatively a Google search using the term ‘Harvard referencing style’ may prove useful.

Although you will be expected to make significant use of printed and online literature in researching and producing your materials, it is not acceptable for you to simply cut and paste material from other sources (small quotes are acceptable, but they must be clearly indicated as being quotes and the source must be referenced appropriately). See the university plagiarism guide for further information.


Submission Information:

  • The overall length of the individualreport (excluding appendices) should not exceed 2,500 words.
  • The report will be submitted via Moodle (DLE) by 5pm on Monday 11th January.
  • Please note that submissions should be anonymous(do not include your name on the report).
  • Coursework must be submitted by the specified deadline.
  • You should give due consideration to your personal time management to ensure that coursework is submitted in plenty of time prior to the deadline.  The University cannot take any responsibility for late submission due to slow network speeds, etc.
  • Coursework can be submitted at any time ahead of the deadline time.  Please note that the University enforces penalties for work submitted after the published deadline without valid extenuating circumstances (see student handbook for details).

Marking Criteria:

Introduction, conclusion and background (10%)

In addition to introducing the topic and presenting the background information, assumptions should be stated.

Analysis and discussion (40%)

Clearly and concisely explaining the issues relating to the penetration testing methodology including the legal and ethical consequences

Examples (40%)

Have appropriate examples been chosen for each of the stages?  Are they well defined/explained?

Sources, presentation and structure (10%)

Has appropriate research been conducted to evidence the facts presented in the report?  Are facts/figures supported by suitable references? Is the report well-presented and structured?  Is it readable?


Threshold Criteria (these are indicative only):

To achieve a pass (40%+), you must identify a number of the phases with a basic level of detail.  Some examples of tools will be expected.

To achieve a lower second mark (50%+), you would explain in detail each phase and provide suitable examples for each.

To achieve an upper second mark (60%+), you would have detailed explanation of each phase.  You would have presented examples and given an indication of how to interpret the results.  An attempt would have been made to acknowledge the significance of the legal and ethical issues.

To achieve a first class mark (70%+), you would have critically evaluated the phases and their interdependencies.  You would have identified a range of appropriate tools and provided a comprehensive description for each (with examples).  Full consideration of legal and ethical issues will be included.




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