Oct 26 2023

Most Important Network Penetration Testing Checklist

Category: Cheat Sheet,Information Security,Pen Testdisc7 @ 9:25 am

Network Penetration Testing checklist determines vulnerabilities in the network posture by discovering Open ports, troubleshooting live systems, and services, and grabbing system banners.

The pen-testing helps the administrator to close unused ports, additional services, Hide or customize banners, troubleshoot services, and to calibrate firewall rules.

You should test in all ways to guarantee there is no security loophole.

Network penetration testing, also known as ethical hacking or white-hat hacking, is a systematic process of evaluating the security of a computer network infrastructure.

The goal of a network penetration test is to identify vulnerabilities and weaknesses in the network’s defenses that malicious actors could potentially exploit.

Let’s see how we conduct step-by-step Network penetration testing by using some famous network scanners.

1. Host Discovery

Footprinting is the first and most important phase where one gathers information about their target system.

DNS footprinting helps to enumerate DNS records like (A, MX, NS, SRV, PTR, SOA, and CNAME) resolving to the target domain.

  • A – A record is used to point the domain name such as gbhackers.com to the IP address of its hosting server.
  •  MX – Records responsible for Email exchange.
  • NS – NS records are to identify DNS servers responsible for the domain.
  • SRV – Records to distinguish the service hosted on specific servers.
  • PTR – Reverse DNS lookup, with the help of IP you can get domains associated with it.
  • SOA – Start of record, it is nothing but the information in the DNS system about DNS Zone and other DNS records.
  • CNAME – Cname record maps a domain name to another domain name.

We can detect live hosts, and accessible hosts in the target network by using network scanning tools such as Advanced IP scanner, NMAP, HPING3, and NESSUS.

Ping&Ping Sweep:

root@kali:~# nmap -sn nmap -sn To ScanRange of IProot@kali:~# nmap -sn 192.168.169.* Wildcardroot@kali:~# nmap -sn Entire Subnet

Whois Information 

To obtain Whois information and the name server of a websiteroot@kali:~# whois testdomain.com

  1. http://whois.domaintools.com/
  2. https://whois.icann.org/en


Network Diagonastic tool that displays route path and transit delay in packetsroot@kali:~# traceroute google.com

Online Tools

  1. http://www.monitis.com/traceroute/
  2. http://ping.eu/traceroute/

2. Port Scanning

Perform port scanning using tools such as Nmap, Hping3, Netscan tools, and Network monitor. These tools help us to probe a server or host on the target network for open ports.

root@kali:~# nmap –open gbhackers.com             To find all open ports

root@kali:~# nmap -p 80           Specific Port

root@kali:~# nmap -p 80-200   Range of ports

root@kali:~# nmap -p “*”          To scan all ports

Online Tools

  1. http://www.yougetsignal.com/
  2. https://pentest-tools.com/information-gathering/find-subdomains-of-domain

3. Banner Grabbing/OS Fingerprinting

Perform banner Grabbing/OS fingerprinting such as Telnet, IDServe, and NMAP determines the operating system of the target host and the operating system.

Once you know the version and operating system of the target, you need to find the vulnerabilities and exploit them. Try to gain control over the system.

root@kali:~# nmap -A nmap -v -A with high verbosity level

IDserve is another good tool for Banner Grabbing.

Networkpentesting Flowchart

Online Tools

  1. https://www.netcraft.com/
  2. https://w3dt.net/tools/httprecon
  3. https://www.shodan.io/

4. Scan For Vulnerabilities

Scan the network using Vulnerabilities using GIFLanguard, Nessus, Ratina CS, SAINT.

These tools help us find vulnerabilities in the target and operating systems. With these steps, you can find loopholes in the target network system.


It acts as a security consultant and offers patch management vulnerability assessment, and network auditing services.


Nessus is a vulnerability scanner tool that searches for bugs in software and finds a specific way to violate the security of a software product.

  • Data gathering.
  • Host identification.
  • Port scan.
  • Plug-in selection.
  • Reporting of data.

5. Draw Network Diagrams

Draw a network diagram about the organization that helps you understand the logical connection path to the target host in the network.

The network diagram can be drawn by LANmanager, LANstate, Friendly pinger, and Network View.

6. Prepare Proxies

Proxies act as an intermediary between two networking devices. A proxy can protect the local network from outside access.

With proxy servers, we can anonymize web browsing and filter unwanted content, such as ads and many others.

Proxies such as Proxifier, SSL Proxy, Proxy Finder..etc, to hide from being caught.

6. Document All Findings

The last and very important step is to document all the findings from penetration testing.

This document will help you find potential vulnerabilities in your network. Once you determine the Vulnerabilities, you can plan counteractions accordingly.

You can download the rules and scope Worksheet here: Rules and Scope sheet 

Thus, penetration testing helps assess your network before it gets into real trouble that may cause severe loss in terms of value and finance.

important tools

Important Tools Used For Network Pentesting


Kali Linux, Backtrack5 R3, Security Onion


Smartwhois, MxToolbox, CentralOps, dnsstuff, nslookup, DIG, netcraft


Angry IP scanner, Colasoft ping tool, nmap, Maltego, NetResident,LanSurveyor, OpManager

Port Scanning

Nmap, Megaping, Hping3, Netscan tools pro, Advanced port scannerService Fingerprinting Xprobe, nmap, zenmap


Superscan, Netbios enumerator, Snmpcheck, onesixtyone, Jxplorer, Hyena,DumpSec, WinFingerprint, Ps Tools, NsAuditor, Enum4Linux, nslookup, Netscan


Nessus, GFI Languard, Retina,SAINT, Nexpose

Password Cracking

Ncrack, Cain & Abel, LC5, Ophcrack, pwdump7, fgdump, John The Ripper,Rainbow Crack


Wireshark, Ettercap, Capsa Network Analyzer

MiTM Attacks

Cain & Abel, Ettercap


 Metasploit, Core Impact

These are the Most important checklist you should concentrate with Network penetration Testing .

Also Read:

Penetration Testing – Protecting Networks and Systems

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Tags: Network Penetration Testing Checklist

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