CREST Certified Web Application Tester

The CREST Certified Web Application Tester examination is an assessment of the candidate’s ability to find vulnerabilities in bespoke web applications.  The examination uses specially designed applications running on a variety of web application platforms and now covers a wider scope than purely traditional web applications to include more recent advances in the field of web application technology and security.  The candidate will be expected to demonstrate that they are able to find a range of security flaws and vulnerabilities, including proving the ability to exploit and leverage the flaws to ascertain the impact of the issues found.

In addition to traditional web application security, it is advised that candidates familiarise themselves with the following topics which are included in the practical examination and also may be included in the written components:

  • Flash Application Testing
  • .Net Thick Clients
  • Java Applets
  • Identification of functionality within client-side code that is accessible only to privileged users
  • Vulnerabilities in increasingly prevalent application frameworks – e.g. Rails
  • Identification of more recent SSL vulnerabilities – e.g. BEAST
  • HTTP Header Fields relating to security features – e.g. HSTS
  • Decompilation of client-side code – e.g. Flash, Java, .Net
  • Web Server security misconfigurations – e.g. WebDAV

Examination format
The format is the same for both the Infrastructure and Application Certified Tester exams.  The candidate will be expected to possess not only the technical ability to find security weaknesses and vulnerabilities, but also the skills to ensure findings are presented in a clear, concise and understandable manner.  The examination consists of three tasks:

  • A hands-on practical examination
  • A multiple choice technical examination
  • A long form ‘essay style’ written paper.

To pass the exam, the candidate must pass all three sections.  The written element of the examination is delivered at Pearson Vue test centres;  the practical element of the examination is delivered at a CREST examination centre.   Candidates must hold a valid pass in the written element of this examination in order to book to sit the practical element.

You can download the following documents from the links below:

Syllabus for the Certified Web Application tester examination
Notes for Candidates to aid examination preparation

Cost
The Certified Web Application Tester examination costs £1,600 + VAT

Individuals undertaking this examination can request that their information be provided to CESG to be considered for CHECK Team Leader (Web Applications) Status.

Recommended Preparation Material
The following material and media has been cited as helpful preparation for this examination by previous candidates:

Reading Material:
Web Application Hacker’s Handbook (1st & 2nd Editions)
The Browser Hacker’s Handbook
Hacking Exposed 7: Network Security Secrets and Solutions (by Stuart McClure/Joel Scambray/George Kurtz)
The Oracle Hacker’s Handbook: Hacking and Defending Oracle (by David Litchfield)
SQL Injection: Attacks and Defence (by Justin Clarke)
Network Warrior (by Gary A Donahue)

Websites:
http://vulnhub.com/ – Practical testing at speed, for example against vulnerable vmware images

Courses:
Web Application Hackers’  Handbook – CREST Accredited
Certified Application Security Tester – CREST Accredited
Certified Security Testing Professional – CREST Accredited
App Sec Hacker – CREST Accredited

Useful Information for Candidates
Details of the Logistics and Timings of the examinations
CREST’s Policy for Candidates requiring special arrangements including additional time to accommodate a medical condition (including examinations delivered via Pearson Vue)
Terms and Conditions for CREST Examinations (includes hard disk drive wiping policy)