What is an API Penetration Test?

API penetration testing focuses on identifying and exploiting vulnerabilities within Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). APIs are integral to modern applications as they enable communication between different software components. Insecure APIs can lead to severe security breaches, exposing sensitive data or allowing unauthorized access to functionality. This type of testing ensures that APIs are properly secured and do not expose vulnerabilities that could be exploited by attackers.

During an API penetration test, testers assess various aspects of the API, including authentication and authorization mechanisms, data validation, and error handling. They use tools to interact with the API endpoints, looking for issues such as broken authentication, excessive data exposure, lack of rate limiting, and injection vulnerabilities. The findings are documented in a detailed report, which includes recommendations for improving API security. The ultimate goal is to ensure that APIs are secure, reliable, and resilient against attacks, thereby protecting the integrity and confidentiality of the data they handle.

Frameworks and Standards

OWASP API Security Project: Provides best practices and guidelines for securing APIs.

REST Security Cheat Sheet: Offers specific guidance for securing RESTful APIs.

PTES: Provides a lifecycle for penetration testing engagements

Common Tools we utilize to assess your API:

Postman: A tool for testing and interacting with APIs.

SoapUI: A testing tool for SOAP and REST APIs.

Burp Suite Pro: A comprehensive web application security testing tool that is also useful for proxying and testing standalone API requests.

Let Rarefied help assess your API today!

How a Security Test is Performed

drawing of process

Our penetration testing methodology is based on a variety of security standards including, but not limited to, NIST, OWASP, and industry best practices. We put each target through this process to ensure a quality test every time and to meet our service commitments. Our test results can be used to support compliance standards (PCI, HIPAA, etc.) or best practices.

  • 01

    Information Gathering & Enumeration

    This is the most crucial stage of the assessment. In this phase, we learn everything we can about your environment by assessing technologies used, possible attack points, open ports, and anything else publicly discoverable. What we find here serves as the baseline for all future tests.

  • 02

    Vulnerability Detection

    We use a hybrid approach of manual testing techniques and automated scanning tools to look for possible vulnerabilities in your environment.

  • 03


    Now it's time to develop a plan. Based on what we have learned up to this point, we decide which attack vectors to further pursue, and start testing.

  • 04

    Vulnerability Exploitation & Leverage

    This is where the real fun begins. A successful attack is almost always the result of chaining vulnerabilities together until the target is fully compromised. This is typically a circular process, in which vulnerabilities are tested for, exploited, and then leveraged to test for more issues. The process repeats itself until the goal is achieved.

We deliver a formal report detailing our findings

We'll test your web applications, network hosts, APIs, and mobile applications for security issues. We'll then discuss the issues with your team and provide a report detailing our findings. This report can be used in support of compliance (PCI, HIPAA, etc.) or best practices.

What comes next?

Once we have completed our testing, we'll work closely with your team to make sure they understand the issues we have uncovered. Our goal is to ensure that our rigorous security testing provides you and your team with peace of mind that you are implementing secure coding techniques correctly and following security best practices effectively.

Ready to get started?

We look forward to discussing your security testing needs.

How can we help?