Master of Science (MS)


Electrical and Computer Engineering

Document Type



This thesis provides details of the hardware architecture and the software scripting, which are employed to demonstrate penetration testing in a laboratory setup. The architecture depicts an organizational computing asset or an environment.¬¬¬ With the increasing number of cyber-attacks throughout the world, the network security is becoming an important issue. This has motivated a large number of “ethical hackers” to indulge and develop methodologies and scripts to defend against the security attacks. As it is too onerous to maintain and monitor attacks on individual hardware and software in an organization, the demand for the new ways to manage security systems invoked the idea of penetration testing. Many research groups have designed algorithms depending on the size, type and purpose of application to secure networks [55]. In this thesis, we create a laboratory setup replicating an organizational infrastructure to study penetration testing on real time server-client atmosphere. To make this possible, we have used Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) as routing protocol as it is widely used in current networks. Moreover, BGP exhibits few vulnerabilities of its own and makes the security assessment more promising. Here, we propose (a) computer based attacks and (b) actual network based attacks including defense mechanisms. The thesis, thus, describes the way penetration testing is accomplished over a desired BGP network. The procedural generation of the packets, exploit, and payloads involve internal and external network attacks. In this thesis, we start with the details of all sub-fields in the stream of penetration testing, including their requirements and outcomes. As an informative and learning research, this thesis discusses the types of attacks over the routers, switches and physical client machines. Our work also deals with the limitations of the implementation of the penetration testing, discussing over the vulnerabilities of the current standards in the technology. Furthermore, we consider the possible methodologies that require attention in order to accomplish most efficient outcomes with the penetration testing. Overall, this work has provided a great learning opportunity in the area of ethical hacking using penetration testing.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Secure the entire work for patent and/or proprietary purposes for a period of one year. Student has submitted appropriate documentation which states: During this period the copyright owner also agrees not to exercise her/his ownership rights, including public use in works, without prior authorization from LSU. At the end of the one year period, either we or LSU may request an automatic extension for one additional year. At the end of the one year secure period (or its extension, if such is requested), the work will be released for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Rai, Suresh