Advanced Web Application Scanning Step-by-Step Guide

2 min readMay 22, 2024


In the ever-evolving landscape of cybersecurity, ensuring the security of your web applications is paramount. Today, I’ll walk you through an advanced web application scanning scenario, providing in-depth insights. Buckle up!

1. Pre-Engagement Preparation

  • Scope Definition: Begin by defining the scope. Identify which web applications, subdomains, and APIs will be tested.
  • Tools Setup: Ensure you have the right tools like Burp Suite Pro, OWASP ZAP, Nikto, and custom scripts ready to go

2. Reconnaissance

  • Passive Recon: Start with passive methods such as WHOIS lookup, Google dorking, and analyzing public data sources
    Example: Tools like FOCA, Censys and Shodan
  • Active Recon: Utilize tools like Nmap for port scanning and grabbing banners
    Example: WhatWeb and Wappalyzer to fingerprint technologies and frameworks

3. Mapping the Application

  • Spidering: Use Burp Suite’s Spider to crawl the web application.
    Example: Capture all endpoints, functionalities, and inputs
  • User Roles: Identify different user roles and create accounts if necessary.
    Example: Test the functionalities accessible to each role

4. Vulnerability Scanning using Automated Tools

  • SQLmap and SQL Injection: Use SQLmap to scan for SQL Injection points, targeting identified parameters and form fields
  • Authentication Testing: Employ tools like Hydra or Burp Intruder to brute-force login pages and test password policies
    Example: Check for Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) mechanisms.

5. Manual Testing for Advanced Exploits

  • Cross-Site Scripting (XSS): Manually inject XSS payloads into input fields and monitor responses
    Example: Utilize XSS Hunter for advanced testing
  • Session Management: Check for vulnerabilities in session token generation.
    Example: Use Burp Sequencer to analyze the randomness of session tokens.
  • File Uploads: Test the file upload functionality for potential vulnerabilities
    Example: Try uploading various file types and see how the server processes them

6. Business Logic Testing

  • Authorization Flaws: Manually test for Insecure Direct Object References (IDOR). Check if users can access each other’s data
  • Workflow Testing: Disrupt normal workflows
    Example: try completing a transaction without going through all necessary steps

7. Reporting and Documentation

  • Detailed Reporting: Document each finding in detail
    Example: Include steps to reproduce, evidence (screenshots, video records), and severity ratings.
  • Remediation Recommendations: Provide actionable suggestions for remediation.


Advanced web application scanning is both an art and a science.
By combining automated tools with meticulous manual testing, you can uncover vulnerabilities that could otherwise go unnoticed.
Remember, if you didn’t find bugs, it’s crucial to spend more time searching and invest additional effort in thorough analysis.
Stay sharp, stay curious, and keep those applications secure